There may never be an official "thank you" note sent, but Apple may be secretly grateful for the explosion of Android tablets about to hit the market. Apple is under the watchful eye of both the United States and the European Union's regulatory bodies regarding its new subscription policy for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. The terms of this new policy have prompted some to question whether it runs afoul of current anti-competitive regulations.
These anti-competitive concerns may be allayed when the tidal wave of Android tablets lands, and both consumers and publishers can choose between Android and iOS for their media consumption and distribution needs. European Union commissioner Andris Piebalgs echoes this sentiment when he writes to a European Parliament member, saying that "alternative applications platforms exist and several companies have recently launched or are expected to launch in the near future a number of devices similar in terms of functionality to the iPad."
Though this statement was released prior to Apple's subscription changes and Google's One Pass announcement, its premise of increased competition from Android tablets remains the same. With an influx of Android tablets slated for release and an alternative subscription service, market forces and not a single company's policies will shape the future of digital media. Of course, this laissez-faire sentiment may change when regulators catch wind of Readability, a paid web service whose app was reportedly rejected from the App Store because it does not offer an in-app subscription option.