Intel and Microsoft are clearly disappointed that Apple’s ARM-powered iPad continues to dominate the lucrative mobile sphere.
So it comes as little surprise that the two industry heavyweights are closely cooperating in an effort to unseat Apple as the undisputed tablet king.
According to DigiTimes, Santa Clara and Redmond will attempt to decrease the iPad’s current market share from 70% to below 50% by mid-2013.
Indeed, a slew of x86 tablet PCs running Windows 8 are expected to hit store shelves shortly before the 2012 holiday season.
A number of first-tier OEMs are slated to participate in the Windows 8 tablet offensive, including Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Lenovo, Acer, Asus and Toshiba, bringing the total number of Windows 8 tablets to (at least) 32 by the end of 2012.
Specifically, Lenovo and Acer plan to launch Windows 8 tablet PCs priced between $300-$1,000, with entry-level models sold below $300 targeting Android devices like Amazon’s wildly popular Kindle Fire.
Higher end Windows 8 tablets are expected to go head to head with Apple’s iPad.
As AppleInsider’s Sam Oliver notes, Santa Clara has attempted to make up for lost ground in the mobile sector ever since Apple decided Intel’s x86 Atom chips drew too much power to run the iPad. This prompted Apple to develope its indigenous ARM-based A-series of chips, which currently powers Santa Clara’s iPad and iPhone lineup.
Of course, it remains to be seen if Windows 8 tablets will be capable of knocking the iPad off its perch by the end of 2012. Yet, it does seem likely that Apple’s market share will be slowly chipped away over the years as both Android and Windows 8 tablets continue to evolve.