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Are Tablets Really Selling Like Hot Cakes?

The amount of interest that buyers and sellers are showing in tablet devices indicates that tablets are poised to leave even hot cakes behind, as their sales are surging in almost all markets of the world.

This interest has particularly soared after the recent launch of Apple’s new iPad. Although iPad has been driving the market, many me-too players are also making hay in the boom being witnessed for this category of mobile gadgets.

Digital market researcher comScore says tablets quickly rose in popularity in 2011, taking less than two years to account for nearly 40 million tablets in use among U.S. mobile users and outpacing smartphones which took 7 years to reach the same.

It says by the end of 2011, nearly 15 percent of U.S. mobile users also had tablets – a trend seen across other markets as well.

Why this infatuation for tablets? To answer, they come with a wealth of applications normally available on a computer with the roving mobility of a mobile phone. Apple alone peddles nearly 600,000 apps from its App Store. Categories include books, games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel.

It’s, however, not only Apple that is driving design innovation. Other leading players are also quite aggressive. Eyeing the potential in the market, Toshiba has introduced Excite 10 LE, which is claimed to be the world’s thinnest and lightest 10-inch tablet measuring 0.3 inches (7.7mm) thin and weighing 1.18 pounds (535g).

More innovative tablets are coming. Getac, a rugged computing solutions provider, has been trialling its new fully rugged tablet – the Z710 – with customers. The company says the 7-inch format with integrated features such as a 1D and 2D Barcode scanner and high-frequency RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) could replace handheld devices in key vertical sectors.

Although Apple is supposed to be the market leader in the tablet segment, Android-based devices are gaining increasing popularity among consumers. Of late, a flurry of devices and apps has been introduced on Android platform.

A few examples: Samsung Mobile, a leading supplier of Android tablets, says The Atlantic Hotel Resort & Spa in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Is providing more than 100 premium guest rooms with a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Games are among the hottest apps on tablets. Exent, a leading global market solutions provider for monetization of mobile and PC games, has introduced a subscription service for tablets. It offers unlimited game play for the top games on Android, including Fruit Ninja, Baseball Superstars, and T-Racer HD.

Similarly, to woo the mobile consumers of financial services, a host of apps are being introduced. TurboTax, a leading tax software, has announced a new app now available for Android tablets. Designed and optimized specifically for the Android platform, the app rounds out a suite of TurboTax mobile offerings. And leading global financial services company Citi has launched its first banking app designed exclusively for Kindle Fire.

Among other leading apps, AOL has unveiled a tablet-optimized version of AOL.com for iPad users and digital audio and video technology company Avid has released its first video editing application for the iPad—Avid Studio.

As the tablets market is picking up steam, after Apple and Android platforms, Microsoft is among the top players to jump in the fray with its own system for tablets. The software major says its new release Windows 8 will bring together the potential of a tablet with the power of a PC.

This hot action on the tablets turf is also supported by numbers. According to market researcher IHS iSuppli, the total global tablet shipments will reach 124 million units in 2012, up 90 percent from 65 million in 2011.

Going by this trend, you can see that tablets are already coming with open jaws to devour even notebooks and netbooks. Are you watching?

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