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Android 3.0 tablets finally challenging Apple's iPad

The first tablet with Google's Android 3.0 operating system, Motorola Xoom, is finally here. The tablet has a 10-inch screen and is one of the first serious challengers to Apple's iPad. It also has a more powerful dual-core processor.

But with iPad 2 due in the next few weeks, have Motorola and Google done enough to challenge Apple and iOS? Yes, there's always a start, and Google has built a pretty solid OS that has strong device support around it.

Right now people can either choose Apple and its iOS infrastructure, which can be an expensive proposition. Alternatively, they could adopt Android, which is open-source, and by its nature, less costly. Android is already taking a toll on Apple's iOS in smartphones, and in a few years, Android could challenge in tablets.

Apple has built its iPhone and iPad as independent devices, but users are effectively linking the devices to exchange data. Android tablets are being sold independently, but they need a device maker to take the front to ensure the tablets and smartphones are linked. Android smartphones could result in more Android tablet sales.

Google also benefits because some people just don't want Apple. There are no competitive tablet operating systems out there. Meego is due out soon, but with Nokia abandoning the project, we can't say for sure if the device will ever come out. HP's WebOS is not hear yet, but promises to be amazing.

According to Canalys, Android OS had a smartphone OS market share of 32.9% in the fourth quarter of 2010, while iOS had a share of 30.6%.