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Android tablets to play catch up in 2011; Amazon preps its app store

by Kristen Nicole

There’s some exciting Android tablets being unveiled at CES this week, but Apple’s (AAPL) iPad is still expected to lead tablet sales in 2011, according to a Forrester Research report released yesterday. Forrester analyst Sara Rotman Epps notes that early figures for 2011 tablet sales were conservative, but they’re now expected to double in the coming year.

2011 should still be a good year for Android, however, as smartphone sales are gaining on iOS devices, as reported by Nielsen yesterday. Google’s (GOOG) Android’s done well so far in playing catch up to Apple on the mobile front, and the diverse platform is already being used for a range of tablet devices.

Snapdragon power and Amazon’s app store

In other CES news, Qualcomm (QCOM) is backing vide chat tool ooVoo, demonstrating its multi-party chat app on a still unreleased, dual-core Android phone. The device runs Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipset, highlighting the hardware’s performance for processing more complex tasks. It’s instances like this that make Android more competitive in the mobile market.

Android’s platform is also inspiring more niche marketplaces, as Amazon (AMZN) launches its developer portal for its upcoming app store. The mobile hub will be a branded interface for Amazon’s Android apps, as well as those apps designed for Amazon customers.

“We have numerous Kindle apps, and customers can shop our MP3 store from their mobile devices,” says an Amazon representative. “Our subsidiaries like IMDb and Audible also have robust mobile applications. An app store is a logical next step for Amazon in mobile.”