Tablet computers running Google's Android operating system will start taking sales from Apple's iPad this holiday season and may surpass it in a few years as device makers adopt the software for a slew of models, analysts said.

Tablet computers running Google’s Android operating system will start taking sales from Apple’s iPad this holiday season and may surpass it in a few years as device makers adopt the software for a slew of models, analysts said.

Samsung showed the newest Android-based tablet for the U.S. market at an event in New York on Thursday. AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile all have agreed to sell the Galaxy Tab, Samsung said Thursday.

The device will be available in time for the holidays, carriers said.

Smartphones running Android have already surpassed Apple’s iPhone in the U.S., according to researcher Gartner. Google may repeat its success with tablets because its operating system is freely available to any company, said Ed Moran, director of insights at Deloitte Services.

Dell, Acer, Motorola and LG have said they also are gearing up to make Android tablets.