ZTE is the latest company to jump into the tablet market, debuting its own Android-based tablet, the ZTE Light. The Light is one of several Android tablets announced by handset makers around the world, including from Samsung and LG.
The Light features a 7-inch screen and runs Android 2.1. The device has support for dual-band GSM and WCDMA connections. ZTE did not announce specific release dates or pricing, and did not indicate whether the device will make it to the U.S. market.
Samsung's GalaxyTab is perhaps the most high-profile competitor to Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad, and all four Tier 1 U.S. carriers will launch the device for the holiday shopping season. Other Android tablets are on shakier ground: LG said earlier this month it will delay a tablet running on Android 2.2.
The decision by LG to push back its tablet plans was notable because a Google executive said last month that the latest version of Android--Froyo or 2.2--is not optimized for tablets. "But the way Android Market works is it's not going to be available on devices that don't allow applications to run correctly," Hugo Barra, the director of mobile products at Google, told TechRadar. "Which devices do, and which don't, will be unit specific, but Froyo is not optimized for use on tablets. If you want Android Market on that platform, the apps just wouldn't run, [Froyo] is just not designed for that form factor."
Nevertheless, at least one analyst is bullish on Android's prospects in the tablet market. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said Android poses the biggest, long-term threat to the iPad. "Ultimately, we think that Apple won't have the majority of the (tablet) market share," he told Business Insider. "It'll probably be with Android-based tablets."
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