Just as Android smartphones have been giving the Apple iPhone a run for its money, the same can be said for the brewing rivalry between the iPad and current and future tablets running Android OS. With more and more Android devices being announced each week, the Apple empire, along with other tablet makers, is facing extreme competition and the possibility of a market take-over in the near future. Analysts from Piper Jaffray believe that by the end of 2012, Android tablets will hold 39% of the market, following right behind Apple with 44%.
The tablet market right now is a completely different story, with Apple being the sole dominator, having sold about 90% of the 14.5 million tablets shipped this year. Android tablets have only 11% of the market for 2010 according to Apple analyst Gene Munster, with most of that success contributed to the Samsung Galaxy Tab, over 1 million sold this month. Going into 2011, Apple is expected to control 53%, with Google's Android rising to almost 33%.
"We believe the Galaxy Tab has been an unexpected success considering it runs a version of Android not optimized for tablets. We believe this success is partly due to the fact that it is the only non-iPad tablet available, but also that Android will be a meaningful competitor."
Munster believes the Android tablet rise in 2011 will come with the release of the Honeycomb OS, presumed to be Android 2.4 or 3.0. Devices by Microsoft, RIM, and HP will wrap up the remaining market with somewhere around 17%. It might be a tricky thing to convert an Apple iPad user to Android, but with Honeycomb on its way, it could just be the game changer to push the Android tablet to the top of the market.