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iPad killing the competition

With the iPad 2 hitting stores across the U.S. today and worldwide within a couple of weeks, Ars Technica published a report today showing that the iPad should remain the market leader for tablet devices through 2011.

Citing data from market research firm IDC, Ars blogger Chris Foresman notes that Apple had about 83% of the tablet market for 2010, with most of the competition coming from Samsung's 7" Galaxy Tab. The Amazon Kindle, which is considered to be an eReader rather than a tablet, dominated its market with almost a 50% share in the fourth quarter of 2010.

The Motorola Xoom was widely expected to take on the iPad, with better specs and the Android 3.0 OS. Unfortunately for this pretender to the throne, it was lacking some promised hardware and software features when it shipped, and is priced higher than most iPad 2 models.

Forrester's Sarah Rotman Epps blogged that all of the upcoming competitors, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, the HP Touchpad, and RIM's PlayBook, have serious problems with their product strategies. Many are priced higher than similar iPad models and/or come with carrier contracts to subsidize the high price. Most of Forrester's research points to consumer disinterest in having to sign a long-term contract for a tablet.

Forrester expects 24.1 million tablets to sell in 2011 in the U.S., and close to 20 million of those will be iPads. Another market research firm, ChangeWave, is also predicting that 82% of people planning to buy a tablet in the next 90 days will buy an iPad.

And with that news, it's time for me to go get in line for my iPad 2.

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