Analyst predicts iPad will get Android competition

A quarter of the tablets shipped this year will run Google's Android operating system, an analyst has predicted.

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Apple may have kicked off the tablet trend with the launch of its iPad, but Google could gain market share, too.

An analyst has predicted that as other manufacturers roll out tablet PCs this year, as many as 24 per cent will run Google's Android operating system.

IMS Research analyst Anna Hunt said manufacturers will look to Android as a way of taking on the iPad, just as handset makers have turned to Android to take on the iPhone. "Suppliers are realising the importance of content and service and many are turning to the Android ecosystem to be able to offer the complete user experience and compete with Apple's offering," she said in a statement, adding that the user interface and operating system will be just as important to buyers as hardware specs.

Hunt also sees Windows Phone 7 making a move to tablets, saying Microsoft's latest mobile OS will show up one in 10 of the devices sold this year.

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Apple's high prices for apps will give rivals like Microsoft and Google an opportunity, she noted.

"Right now many of the applications specifically designed for the iPad platform, which are starting to hit the iTunes App Store, are actually more expensive than apps for the iPhone OS platform," she said.

"This leaves an opportunity for suppliers that can offer a tablet solution that is overall more price competitive, both for the hardware and the content," added Hunt.

Read on to find out more about the tablet PCs already on the market.

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