Android Tablets Heat Up the Market: Samsung, Amazon in the Lead

Samsung’s been a beast in the tablet market, validating Google Android while taking a front seat in driving the tablet market beyond the iPad.  It’s no secret that Android hopes to make gains in the tablet market similar to those sucessfully taken in the smartphone arena, and as more manufacturers find benefits in this area, Android grows its support base for devices and applications.  With the launch of the Amazon Kindle Fire, Android begins another chapter, this time playing a supporting role in the Kindle Fire’s success from behind the scenes.  It’s an interesting development in Android’s story, but a necessary step in its platform evolution.

Samsung is another manufacturer essentially making Android a more invisible partner in the mobile industry, maintaining a relationship with Google’s mobile OS while diversifying beyond it at the same time.  On the heels of the Amazon Kindle Fire launch comes a surprise reveal from Samsung, announcing the new Honeycomb Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, an upgraded version of its first Tab, launched earlier this year.

The tab is powered by 1.2GHz dual core processor, 1GB RAM and runs Android Honeycomb 3.2. The Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus features a 7 inch multi-touch display with a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels, a 2 megapixel camera and a rear facing 3 megapixel camera with LED flash, auto-focus and supports 720p HD video.

The Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus also features quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support, as well as HSPA+.  Samsung’s latest tablet will be available in 16GB or 32GB of storage versions. The pricing details are not yet available, but they’ll go on sale in the end of October.  The Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus is expected to be available initially in Indonesia and Austria, then will be gradually launched in Asia, US, Europe, CIS, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Japan and China.

Huawei ramps up tablet efforts with MediaPad?

Some other Android news was leaked  this week, with the upcoming Huawei MediaPad, a new 7 inch Android tablet. Now it looks like the Chinese company is getting ready to ship the MediaPad to the US, with the help T-Mobile.  The Huawei MediaPad features a 7 inch IPS touchscreen display, and it will come with Android Honeycomb 3.2 to handle its smaller tablet screen size.

There’s also a dual core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm processor, and the Mediapad also includes a 1.3 megapixel camera on the front for video chat, and a 5 megapixel camera on the back for video and photos.  It supports full HD video playback in 1080p, and there’s also HSPA and Wi-Fi connectivity.  Look for the MediaPad to go on sale in the coming weeks, though there are no details on pricing as yet.

Toshiba Thrive 7 set to surf

Toshiba is also launching its latest “Thrive 7” Android tablet, With its high-resolution 10.1” diagonal wide-view LED-backlit display, Toshiba’s Thrive Tablet is well-sized for surfing the web, watching movies, playing games, reading books and more.  Engineered with Toshiba’s exclusive adaptive display technology, the screen adjusts brightness and contrast to the surrounding light conditions.  You don’t have to squint to see the sheer versatility of this screen.

Moreover, the Thrive’s 7-inch touch screen delivers a high-definition resolution of 1280×800 pixels vs. the 1024×600 pixel display sported by the new Kindle Fire.  It also features sensors and location Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor, GPS and Digital Compass.

Cisco Cius sees promise in Indian enterprise

Meanwhile, Cisco has joined the tablet bandwagon, launching its Cius in India, targeting the booming enterprise growth in this part of the world.  Cius runs on a modified version of the Google Android operation system.  It comes with 3G capabilities, along with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Micro-USB support.  The company claims that the device will go for eight hours “under normal usage.” As a bonus, the battery is detachable.

With its new launch, the company is targeting its existing clients and users of its IP telephony services. Currently, the company has the customer base in India of about 7,000,000 users.

The multifunction device ‘Cius’ comes is a seven-inch touchscreen tablet and operates on Intel Atom Processor. Its other features include 1GB RAM (expandable memory up to 32GB), dual cameras (front and back) and 3G/4G and WiFi support.  With an eye towards the enterprise, the Cius tablet is slowly gaining developer and publisher support to grow its app market.  Wyse PocketCloud is the latest to hop on board.