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Dhaka Tribune

Apple, Nokia and Microsoft announce tablets on the same day

Update : 22 Oct 2013, 03:04 PM

The tablet market, an already competitive arena in the technology industry, becomes even more so on Tuesday, when Apple, Nokia and Microsoft will all introduce new tablets.

They join the market to compete against other recently released tablets, including the popular Google, Amazon and Samsung models.

The demand for tablets has risen greatly within the past few years, with Apple shipping as many as 120 million tablets in 2012 compared to almost 17 million in 2010 when the iPad was first released, according to Gartner, a market research company. Gartner on Monday predicted that global tablet shipments this year would rise 53.4% from last year, reaching 184 million units.

Although Apple’s iPad continues to be the most popular tablet, the market has fractured in recent times, with the options from manufacturers almost as abundant as those for smartphones. Apple’s market share has decreased recently due to rivals using the Google Android operating system.

According to IDC, iPads had the largest share of the worldwide tablet market in the second quarter of 2013, with 32.4%. This was a drop from the 60.3% dominance the company held in the same quarter in 2012. However, competing tablet makers all saw significant gains in their market share including Samsung, the No 2 tablet maker, with 18% of the market in the second quarter, compared to 7.6% the year before.

Apple is expected to show remodeled versions of its standard-sized iPad with a 25cm display screen and the iPad Mini with a nearly 20cm screen.

Although Apple has not shared details, analysts are confident that Apple will show off a Mini with screen quality on par with that of its full-sized iPad. The standard-size models are also expected to be even thinner and lighter than its predecessor and designed more like the iPad Mini with slimmer sides and tighter curves on the back. Both iPads will also most likely get Apple’s new processors and iOS 7, but not the fingerprint sensor that is in the latest high-end iPhone.

Microsoft is also expected to release a new version of its Surface tablets on Tuesday. The Surface 2 runs a lightweight version of Windows 8.1 called RT, meaning it works only with apps designed specifically for it. Like other RT tablets, the Surface 2 comes with a free version of Microsoft's Office, giving you access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. The Surface Pro 2 runs a full version of Windows 8.1, so it also works with programs designed for traditional desktops and laptops, requires separate payment for Office.

Nokia launched its first tablet, the Lumia 2520, during its annual Nokia World event in Abu Dhabi. It will run Windows 8.1 RT and comes with built-in 4G LTE cellular access. 

Ross Rubin, an independent analyst for Reticle Research, has said that the manufacturers have each developed different approached with the tablets. While Microsoft is targeting professionals using tablets that double as PCs, Apple markets its iPads as flexible tablets that cater to both work and entertainment. Samsung, on the other hand, sells a wide variety of tablets, accommodating different professions and interests. 

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