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With Apple Sitting Out the Consumer Electronics Show, Competing Products to the iPad Will Try to Wow AP

UPDATED to reflect that Apple not displaying its wares at the International Consumer Electronics Show is nothing unusual. 5:40 p.m on Jan. 3, 2011.

With Apple sitting out the upcoming International Consumer Electronics Show--as it usually does--it allows Apple competitors to steal some of the limelight, the Associated Press reports.

Despite being what the AP calls "the elephant in the room," Apple's absence, especially with its popular iPad, will give a good number of competitors the chance to show off their competing tablet computers.

Motorola, for one, has been hinting that it will show off its first tablet at the show, and Dell and Acer are also expected to show similar computing devices, the article says.

Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer is expected to touch on tablets in his Wednesday keynote speech, the story adds.

But competitors may have a hard time catching up to Apple this year, with Samsung's Galaxy Tab having some success but with sales far below the 7.4 million iPads sold by Apple through September, the article points out.