Tablet Sales Expected To Soar In China - InformationWeek

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Tablet Sales Expected To Soar In China

China's appetite for slates could exceed 7 million and show 10-fold growth over the next five years, research firm says.

Stellar sales of Apple's iPad led a global multimedia consulting firm to release a report predicting major growth in China's tablet computer market. A number of domestic manufacturers have been releasing their own competing products to try to take a piece of the tablet pie, and it appears that their greatest hope lies with Google's Android platform.

In-Stat released a report forecasting that by 2014, sales of tablet computers in China could exceed 7 million and show 10-fold growth, according to Sina.

"Worldwide it took the iPod one and a half years to reach sales of 1 million and it took the iPhone 74 days. The iPad, on the other hand, only needed 28 days. In China it took the iPhone one and a half years to reach sales of 1 million. How long will it take the iPad? In-Stat optimistically projects eight months," In-Stat China analyst Liu Qing told Sina.

In line with the iPad's daily growth in popularity are a number of domestic companies looking to get their hands on the market. Last month Hanvon (aka Hanwang) released the TouchPad, its own version of the tablet computer that runs using Windows. Aigo sent out its own waves Tuesday when it released two tablet computer models that utilize ARM architecture and the Android platform, Sina reported.

A key to gaining a loyal consumer following in the tablet market is applications. Both Hanvon and Aigo have announced plans to launch application stores, but it will be an almost impossible task for them to match the scope of Apple's App Store.

Their hope may lie with Android. Aigo Chairman Qu Jingdong said that his company chose Android because of its openness and the abundant software and application choices available to satisfy consumers.

In-State's Liu seems to back Qu's decision, at least over the long term. Liu told Sina: "Tablets that run Windows are more like PCs or notebooks used daily for work, so users more easily accept them. The Android platform leans toward entertainment and relies on applications. In the short term I place my money on Windows, but in the long term Android has greater room for growth."

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