Despite continuing to dominate the tablet market Apple has seen fierce rival Google narrow the gap on its iPad devices and reduce its share of the tablet scene thanks to a flurry of well received Android tablets.
As Android tablets continue to grow in potential and popularity new figures have revealed that despite record iPad sales Apple's share of the overall tablet market dropped from 68 to 58 per cent in the final quarter of 2011.
Bolstered by huge popularity of the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet in the US and the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Tab range across the world the Android platform now controls 39 per cent of the tablet market as overall sales of the plus sized portable gadgets jumped from 10.7 to 26.8 million units year-on-year from Q4 2010 to Q4 2011.
"Dozens of Android models distributed across multiple countries by numerous brands such as Amazon, Samsung, Asus and others have been driving volumes," said Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics.
"Android is so far proving relatively popular with tablet manufacturers despite nagging concerns about fragmentation of Android's operating system, user-interface and app store ecosystem."
Apple iPad 3 Rumours
One possible reason for the narrowing market share is the continually banded array of Apple iPad 3 release rumours suggesting a largely improved Apple tablet will hit stores in the coming March or April.
Touted as sporting a near identical form factor to its predecessor, the Apple iPad 2, the iPad 3 is said to be just 1mm thicker with the increased amount of internal space tipped to be taken up by a new quad-core processor, improved camera optics and a coveted Retina style HD display.
Whilst Apple has yet to acknowledge the existence of any potential iPad 3 device blog iLounge has claimed to have had hands-on time with the upcoming tablet posting a somewhat suspect hands-on Apple iPad 3 review.
Are there now Android tablets out there that can topple the mighty iPad or is Apple the only way to go if entering the tablet scene? Let us know via the comments box below.