Despite the enormous success of the Apple iPad, judging by the opening weekend figures, research is showing that 24% of all tablets sold this year will be based on Android.

The study comes from US market research company IMS which goes on to suggest that the news isn't all bad for Microsoft either who is expected to pick a 10% share of the same market in 2010 as well.

Naturally, that still leaves a whopping great majority for Apple but, according to IMS executive Anna Hunt, that doesn't necessarily mean that the Cupertino company is going to walk away with it as it has done in the world of MP3 and media players. She said:

“Right now many of the applications specifically designed for the iPad platform are actually more expensive than apps for the iPhone OS. This leaves an opportunity for suppliers that can offer a tablet solution that is overall more price competitive, both for the hardware and the content. Over the next couple of years, we can expect a variety of tablet models that may not be able to run word processing software, but will offer a variety of web-based and multimedia applications for under $200 to the end user.”

The same study also forecasts that in two years' time, almost half of the tablets sold will be distributed by mobile and fixed line carriers. So, once you can make video calls on these things, does this spell the beginning of the end for the term "mobile phone"?