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I gotta take my hat off to Apple. In the three years since the iPhone’s launch the other mobile OEMs are still desperately trying to play catch-up. Even the impressive Android OS doesn’t quite managed it. Android handsets are already suffering the terrible fragmentation issues (different OS versions, screen resolutions, user interfaces) that Apple has managed so well across its handsets. Sure with so many manufacturers adopting Android it was always going to be impossible to prevent this but it still gives iPhone the edge in my opinion.

Now with the release of the iPad there’s a new super shiny device on the market for all of Apple’s competitors to try and better. Let’s hope they can catch-up a little quicker than they managed on mobile. The iPad has only been on release for a month or so and Apple has already sold like a zillion units, which might not read well for Adobe who will no doubt be hoping that tablet devices from other manufacturers will support Flash and make it a viable option for parties wishing to create apps and web content for these devices.

To date there haven’t been many alternatives to the iPad that have impressed. One device however that’s looking promising is the ExoPC Slate. From the video and preview from engadget this 11.6 inch slate sounds like it could be a worthy competitor and unlike the iPad will support Flash Player 10.1. Given the recent bad press with the HP Slate, it’s a little surprising to see that the ExoPC uses Windows 7 and has its own UI layer built on top. Perhaps Windows 7 will prove itself to be a capable OS for tablets after all.

The ExoPC looks fairly complete but don’t expect it to hit the streets until September. And although there wasn’t a lot of Flash content shown in the preview video, its fairly high specs should mean that playback of Flash content will be a breeze, especially with the great optimisation work that has gone into Flash Player 10.1 by Adobe’s engineers. The second half of this year should be really interesting as we start to see more and more great Flash enabled mobiles and tablet devices appear. The big question is “By end of this year what will the number of all these Flash enabled tablets be compared to the iPad?”. Currently it stands at 2 million to zero in the iPad’s favour.