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iPad killers must look to Europe to oust Apple

The dozens of companies joining the queue marked 'iPad Wannabes' will need to look to Europe if they want to unseat Apple from its position at the top of the tablet pile, according to researchers.

Bean counters at Forrester have decided that Apple's grasp on the tablet market, which hovers at anything between 80 and 95 per cent depending on whose figures you are studying, is insurmountable in the US of A not least because of the company's 238 retail outlets.

With just 52 Apple Stores attracting the Mac Faithful as well as the iCurious across the whole of Europe, those outfits wishing to move in on the Cupertino company's well-protected and beautifully cultivated turf should be looking to gain traction in the UK, France, Germany and further afield in the EU according to Forrester.

"There is this opportunity for iPad challengers, but the competition is very fragmented. Competing with Apple will require a different approach from what we've seen so far," said analyst Sarah Rotman Epps, author of the Forrester report.

"A competitor to Apple would have to put together the right content, the right price and the right channel strategy. There isn't anyone that has all three," she added.

Apple's iPad has been around for nearly two years, is on its second iteration, and is backed up by a gazillion apps, some of them useful. It has sold nearly 30 million units since its launch and is on track to shift 48 million by the end of the year.

Samsung, Acer, RIM and HP have all tried to step into the tablet ring with Apple but have mostly been battered in the first round, tripped over the stool or got their heads stuck in the ropes.