The 64GB 3G iPad 2 continues to be the most popular version of Apple's best-selling tablet, although Android devices have begun to make in-roads into Apple's massive market share, according to the latest report from Context.
The market research firm revealed that, in the six weeks since launch, the 64GB 3G model sold well across western Europe, accounting for a third of all iPad 2 sales. The Wi-Fi only 16GB model came second in the popularity stakes, accounting for 22 per cent of all sales, according to Context.
Apple's iPad devices comprised a whopping 80 per cent of tablet devices sold in the first quarter of 2011. However, this figure represented a five per cent decrease from the previous quarter, highlighting the growing popularity and number of Android devices.
Context highlighted the Toshiba Folio 100, for example, sales of which rose by an impressive 320 per cent in February thanks largely to a drop of €68 in the average selling price across Europe to €243.
"Apple defined the tablet market with the launch of the iPad in May 2010, but the signs are that the hegemonic presence in the market will face a strong challenge this year," said Salman Chaudhry, mobile computing analyst at Context.
"With a number of new Android tablets released by Acer, Asus, Motorola and Samsung, coupled with HP's TouchPad and RIM's Playbook, we can expect Apple's competitors to strongly stake their claim on the market."
Chaudhry added that two high-profile Android devices, the Galaxy Tab and Motorola Xoom, are unlikely to make any impact on the market.
Instead, Acer's Iconia A500 is likely to do better, with the Android model already outselling the Windows-based W500 device by a ratio of four to one, he said.
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