Over the past year, smaller tablets have stolen the show away from their bigger brothers, with many models, such as the Nexus 7, topping the bestseller lists. However, the 7-inch tablet craze could be over, as a new market research report is suggesting that tablets with 8-inch displays are going to be the talk of the town this year.
According a WitsView report, 8-inch tablets will have an estimated 11.9% share of the total market share by the end of the year. That would be a massive jump from just 2.6% at the end of 2012, as many leading Android tablet manufacturers including Samsung, Asus and Lenovo, plan to launch 8-inch tablets this year.
One of the main reasons for 7-inch tablets losing popularity is that their market has become over-saturated with models. Almost every major manufacturer has a small tablet out, as they look to impress consumers looking to own a tablet but not to fork out a lot of cash on some of the larger models. Whilst the price is low, the number of devices available in shops has stopped any particular device from selling particularly high figures and capitalising on their success.
Meanwhile, 8-inch devices are being touted as better value for money to interested buyers than the slightly smaller iPad mini, “which has been well received by consumers.” By having a slightly larger frame, such tablets can give companies the chance to maximise screen space whilst maintaining the compact feel that has enabled the smaller models to enjoy success. WitsView’s R&D Director Chiu Yu-Pin told FocusTaiwan that a “key feature” of these 8-inch devices will be the “streamlined frame.” Accordingly, the 8-inch tablet would have a “similar overall size to the 7-inch tablet but with a much bigger visual area.”
The switch could also help Android overtake Apple in the tablet battle once and for all, as the 8-inch devices would directly compete with the 7.85-inch iPad Mini, with the report placing prices of future 8-inch Android tablets around $50-$100 lower than Apple’s cheapest iPad mini model.