Tablet wars on the horizon

All aboard the tablet bandwagon!

Following in the footsteps of Apple's iPad, a BlackBerry tablet and a host of similar Android-based devices – by Dell, LG, Motorola and others -- are set to hit the market. But what might this mean for marketers who have been trying to embrace mobile and digital technologies by releasing apps and shopping platforms for as many devices as they can?

Not only are they already trying to capitalize of the iPad's popularity but also the several smartphone brands out today. It's beginning to resemble a game of Whac-A-Mole. As soon as one device is addressed, a new one emerges.

BlackBerry's tablet will support Flash, a technology that Apple has been resistant toward and one that could open plenty of possibilities for app developers. Developer Research In Motion has not yet announced a release date for the device.

Some Android tablets could be attractive to cost-conscious shoppers. Augen, for example, soon will sell a 7-inch model for $150 at Kmart. If a Retrevo survey is any indication, such affordable tablets could wrest a sizable piece of the pie: 53% of respondents said they would buy Android's tablet if it were less expensive than the iPad, which starts at $499.

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