Battle joined

How do you win and lose a war at the same time? If it's the war for the ever-expanding tablet market, it's easy: you sell more than your competitors, but not as much more as you used to.

That clear as mud?

Let us explain. Apple's iPad dominated the tablet market in the third quarter of 2010, selling a whopping 95.5% of all tablets sold. By September, though, Samsung had launched their competitor, the Galaxy Tab. And it seems to have cracked the iPad's domination. CNET reports that Apple 'lost significant share' of the market to Android tablets in the last quarter of 2011, dropping to 75.3%.

But hang on a minute, what's this? Apple actually sold more iPads in Q4 than in Q3. The tablet market's growing so quickly, you can increase your sales and still lose share to a competitor. 2.3 million Android tablets were shipped last year, against a whopping 14.8 million iPads, so Apple's still very much in the lead.

Will that change when a bunch of new Android tablets, sporting Google's made-for-tablet Honeycomb operating system, come onto the market this year? Almost certainly.

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