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With the iPad, Apple single-handedly created today's multi-billion dollar tablet market, and continues to be its most dominant player.
But that doesn't mean that Apple is the only company cashing in on the devices that have changed the face of computing. If you want a new iPad, you'll need to shell out $499 -- a price too steep for many consumers.
The popularity of Google's Android may ensure that Google will play a prominent role in the smartphone market for years to come, but its future in the tablet space is anything but guaranteed.
Apple's iPad is the tablet standard, and lower-end competitors like the Kindle Fire and NOOK Tablet use forked versions of Android that Google can't control or monetize. For a variety of reasons, Google hasn't thus far been able to rely on third party manufacturers to build a killer Android tablet.
And it's unlikely to get easier for the search giant any time soon.
PayPal may already be ubiquitous on the web, but the payments giant has its sights set on much bigger fish offline.
In an effort to bring PayPal purchasing to the masses wherever they shop, the company yesterday announced pacts with 15 major retailers in the United States that will give consumers the ability to pay for their purchases using PayPal.
The Harry Potter series is one of the most popular series of books ever written, but if you're looking for your fix of wizardry, you'll have to put your Kindle down.
That's because Harry Potter's author, J.K. Rowling, has refused to sell her books in digital format directly through companies like Amazon.
Thanks to Amazon's dominance, it's easy to forget that traditional bookseller Barnes & Noble (B&N) has managed to build a decent digital portfolio of its own.
In the past, that has sparked speculation that B&N would eventually spin off its NOOK division, freeing its digital business from the baggage of its brick-and-mortar business.
Facing increased competition in the tablet space, Apple's still-dominant iPad has been expected to receive a refresh next month.
Today, Apple made it official by announcing an iPad-related event for March 7.
With the iPad, Apple is the dominant tablet manufacturer and with the Kindle Fire, Amazon has become the company to watch in the tablet space.
But don't write bookseller Barnes & Noble (B&N) off. Its NOOK business, which started with E Ink e-readers, now has two tablets in its stable, the NOOK Color and the NOOK Tablet.
In the battle for the future of the tablet market, Amazon - with the Kindle Fire, may be a top contender for the lead row. But another retailer, Barnes & Noble (B&N), isn't ceding anything to its etail rival.
Yesterday, it announced that customers who pony up $120 for a one-year subscription to the digital version of PEOPLE Magazine will receive a $50 discount on the NOOK Tablet, bringing its price down to that of the Kindle Fire ($199). Customers who purchase a $240 annual subscription to the New York Times (NYT) can have a NOOK Simple Touch for free, or a NOOK Color tablet for $99.
The International Consumer Electronics Show, or CES as it's widely referred to as, begins tomorrow.
While it may be losing its "clout", it's still one of the biggest venues for companies to launch their new products at - and CES 2012 will be no different.
Amazon's Kindle Fire was one of the hottest consumer electronics products this holiday shopping season. It was so hot, in fact, that according to investment bank Morgan Keegan, Amazon's new tablet may have displaced as many as 2m iPad sales.
And the Kindle Fire has company. Barnes & Noble's NOOK Color and NOOK Tablet devices are selling well, prompting speculation that the bookseller may spin off its NOOK unit after missing its sales targets.
If you've been reading the headlines about the Kindle Fire lately, you might be surprised to learn that Amazon has already moved millions of units of its tablet and is now the proud creator of the best-selling Android tablet.
Web usability guru Jakob Nielsen isn't a fan, and went so far as to say that he felt, "the Fire is going to be a failure."
Not too long ago, one could track the e-reader and tablet markets separately and have a legitimate reason to do so. It was clear that the Kindle, for instance, was not the iPad, and the iPad was not the Kindle.
But as technology evolves and hardware prices continue to fall, the differences between e-readers and tablets is shrinking and it appears that both markets are, for all intents and purposes, converging rapidly.
That makes for an interesting battle between Apple and, well, everyone else.