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Apple under threat from ... Windows tablets

Eh?

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It's not just Android-based alternatives that will threaten the iPad's dominance of the new tablet market - so too will Windows machines.

The battle will commence in 2013, says market watcher IHS iSuppli, which reckons that is when Microsoft will introduce a new version of Windows for tablets.

Assuming it's rather better than preview Tablet PC editions of Windows, the release - whether it comes in late 2012 or early 2013 - will stir up the business in 2013, pushing the iPad's share of the market to below 50 per cent.

Apple, we feel sure, will not feel too hard done by if it still has the best part of half of the market after this year's flood of Android-based tablets and Windows ones a year or two down the line.

Crucially, it's a booming market. IHS iSuppli reckons tablet shipments will top 242.3m in 2015, 202m of them iPads and other media tablets, the remaining 39.3m being laptops without keyboards running PC operating systems.

Compare that to the 2.3m tablet PCs shipped in 2010, and you're looking at some impressive growth. Some 17.4 media tablets shipped last year. ®

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