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However, the popularity of Apple’s iPad tablet has changed the face of the industry, and the emergence of the tablet market as a result has in turn changed the software ecosystem and the level of consumerization in devices. Apple’s iPad surpassed HP as the No. 1 global mobile PC vendor in the fourth quarter of last year, according to new research firm DisplaySearch. With the release of Apple’s faster, lighter, and thinner iPad 2, the window of opportunity for seriously challenging Apple in the tablet market may be closing.
Other companies have noticed, and have recently brought several devices to market.
Lenovo this week launched its LePad tablet in China , while Asus last week launched Eee Pad Transformer tablet, and Toshiba unveiled plans to release an unnamed Android Honeycomb-based tablet in June .
Helping bring the proper, low levels of power to this range of devices is the upcoming Intel tablet-optimized Atom processor line code-named Oak Trail , which this week appeared mistakenly on Intel’s online price list. Oak Trail underscores Intel’s desire to enter the tablet market occupied mainly by British firm ARM, which licenses its low-power design to Apple in the iPad and iPhone devices.