Today, at the earnings call, Steve Jobs talked about how iPad is selling 4.1 millions per quarter now, which was a little less than what analysts expected, but he also ripped into upcoming tablets like Galaxy Tab and RIM’s Playbook. He thinks that since people already have a smartphone in their pockets for mobility, they will not want to compromise on-screen size when it comes to tablets.
“Given that tablet users will have a smartphone in their pocket, there’s no point in giving up screen size. Seven inch tablets are tweeners â€” too big to be a phone, and too small to compete with the iPad.”
“The proof of this will be in our competitors pricing, and that’s why we think the current crop of seven-inch tablets will be DOA. Sounds like lots of fun ahead.”
I agree. I think when you have a 4.3″ phone, you’re not going to benefit a lot more from a 7″ tablet. The only useful case I could see for a 7″ tablet, is when used as a reader, because weight matters a lot there, and a 7″ tablet is not much heavier than a Kindle.
Another disadvantage of a 7″ tablet is the battery which is smaller than on a 10″ tablet. This is why the Galaxy Tab only has 7h of life, while the iPad has 10h of life.
Plus, when it comes to doing some productive stuff on the tablet, 7″ is not going to get you far. On a 7″ tablet you can only use one finger with Swype, or your thumbs, which will definitely start aching after a few hours of writing. To me, even a 10″ tablet seams on a the small side when it comes to typing on a tablet with both hands. Perhaps a 12″ tablet would be ideal. As we know HTC, pushing the boundaries of screen sizes is what they do, and we might see a 12″ tablet from them next year.
Another issue I have with upcoming Android tablets, is the resolution ration. 16:9 just doesn’t seem right. The only thing it’s useful for is video. And c’mon, how much video are you going to watch on the tablet in full screen? If you own a netbook, just turn it on the side and you’ll see how strange a 10″ wide tablet looks. It seems almost unusable vertically, while the iPad is usable both in vertical and horizontal positions.
At least, I hope the manufacturers will offer different tablet sizes and resolution rations, so we can make our pick. Of course, they would also need Google’s blessing for the resolution support, and that might be harder to get.