While no individual tablet maker has yet presented a challenge to Apple's iPad, the company is seeing its market share decline after the introduction of several competitors last year.
According to a new report
by ABI Research, sales of media tablets using an Android-based operating system reduced Apple's market share by 20 percent in 2010.
"Many vendors have introduced media tablets, but none are separating themselves from the pack to pose a serious threat to Apple. In fact, most have introduced products at prices higher than similarly-configured iPads," said ABI's Jeff Orr in a statement.
According to Orr, more than fifty companies will introduce low-cost media tablets this year, contributing to an industry that the company expects will top 120 million unit sales in 2015.
However, he warns, Android may not be ready for primetime yet, as fragmentation of its OS software (three distinct builds of the platform are being sold on different platforms at the same time) are preventing its growth into a user-friendly, software-populated platform that could take on Apple.
Of the current Android tablet experience, Orr says that it "creates a negative perception in the minds of the mass consumer audience about the readiness of media tablets to be fully functional within the next several years. Good user experiences and product response are needed to propel this market beyond the 'early adopter' stage."
ABI's new Media Tablets report is available here