After several weeks of rumors, Amazon formally plunged into the tablet market by announcing the Kindle Fire tablet device and a few cheaper models of its Kindle e-Reader. With the iPad, Apple virtually invented the Tablet market and pitch-forked it into the mainstream, despite a fairly high price tag. The iPad at its current price point, is viewed by many as an alternative to a laptop or a PC. A typical buyer of an iPad is one who might have otherwise purchased a PC. The drop in sales of PCs to some extent is a confirmation of this trend.
In an attempt to counter the phenomenal success of the iPad, Google launched the mobile OS, Android, as an open source product. Attracted by the success of the iPad, several manufacturers jumped on the tablet bandwagon with Android-based tablets. Unfortunately, Android tablets from the likes of Motorola, Samsung, and Asus were way too highly priced. While they were “somewhat” comparable in usability to the iPad, they are simply way behind on the number of available applications, and just marginally cheaper than an iPad. So they have barely made a dent on Apple’s lead in the tablet market.