Google officially unveils Android 4.3 and a thinner & lighter Nexus 7 successor!

Google has unveiled the new Nexus 7 tablet device that’s thinner, lighter, and complete with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. It will be priced starting at $229.00 and can be purchased at Best Buy and most likely the Google Play store starting today.

The company’s Android and Chrome chief Sundar Pinchai took the stage to talk about Google’s latest creations. He reminisced about his talk at Google’s I/O developer conference where he says that it’s an exciting time for the computing world.

1484847cv5a Google unveils thinner, lighter Nexus 7 successor with 1080p display and 5MP camera, starting at $229.99

Pinchai touted that the tablet market is growing exponentially — more tablets are being bought than personal computers.With respect to Android, he says that Google is nearing 70 million platform tablet activations.

On Google Play, Pinchai says there are more than 50 billion downloads and developers are seeing 2.5 times increase in revenue per user, all from more than a million apps.

The Nexus 7

Since its launch in 2012, Pinchai says the tablet has had much success around the world. Now, Google hopes to follow that up with an updated version.

nexus 7 featured image 730x280 Google unveils thinner, lighter Nexus 7 successor with 1080p display and 5MP camera, starting at $229.99

The Nexus 7 is touted as a powerful and portable device while also enabling users to have their information synced through the cloud. Almost 2mm thinner than the original Nexus 7 and 50 grams lighter. Featuring a true 1080p HD (1920×1200), surround sound with 5.1 Audio, front-facing 1.2 megapixel camera, and 5 megapixel rear facing camera. Includes a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset and 2GB of memory. All with longer battery life than the original Nexus 7.

Google says that it focused on core features, including a black finish and glossy details. It is also billed as the “world’s highest resolution tablet” with 323 dpi. The new Nexus 7 tablet screen size is 1920×1200 (1080p) on a 7-inch display and offers 9 hours of HD video playback and 10 hours of web browsing.

1484847cv7a Google unveils thinner, lighter Nexus 7 successor with 1080p display and 5MP camera, starting at $229.99

The device will be available on 4G LTE on Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. It will have Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, the newest operating system being revealed today.

Consumers can select from one of three models: a 16GB, 32GB, and 32GB LTE starting at $229.99. it will be available starting next Tuesday, July 30 available from Best Buy, GameStop, Walmart, Staples, and other retailers, as well as the Google Play store. Google is launching the Nexus 7 in the US, France, UK, Germany, Japan, Canada, Spain, Australia, South Korea, and Germany.

1484847 sa Google unveils thinner, lighter Nexus 7 successor with 1080p display and 5MP camera, starting at $229.99

Many of these features were prematurely revealed yesterday when Best Buy began accepting pre-orders for the 16GB and 32GB device.

The news comes following the release of a nonchalant press invite last week which invited people to attend “Breakfast with Sundar Pinchai”.

Google today unveiled version 4.3 of its popular Android mobile operating system, detailing some new firmware functionality including multi-user accounts with restricted profiles.

“Parents can have peace of mind about which family members can access what content and which apps,” Google’s Hugo Barra said.

It means device owners can control the way an app behaves in separate user profiles, such as the amount of content shown to other users. Barra demonstrated how with a children’s jigsaw app, the parent would be able to slowly give their child access to new puzzles by buying them privately in their own profile. These are then unlocked in the child’s version of the app while hiding any additional content unlocked through microtransactions.

Android 4.3 also adds support for Bluetooth Smart technology – also known as Bluetooth Low Energy – enabling users to pair their Android smartphone or tablet with low powered devices such as fitness sensors.

1484847cv8a Google unveils thinner, lighter Nexus 7 successor with 1080p display and 5MP camera, starting at $229.99

Google has also upped its Open GL support to version 3.0 for accelerated 3D graphics and higher fidelity graphic rendering, such as photorealistic lens flares, reflections, highlights and shadows.

Version 4.3 also packs in a new set of DRM APIs that offer a new, standarized way of encrypting full HD content. Netflix is the first company to take advantage of the new capability, offering subscribers 1080p streams for the first time in its existing Android app. Google’s new Nexus 7 tablet is the only device that supports the technology right now, but more will be supported in the future.

“Watching 1080p videos on a tablet is obviously amazing, but actually most of the premium content that you get on tablets today is standard definition,” Barra added. “That’s usually related to content protection limitations that exist on HD content.”

1484847cv3a Google unveils thinner, lighter Nexus 7 successor with 1080p display and 5MP camera, starting at $229.99

Android 4.3 also adds a whole host of minor adjustments and improvements, such as faster user-switching, an auto-complete dial pad – shown off in a hands-on video created by AndroidCentral last week – as well as language support for  Africaans, Amharic, Hindi, Swahili and Zulu, users.

To coincide with the launch of Android 4.3, Google is also updating some of its in-house apps to take advantage of the 1080p display found in the new Nexus 7.

The refreshed platform was shown off by the technology giant at an event held in San Francisco by Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president for Android, Chrome and Google Apps.

The latest version of Jelly Bean will ship be available for the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, original Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 later today, followed by the Google Edition HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 “soon”. It will also ship.

Android grabs 41 percent of tablet market as Apple’s share falls!

Can the iPad mini save Apple’s slipping lead in tablet sales? The could be the question of the day as researchers announce Apple’s share of the tablet market dropped to 56.7 percent while Android tablets now account for 41 percent of the worldwide market.

According to Strategy Analytics, the iPad’s lead eroded from the 64.5 percent it held during the third quarter of 2011. Meanwhile, an army of Android tablets, helped by Apple losses, rose to 41.3 percent of the market, up from 29.2 percent during the same period last year…

Strategy Analytics Executive Director Neil Mawston said:

No single Android vendor comes close to Apple in volume terms at the moment, but the collective weight of dozens of hardware partners, such as Asus, Samsung and Nook, is helping Google’s Android platform to register a growing presence in tablets.

Thursday, Apple announced it sold 14 million iPads during the fiscal fourth quarter of 2012.

Although the company said iPad sales were up 26 percent compared to a year ago, observers felt sales were softened by a number of factors, including consumers delaying purchases until Apple’s announcement this week.

Analysts revised their earnings estimates downward after Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook Monday announced 100 million iPads were sold as of two weeks ago. But some sleuthing revealed a slowdown compared to previous periods.

However, it appears there is a global slowdown in tablet demand. Worldwide tablet shipments rose by just 43 percent in the fiscal third quarter, down dramatically from the nitro-fueled 289 percent growth reported in the second quarter of 2011.

“This was the weakest growth rate since the modern tablet industry began in the second quarter of 2010″, writes Strategy Analytics.

So, can the less-expensive iPad mini reignite the demand for tablets – especially those made by Apple?

The new tablet is expected to begin shipping November 2. Apple began taking pre-orders today and two hours later sold out of white iPad mini stock.

Will this be enough time to boost Apple’s flagging market lead?

Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu has described the iPad mini as a potential nightmare for Apple’s rivals, but can it counter Android’s momentum? The answer’s will likely have to wait until holiday shoppers vote with their wallets.

Apple Announces Apple Announces iPad mini, 4th gen iPad, new iMac, 13-inch MBP with Retina Display and more !

  • Few Minutes left ! Our Live Blog has started ! Enjoy 🙂
  • The theater is filling up fast — a ton of media are there!
  • Grizzly Bear on the sound system.
  • A lot of app developers and partners in the crowd, it seems.
  • “Ladies and gentlemen, please switch devices to silent mode.”
  • And it has begun! Tim Cook is now on stage, ready to discuss the great success of Apple.
  • Tim is out and talked about the success of the iPhone 5. Now we’re watching a video about the launch. People are cheering. And running. And the song is about running.
  • Running towards an iPhone.
  • Then the iPhone kisses you.
  • And you get married.
  • High fives all around for iPhone 5 buyers.
  • Look, people bought the iPhone all over the world.
  • And Tim is back out.
  • “Our team works incredibly hard to deliver products like the iPhone 5, and that reminds us why we do it.”
  • “Last month we announced the iPhone and incredible new iPods. An amazingly thin iPod touch, with the same Retina display we have on iPhone 5.”
  • “All of our iOS devices are powered by iOS 6, our latest version of the world’s most advanced mobile operating system.”
  • “We work hard to make sure all of our products are upgradable to the latest operating system. After just 1 month, we have 200 million devices running iOS 6.”
  • “This is phenomenal. It’s the fastest upgrade rate of any software in history that we’re aware of.”
  • “iOS 6 and Mountain Lion are designed to make our systems work seamlessly.”
  • “We’ve been working on new features that make your life easier, like documents in the cloud.”
  • “Customers have now placed 125m documents in the cloud, just over the last year.”
  • “Features like iMessage, it’s of course the best way to send anyone a message on a Mac or iPod touch or iPad, you can see all your messages on all devices.”
  • “Already in just last year, customers have sent 300 billion messages.”
  • Cheers for that from the crowd. And some whistles.
  • “You’re sending them at 28k per second. Maybe more right now.”
  • “And features like Game Center, the best way to play games with a friend. We now have over 160m game players.”
  • “And finally shared photo streams — the best way to share what you want with the people you want.”
  • “Customers have already shared over 70m photos with friends and family.”
  • “So you can see there are some great ways for your iOS devices and Macs to work together seamlessly.”
  • “These are not stretched out iPhone apps.”
  • “We’ve reached another milestone — customers have downloaded 35 billion apps from the store. This is jaw dropping.”
  • “Now, this is great for customers. They get the choice of fantastic apps. But it’s also great for devs. We’ve now paid out $6.5 billion to developers.”
  • “Now one of the most popular apps on the store is iBooks.”
  • “One tap and you get to the iBookstore.”
  • 400 books downloaded since the launch of the store. That’s a lot of books.
  • “And iBooks includes great options like this sepia theme, or night theme.”
  • “Today we’re introducing a new version with a new feature — continuous scrolling — just flick.”
  • “There’s also some new ways to share — tap on a passage and share on Facebook or Twitter.”
  • New languages, Korean, Japanese.
  • “Now I’d like to talk about the Mac.”
  • “The Mac has been outgrowing the PC market for 6 years straight.”
  • “That’s because it’s #1 in customer reliability.”
  • “This has led to the Mac being the #1 desktop and #1 notebook in the US.”
  • “Now we’re really pleased with all of the momentum of the Mac. But we are not standing still.”
  • “We’re going to continue innovating with the Mac. We’ve got some great stuff to show you this morning.”
  • Phil Schiller is out! .. BIG CHEERS
  • “Today is a big day for the Mac. It starts with MacBook.”
  • “Just a few months ago we introduced perhaps the best we’ve ever created the best ever.”
  • Phil is listing off great reviews of the MacBook with Retina display.
  • “You might not know that our best selling notebook is the 13 inch MacBook Pro.”
  • “Customers love it. It’s perfect for so many uses. So in typical Apple fashion, we’re going to take our best product, and introduce something better.”
  • “I’m proud to introduce the brand new 13-inch MacBook Pro.”
  • “It is incredibly thin. Just .75 thick.”
  • “A full 1/5th thinner than the old model.”
  • “It weighs just 3.5 pounds. Our lightest MacBook Pro ever.”
  • No optical drive. Go figure!
  • Retina display!
  • “Everything on it looks absolutely gorgeous.”
  • “Your apps look fantastic on it. Reading email the text is so beautiful you can’t see the pixels.”
  • “iLife apps are great too.”
  • “There’s never been a small notebook that gave pro photographers this capability.”
  • “If you’re looking for Retina apps, just go to our App Store. There’s a lot of great software to support the display.”
  • “So that alone is a great new feature. But there’s more.”
  • FaceTime HD camera, dual mics, stereo speakers.
  • “Let’s take the bottom off and take a look inside.”
  • “We use asymmetric li-ion batteries.”
  • Core i5 or i7.
  • Standard 8GB of RAM.
  • Up to 768GB of storage — SSD of course.
  • Phil is listing off some of the features of Mountain Lion and iCloud.
  • Because you know, this computer has Mountain Lion on it.
  • “This is a great new MacBook Pro. It starts at 8GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage for $1699.”
  • With a 2.5GHz CPU.
  • “It starts shipping today.”
  • “Like all of our products, the team works hard on making these eco-friendly.”
  • “We’re so excited to show this to customers, we’ve created an ad. Let’s show that.” Ah ha, an ad.
  • “For the pro in all of us” says the ad.
  • Phil is showing off the full lineup of MacBooks — and prices.
  • “Next, Mac mini. You knew there’d be something called mini in this presentation, didn’t you?”
  • “The Mac mini is packed with great features. But the action on this product and the update is on the inside.”
  • Wow Phil is rushing through the Mac mini…
  • New mini starts shipping today. And it’s also eco-friendly.
  • “We said this is a big day for the Mac, and I have one more I’d like to talk about. And that’s the iMac.”
  • “It’s the #1 desktop model in the US.”
  • “It’s a great design. One that’s evolved over many years. Many people think of it as the flagship of the Mac line.”
  • Phil is going through the history of the iMac. “We’ve had 7 generations of the iMac, all better than the last.”
  • People are oohing, literally.
  • Super thin display.
  • “We have one here. Want to see one?”
  • “There’s an entire computer in here.” Laughs for that.
  • 80% thinner than the previous generation.
  • “That edge is 5mm thin.”
  • “We lovingly call this the chin.”
  • “This is so thin we wanted to do something even more with it — the way this is welded is called friction stir welding.”
  • “Let me bring up the old generation — isn’t it incredible how something new can make something else look so old?”
  • Phil is explaining the process of making the iMac thinner than the previous version.
  • “Let’s talk a little bit more about this display. It comes in two sizes, 27 inch and 21.5 inch.”
  • “We said it’s fully laminated. That delivers another benefit. Text and graphics will look like they’re sitting right on top of the glass.”
  • “We want to make it even purer, even thinner.”
  • 75% less reflection than the previous version.
  • “It’s very very cool.”
  • FaceTime HD camera, stereo sound “That sounds better than the previous generation.”
  • “Pretty remarkable. And of course, a lot of the work has been done on the inside.”
  • Up to 3TB of storage, Core i5 or i7…
  • Four USB 3.0 ports.
  • “I want to talk about storage a little bit more. Customers can choose what they want, a hard drive for storage, or an SSD for speed. But we have a new option. It’s called the Apple Fusion Drive.”
  • “What’s the Fusion Drive?”
  • “You order it and get a single drive.”
  • Core applications and OS stays on the SSD, documents stay on the HDD.
  • Apple has some logic which figures out which apps you use the most and will shift those to the SSD.
  • Performance is nearly that of a standard SSD. Very, very interesting.
  • “The iMac comes with a wireless keyboard and a mouse, of course you can get a Magic Trackpad. And for those of you still stuck in the past, you can get an optical drive.”
  • “We start shipping next month, in November.”
  • “This uses up to 50% less power when idling.”
  • “So that’s the new iMac. Perhaps the boldest new design we’ve done.”
  • And Tim is back out.
  • “These products are really cool.”
  • “Next I’d like to talk about iPad.”
  • “It seems like every time we get together, there are some new numbers to talk about the growth of this product.”
  • “We’ve now sold over 100 million iPads.” Huge applause for that.
  • “We sold more products in the June quarter than any PC manufacturer sold in their entire PC line.”
  • “This has attracted a lot of attention. A lot of other tablets are shipping. But the numbers tell a different story. The iPad accounts for 91% of tablet web traffic.”
  • “Why is the iPad so popular? Well it turns out there’s a simple reason: people love their iPads!” Laughs.
  • “They love the display. They love the camera for FaceTime. They love that they can connect anywhere they go on Wi-Fi or cellular. They love iPad’s legendary all day battery life. And they love all of the amazing apps optimized for iPad.”
  • “One of the things that is so rewarding is how quickly iPad has been embraced in education.”
  • “A teacher in Texas said ‘the iPad has been a game changer in education’.”
  • “We really believe in this. And we saw it early on. Earlier this year we introduced iBooks author to create textbooks. And iBooks textbooks are now available for 80% of the US high school curriculum.”
  • “There are now 2500 classrooms in the US with iBooks textbooks.”
  • “Today we’re announcing the latest iBooks Author. It includes some great new templates.”
  • Portrait templates, you’re able to use your own fonts… mathematical expressions dropped into books. Multitouch widgets.
  • “Publishers can update their books.”
  • This is available today.
  • “In addition to education, iPad is taking the business world by storm too.”
  • “It’s showing up and doing more and more things.”
  • 94% of Fortune 500 companies are testing or deploying the iPad.
  • “We couldn’t be more thrilled with how quickly iPad has been embraced by users.”
  • “But we know we are just getting started.”
  • “Earlier this year we announced an iPad with a Retina display. It’s the top selling tablet in the world.”
  • “But we’re not taking our foot off the gas. We’ve got some cool stuff to show you. I’d like to invite Phil back to the stage.”
  • “Thank you.”
  • “So just half a year ago we introduced the 3rd generation iPad with Retina display. So it’s more incredible that we’re sitting here to talk about the 4th generation iPad.”
  • “It’s amazing the pace the team is working at.”
  • “This 4th generation is a powerhouse. What’s inside it? A new chip, the A6X. It doubles the performance of CPU tasks.”
  • “It also doubles the graphics performance. The competition wasn’t even close to us, and now we’re just blowing past them some more.”
  • “We’re updating the camera, the cellular version has expanded LTE.”
  • Faster Wi-Fi, Lightning connector.
  • “We’ve added some new cables. Lightning to USB and Lightning to an SD card reader.”
  • “It comes in both black and white.”
  • Same configs of the last generation.
  • $499, with cellular, $629.
  • “So what else can we do to help customers to find more uses for iPad?”
  • Whoa. A smaller iPad just appeared on the screen.
  • “What can you do with this that you can’t do with the big iPad? Well this. Hold it with one hand.”
  • “This isn’t just a shrunken down iPad. There’s nothing as amazing as this.”
  • “It’s incredibly thin and beautiful. Incredibly thin and light. Want to see one in person?”
  • “This is iPad mini.”
  • For mini, it still looks kind of big!
  • Black and white — a treatment more like the iPhone 5.
  • “What screen size is it?”
  • 7.9 inch display
  • “All the software made for the iPad works on the mini with no change.”
  • “So it’s great for reading your email, surfing the web, managing your photos.”
  • “For kicking back and reading a magazine or a book.”
  • “It’s great for all of your iWork apps.”
  • Phil is really running through all of the apps you can run on this thing. Hint: it’s all of them!
  • “You’re gonna love Facebook on the new iPad.”
  • “If you love playing games, like Real Racing 2. Incredible.”
  • “I could do 275k examples! But we don’t have time.”
  • “It all works. And no one else can say that.”
  • “Here we have iPad mini on the right, and the new Android tablet on the left.”
  • “Let’s compare them.”
  • “There’s is made of plastic, it’s thicker and heavier.”
  • “Let’s look at those displays. Theirs is 7 inch, our is 7.9.”
  • “The iPad mini has a third larger display area.”
  • “And it doesn’t stop there. What’s the #1 thing people do on their iPads? Surf the web.”
  • “Let’s look at a webpage side by side.”
  • “The iPad mini is about 50% larger display area in the browser.”
  • “Customers love the ones written for the iPad.”
  • “What does the other one have? Phone applications scaled up.”
  • Phil is comparing app versions. Yelp, eBay, Pandora, TripAdvisor.
  • Pretty bad burns on Android — the platform looks weak on apps, as usual, for tablets.
  • “There’s an amazing set of technology that makes this a great iPad.”
  • A5, LTE versions, FaceTime HD camera, 5MP iSight camera around back.
  • Lightning connector, of course.
  • “All of this technology in such a thin and light device… the team has worked to get the same battery life. 10 hours.”
  • “You can see this is every inch an iPad. We’ve created a video to tell you a lot more about it.”
  • Jony Ive… is talking… about design.
  • If Apple can hit a killer price point on this, it’s game over for smaller tablets on the market.
  • “When we decided to make the iPad mini, we wanted to keep the things that make the iPad so magical.”
  • The iPad mini has the thinnest single cell battery we’ve ever designed.”
  • I wonder how the smaller bezel will impact reading…
  • And Phil is back out!
  • “This is every inch an iPad. As you see it comes with a great line of accessories.”
  • “It starts with a 16GB of storage, and will be priced at $329.”
  • That’s the lowest price yet for an iPad.”
  • Pre orders start this Friday. Wi-Fi versions shipping November 2nd.
  • “We have a TV ad we’re going to run.”
  • Oh this is cute. The big iPad is playing Heart and Soul. And the smaller one joins in.
  • Tears of joy.
  • Huge Applause !
  • HUGE
  • “Let me turn it back to Tim.”
  • “We told you earlier this year that you would see incredible innovation, and I think we kept our promise.”
  • Tim is listing off all that Apple has done this year.
  • … “Yes, it has been an incredible year.”
  • “We hope you love these products as much as we love creating them.”
  • “I’d personally like to thank all of the teams at Apple for dedicating their lives to making the best products on Earth.”
  • And that’s a wrap! Thank You For visiting Elie Chahine’s blog ! Subscribe to Stay Up To Date with our Latest Posts! Check The Full Review of The new iPad mini !

Watch The iPad mini keynote in less than 4 minutes:

The iPad Mini will be Released Tomorrow, Here is Everything We Know so far.


Apple is expected to announce the iPad Mini on Tuesday, a pint-sized version of its iconic tablet.

While Apple itself hasn’t offered any information on the tablet, or even acknowledged its existence, we have — or at least we think we have — a pretty good idea of what the company has in store thanks to various leaks and rumors.

We also know the market the tablet is intended to compete in. While Apple created the modern tablet market with the iPad, the smaller-size tablet market has been around ever since the original Samsung Galaxy Tab debuted in 2010. Since then a host of different models have appeared, proving the viability of smaller tablets and establishing what people expect from these devices, such as features and pricing.

Screen Size

Current rumors peg the iPad Mini sporting either a 7.85- or 7-inch screen. That puts it in the same class as theNexus 7, Google’s darling tablet that debuted earlier this year, as well as Amazon’s new Kindle Fire HD 7.

Why make a 7-inch iPad? There are a few reasons: Simply put, 7-inch tablets are easier to hold than their 10-inch counterparts. While you may want a larger screen when it comes to doing some activities, such as watching videos, others are particularly suited for a smaller, lighter tablet. Reading, for instance, is a lot more pleasant for most on a smaller, lighter device. Think of it as the difference between holding and toting around a paperback book or its hardcover counterpart. Most people just don’t spend hours with a large hardcover book.

The 7-inch tablet space is also starting to fill up with Apple’s competitors  While previously Amazon and Barnes & Noble’s tablet offerings certainly posed a threat, they were only offering customers a stripped-down Android experience. Now you have small tablets such as Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 and Google’s Nexus 7 that give customers full access to the Android Market and any applications they might want to use. The Nexus 7 was even the first device to hit the market running Jelly Bean, the latest version of Android. Apple needs to offer a full-powered tablet in the space to keep up with its competition.


While it’s a certainty the iPad Mini will be priced lower than the original iPad, that’s about all we know about how Apple will position it. While other 7-inch tablets draw customers with a low price point (typically starting at $199), for Apple such a low price would put the iPad Mini in direct competition with the even smaller-screen iPod touch, which starts at $299.

On the other end, Apple also offers the iPad 2, which starts at $399. It seems unlikely Apple would price the iPad that high (the competition among small-screen tablets is much cheaper), though it brings up the question how Apple will position the new iPad alongside the iPod touch.

In any case, a big part of Apple’s strategy here is to offer a less-expensive iPad will help Apple put tablets in the hands of those who might not be willing — or able to –- shell out $499 for a traditional iPad.

A cheaper tablet also opens the doors to different types of consumers. Giving a child a $500 iPad is unreasonable to most, even if it’s a parent’s tablet they’re just “playing with” for a few minutes. A less-expensive, smaller tablet will be easier for kids to handle, and easier for parents to be comfortable parting ways with.

Lightning Connector

Debuting earlier this year in the iPhone 5, Apple’s Lightning connector will no doubt be the connector of choice for the iPad Mini (and all of its mobile products going forward).

However, that means the new tablet, much like the iPhone 5, isn’t going to work with a number of different accessories without the help of an adapter. So, if you’re hoping to use that existing iPad dock or speaker you’re probably going to be out of luck. On the other hand, if you just picked up an iPhone 5, then you have another device that can share accessories with it.

Launch Date

Current rumors point to Apple launching the iPad Mini a week after Tuesday’s announcement, Nov. 2. While the tablet may or may not hit stores that day, a launch in early November is certain — capitalizing on the holiday season is an obvious part of Apple’s timing.

An early November launch ensures Apple enthusiasts can pre-order the device and have it in their hands before the holiday rush, and gets the device out in time to make it on to holiday wish lists.

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Android tablets catching up on the iPad!

We can deride the quality and culture of Android tablets, but the once ginormous lead Apple’s iPad had is shrinking amid the rise of tweener tablets.

In a bit of a two-edge sword, a new study finds 25 percent of Americans own a tablet, with Apple’s device claiming just over half of the US tablet market. A year ago, more than 8 out of 10 tablets purchased bore the Apple logo…

According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, the iPad has 52 percent of the domestic tablet market while Android devices comprise 48 percent. In 2011, Android-based tablets held just 15 percent of the American market.

The study’s 48 percent figure could be low, as it was conducted before Google’s $99 Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire HD could be purchased.

Apple likely has also noticed Android’s encroachment on the iPad’s once secure territory. What else would explain CEO Tim Cook’s decision to reverse Steve Jobs’ public dismissal of talk of a smaller tablet?

Apple is expected to soon announce just that – a tablet that could be the little brother to the current 9.7-inch iPad. One unknown is whether the iPad Mini (or whatever its final name) will also carry a smaller price tag.

We constantly fight the urge to throw in with the Apple ‘fan boy’ culture where the Cupertino, California company can do no wrong and product releases are cloaked in near religious zealotry. However, the iPad has experienced massive success and had the tablet stage to itself for more than two and a half years now.

No matter how well designed, one brand cannot stand alone forever.

The Android tablets’ growing marketshare is riding two waves. First, as the Pew study illustrated, the tablet market is growing beyond the consumers who love to live on the bleeding-edge of technology — and particularly when that device is made by Apple.

As the tablet market matures, the demographic shifts from mostly young people to include older consumers and families. Samsung’s recent commercial for its smartphone poked fun at this shifting demographic. While the ad targeted the iPhone, it could apply to all technology that becomes mainstream.

The second factor influencing the growth of Android tablets is simple economics. While the core Apple follower often does not care about price, as the attraction of tablets widens, devices must also speak to people on a budget.

At $99 or $199, Android-powered tablets and smartphones will naturally gain marketshare. The key unknown is whether a budget tablet can also offer superior technology and design.

For consumers, the approach of Android tablets may actually be good. Apple, by squeezing its suppliers and resellers, has achieved enviable profit margins from its products. The threat of greater competition will likely lower Apple prices somewhat.

The company’s continued lead in the tablet arena may more be a question of how much profit Apple is willing to give up to retain that marketshare.