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Tablet fight shaping up as smartphone repeatJay Lyman, January 28, 2011 @ 12:23 pm ET
While Apple may be calling its Android-based competition vapor, bizarre or otherwise unmagical, we nonetheless are getting the same signals we did when Android arrived on the smartphone scene a few years ago. First, advertising and marketing campaigns are not limited to Apple’s devices and now include aggressive strategies around Android for smartphones and, such as the case with the new Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Tab, for tablets. Second, there are a number of significant, powerful and yes, innovative companies that are working on Android devices, strategies, applications and other content. In fact, Android tablets will most certainly benefit from Android smartphones the same way Apple’s iPad and community have benefited from the solid base created with the iPhone. In addition, there is a much broader range of Android devices, including devices that are more specialized, more expensive or, of course, less expensive (I saw an ad for a $110 Android tablet device in the newspaper recently).
Another important signal: developer love for Android. While Apple no doubt continues to attract attention, development, commercial opportunity and market, Android is also identified as a fast-growing ecosystem and a prime target for device makers, developers and ISVs, marketers and others.
All of this means that, just as we saw with Android in the smartphone market, there may be underestimated challenges(451 subscribers) for Apple in tablets, including Android-based devices and the likes of the RIM PlayBook and MeeGo OS.
While netbooks continue to go niche, I also think there is much more promise and potential for Android to power other devices — including netooks. While I joked a couple of years ago about Android going on toasters, it is seriously making inroads among a broad range of electronics and systems manufacturers from all over the world. One of the latest uses of Android: powering a space satellite.
With Android popping up in all of these places, I find it doubtful it will not be significant in tablets, as it has been in smartphones.
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