Tablet sizes have always been either 7 or 10 inches, because it was the industry standard. All of that is apparently changing by about an inch or so. 8-inch tablets will likely be the new norm as several manufacturers are planning to up their game a size or two. Samsung already moved into the 8-inch market with the Galaxy Note 8.0.
According to NPD DisplaySearch, manufacturers like Dell, Lenovo, Asus and more are supposedly producing 8-inch Android tablets of their own.
Supply chain indications point to production of Android-based tablet PCs with 8-inch, 1,280x800 displays in Q3'13 [third-quarter 2013]. Brands including Acer, Asus, Dell and Lenovo are expected...Initial panel production plans suggest that the 8-inch tablets will make up between 5 to 10% of the total tablet PC market by the end of the year.
PC manufacturers are starting to focus more on tablets, because traditional computer sales are slowing considerably. Realistically, it makes plenty of sense since everyone is moving into the mobile world with smartphones and tablets. In fact, the tablet market is expected to see an increase of 67 percent year-over-year in 2013, according to NPD.
Brands are re-focusing their product strategies in response to a shift in consumer preference for tablet PCs. Total notebook PC shipments are expected to decline 5% Y/Y, from 214 million units in 2012 to 203 million units in 2013. Tablet PC shipments are expected to increase 67% Y/Y from 153.6 million units in 2012 to 256.5 million units in 2013.
DisplaySearch author Richard Shim seems to believe that this new shift in production can be attributed to the success of the iPad Mini.
While tablet PCs with 7 inch displays appear to be heading for the low end of the market (less than $200), Apple's iPad mini with its 7.9-inch display has captured a significant share of the market, despite its starting price of $329. Brands are hoping to expand this "middle class," gaining some share and slightly better margins than 7-inch tablet PCs.
However, 8-inch devices aren't the only popular tablet sizes in the current market.
In 2013, it is smaller tablet PCs that are expected to make up over 60% of shipments. The two leading screen sizes in the small size (<9 inch) tablet PC category are 7 inch and 7.9 inch with 35% and 15% share in Q1'13 respectively.
Most manufacturers are adopting budget-minded strategies for 7-inch sized tablets, which is likely part of the reason they're selling so well. Consumers have a tendency to flock to products with good value in terms of price and specs.
Let's hope these new 8-inch tablets sweeping the market stay reasonable in price even with that minute increase in size.