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Ways Android tablets could beat the iPadAndroid is like Apple's hippie cousin, sort of loose and free-spirited. Here's how it can use that to box Apple's ears.
The iPad flat out dominates the tablet market as we speak, with something around 80%+ market share. But just as Android phones pulled up neck and neck with the iPhone, Android tablets can do the same. IÃ¯Â¿Â½m B.C. with Top 5 ways that could happen according to developers who write tablet apps. #5: New places to buy apps. iPad is tied to the iTunes store and while it is the biggest, not everyone thinks itÃ¯Â¿Â½s the best. Developers like freedom as much as they like beer, so StevoÃ¯Â¿Â½s parental ways in the iTunes store have them always seeking looser ground. Developers also want to get to you via multiple app stores, like Amazon. #4: Honeycomb OS. This is a big one, the new version of Android specifically developed for tablets. It debuts first on the Motorola Xoom, CNETÃ¯Â¿Â½s BOCA winner at CES 2011, and for the first time gives us an Android flavor that stretches out an rocks a larger screen, support multi-core processors and has built in management tools for business customers Ã¯Â¿Â½ thatÃ¯Â¿Â½s something that can fuel a LOT of sales. #3: Better bells & whistles. LetÃ¯Â¿Â½s face it, Apple has the knack of giving you less and convincing you its more. But things like cameras, expansion ports, different screen sizes, 4G, or and Flash support so you can really use the web, that might print with consumers. #2: Control fragmentation. This is a little under the hood, but its key. There are many flavors of Android at any one time: 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 and soon 3.0 Honeycomb are all in the wild. Then add the various skins that hardware makers put over Android to make it look like their own deal and, well, you have a serious threat of confusing people to death and getting them to flock back to Simple Land. Before we get to #1Ã¯Â¿Â½here are 5 of the most anticipated Android tablets here or on the way in 2011 as we speak: Kind of a formidable onslaught. #1: Be cheaper. Yep, AppleÃ¯Â¿Â½s AchilleÃ¯Â¿Â½s Heel: TheyÃ¯Â¿Â½re stuff is expensive, and a lot of folks like cheaper. Imagine that. iPadÃ¯Â¿Â½s start at $500 and go to over $800. ThatÃ¯Â¿Â½s a monthÃ¯Â¿Â½s net pay for a lot of folks. Think theyÃ¯Â¿Â½re gonnaÃ¯Â¿Â½ be running around with an iPad? Android tablets will be in heavy price competition between the makers of some 90 models expected on the market, and between retailes who have the flexibility to really discount them, unlike Apple. Now stay on top of all the new Android tablets that are coming out, we cover them obsessively on cnet.com. And for more Top 5Ã¯Â¿Â½s like this one head on over to top5.cnet.com. I am Brian Cooley, thanks for watching.