Android tablets will almost catch the iPad by 2012 says analyst

The iPad may have a lock on the tablet market for the moment, but by 2012 Android tablets will have nearly caught up, and trail iPads by only five percent. So says a Piper Jaffray analyst, and he's probably on target.

By 2012, the iPad will have a 44% market share for tablets, with Android tablets nipping at its heels, with 39% market share, says Gene Munster of the analyst firm Piper Jaffray, according to eWeek.

The firm said that in 2010, Apple will have an approximately 90% market share, and Android tablets approximately 11% market share. (I can only assume that the numbers add up to more than 100% because of rounding errors.)

By 2011, Android tablets will make headway, says Piper Jaffray, moving up to 32.5% of market share, compared to the iPad's 53%. The reason for Android's rise: The expected release of Android 3.0, code-named Honeycomb, which will be optimized for tablets. That's when you can expect to see 10-inch Android tablets. Motorola, and Samsung have both said that they'll released 7-inch and 10-inch tablets next year.

I expect that eventually, Android tablets will outsell iPads, in the same way that Android phones eventually caught iPhones and now outsell them. Expect many different sizes of Android tablets aimed at many niches, while the iPad will remain essentially a single tablet with a few variations.

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