Samsung’s newest tablet can run both Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows 8 and Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android applications in a move meant to challenge Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) current dominance in the tablet market.
The ATIV Q tablet, which has a hinged keyboard to provide the same ease of use as a laptop, will allow users to share files between Windows 8 and Android apps. Samsung is using similar techniques that made it the number one maker of smartphones to increase its share in the tablet market. By offering multiple operating systems, Samsung is providing its users with more choice than Apple, whose iPad tablets only run on iOS.
Apple has dominated the tablet market since it introduced the first iPad back in 2010, but Samsung is catching up. Samsung is the number two maker of tablets, and its shipments have more than tripled in the last year. Apple counts for 40 percent of the tablet market, and Samsung is currently at 16 percent.
Tablets have exploded in popularity since Apple introduced the iPad, and tablet sales are expected to exceed personal computer sales by 2015. Tablets are less expensive than laptop or desktop computers, but offer many of the same functions traditional computers do and are smaller, thinner, and easier to transport. Many tablets, including the ATIV Q, include detachable keyboards that make typing easier than using a touchscreen.
As PC sales continue to fall, companies like Microsoft and Samsung will become more dependent on the tablet market. Though Apple is leading in tablet sales for now, that leadership will be challenged as Samsung and Microsoft continue to develop less-expensive alternatives to the iPad. The cheapest version of the iPad Mini costs $329.
Samsung is banking on the innovative new tablet, as shares in the Seoul-based company have fallen in the past two weeks amid concerns that the company’s flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone sales won’t meet expectations. Samsung also debuted a cheaper, smaller version of the phone called the Galaxy S4 Mini that it hopes will be successful in emerging markets.
As tablets continue to grow in popularity, it remains to be seen if Apple can maintain its current success if it doesn’t start making less expensive devices in addition to its high-end iPads.
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