NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Though Apple's (AAPL) iPad is the only real player in today's tablet device market -- the iPad is a luxury item folks are buying for prestige, as one analyst puts it -- Forrester Research predicts that some 60 million Americans will own one of the slim touchscreen computers by 2015.
That's a big hike from the 8 million to 10 million tablets analysts expect to ship over the next year, and you can bet that Apple products won't be the only ones included in the tally.
|It's going to take a lot to beat Apple's iPad, but plenty of tablet makers are trying.|
Tablet makers -- which comprise many of tech's biggest names -- face lots of challenges as they aim to gain viability in a market that's both hazily defined by an in-between product and dominated by the iPad, which has set the standard in terms of aesthetic and function.
"Apple is way ahead of everybody, but other guys will play catch up, like H-P and Dell," James Brehm, senior consultant at Frost & Sullivan, told TheStreet. "H-P and Dell have the production [capacity] in place to be able to do that -- they have the strength and breadth, the market cap, and the war chest of money to catch up."So, five years from now, who will be the big tablet winners? Here's a look at the tech firms readying devices intended to grab market share in the nascent sector:
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV