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Android gaining tablet market share: ABI Research

Android media tablets are slowly grabbing market share from the iPad, but no single competitor has yet to mount a formidable challenge to Apple’s industry-leading slate.

Makers of Android-based and other media tablets have collectively taken 20% of the market from the iPad in the past 12 months, according to ABI Research’s new “Media Tablets” study.

The report, however, confirms what is readily apparent to tech industry observers: No tablet maker has been able to build the mythical “iPad killer,” a slate so compelling that it cuts sharply into Apple’s market dominance.

So what’s the problem? Fragmentation within operating system software–particularly Google’s Android OS–is hampering growth, said ABI Research analyst Jeff Orr.

Android current has “no less than three” software builds for tablets. That’s bad news for app developers, who may delay development of an Android app if the market potential isn’t there.

There’s no shortage of iPad competitors, however.

“De-featured, low-cost media tablets are being introduced by more than fifty vendors in 2011,” said Orr in a statement.

“This will certainly help bolster year-over-year growth for the category, but it also creates a negative perception in the minds of the mass consumer audience about the readiness of media tablets to be fully functional within the next several years,” he concluded.

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