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Old 01-23-2013, 08:12 PM   #1
fjtorres
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ZDNET: Has Apple (accidentally) redefined the tablet?

ZDNET poses an interesting question: Has Apple redfeined the tablet as an 8in device?
http://www.zdnet.com/has-apple-redef...79/?s_cid=e539

I'm thinking they might have. Purely by accident.
The evidence isn't the iPad mini by itself but the Mini within the context of the evolution of the tablet market in the second half of 2012.

Quote:
It's telling that on the one hand a lot of products that seem to sell well in competition with the iPad are already on a "mini" scale. Nexus 7 is a popular Android tablet with a clue-is-in-the-name screen size of 7" that seems to sell OK. The Kindle Fire tablets are each about that size and seem to sell well too. Samsung have also pre-announced an 8" Galaxy Note for Mobile World Congress next month.

On the other hand, it's also telling that smartphones not made by Apple tend to be getting bigger. The Lumia 920, is a huge smartphone with a 4.5" screen. The Galaxy S III has a 4.8" screen. And then you have things like the Galaxy Note II with a 5.6" screen.
A year ago, the tablet market that existed was one where nobody had made any significant money, except Apple. Since then, nobody has made any significant money off *10in* tablets. Plenty of players seem to be doing fine at 7in.

And then, it can be argued that the single biggest smartphone deveopment of the last year was *not* the iPhone 5 but the Galaxy Note. (Number two would be the Lumia 920/820--for stopping the bleeding at Nokia--and number Three the Galaxy SIII. Naturally, I'm talking physical size. )

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Whatever is happening out there, there seems to be drift in screen sizes towards devices with screens that are -- for the sake of argument -- around 6" for a smartphone and around 8" for a tablet.

So why should the market like small tablets? Any why would the market like large smartphones? Something seems to be exerting a force on the tablet market that's leading to a smaller screen. Similarly, something seems to be exerting a force on the smartphone market to make larger screens.

I think what's happening here is the same force acting in two different ways.

On the smartphone side, people are caring less about making phone calls and more about being able to access their digital world regardless of where they are and what primary activity they're engaged in. Smartphones and tablets both do that last bit well, but a larger screen is needed to gain higher utility.
Hmm, people want larger screens than smartphones but smaller than the 10inchers...
Something in the 7-9in range. While I favor 9in myself I think the market will (again) copy Apple and go with 8in as the next standard size.

Looking forward, we have the upcoming Galaxy Note 8 and (rumored) Nexus 7.7 along with a zillion me-too Mini clones incoming, all targetting the $199 price point, hoping to make more money than selling 7in tablets, which are headed for $99.

What makes this a trend to watch is that Apple, by sticking the mini with an XGA screen has set a benchmark that can *easily* be matched and bettered, fast.
Fast is the key.

Even as we speak, Archos and a dozen third tier vendors are rushing to get XGA and SXGA 8in tablets out so they can match or even *leapfrog* the Mini before Apple can update it.

There is both marketshare and money to be made there so a stampede is coming. And I think that, since the primary function of tablets is content consumption, the 8in form factor may be (close to?) hitting an optimum balance of low weight and screen size at a low cost. Which would make them a better long-form reading platform than the 10in models.

I'm thinking the Galaxy Note 8 bears watching.

Last edited by fjtorres; 01-23-2013 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:05 PM   #2
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Is there one perfect size for everyone? I think not. I love the screen on my iPad, and I think I'd be disappointed with anything smaller. As it is, I need to make the font size on my magazines larger than the default so I can actually read it.

That said, I am very interested in the Galaxy Note 8 as an ereading device at night. If the price is right.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:10 PM   #3
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I was disappointed with the resolution of the Samsung Note 8.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:35 AM   #4
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I was disappointed with the resolution of the Samsung Note 8.
Why? The screen is slightly bigger than my current 7" and the resolution is higher...
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:47 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post

Even as we speak, Archos and a dozen third tier vendors are rushing to get XGA and SXGA 8in tablets out so they can match or even *leapfrog* the Mini before Apple can update it.

There is both marketshare and money to be made there so a stampede is coming. And I think that, since the primary function of tablets is content consumption, the 8in form factor may be (close to?) hitting an optimum balance of low weight and screen size at a low cost. Which would make them a better long-form reading platform than the 10in models.
I've had a Prestigio 8 inch tablet for almost an year. Tablets of such a size have been on the market before Apple's release of the Mini.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:33 AM   #6
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I've had a Prestigio 8 inch tablet for almost an year. Tablets of such a size have been on the market before Apple's release of the Mini.
It's the apple way. Somebody does something first, Apple steals the idea and then pretends like they were the first.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:43 AM   #7
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It's the apple way. Somebody does something first, Apple steals the idea and then pretends like they were the first.
Has Apple tried to copyright the word "FIRST"?
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:47 AM   #8
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It's the apple way. Somebody does something first, Apple steals the idea and then pretends like they were the first.
And then *everybody* goes along with them.
(shrug)
Theirs is (for now) the power to move the masses. Or at least the me-too'ers.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:54 AM   #9
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But the high priest is dead, it's harder now.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:21 AM   #10
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But the high priest is dead, it's harder now.
If you put it that way then we wait and watch to see how long the religion lasts.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:26 AM   #11
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I really wish that I could find a photo which shows an iPad Mini and a Newton MessagePad side-by-side.

I'd post one myself, but even the iPad Mini isn't quite working for me as a replacement for my Newton:

- no default handwriting recognition
- too-short battery life
- too large for my shirt pockets
- want the replacement to have an active stylus

William
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
ZDNET poses an interesting question: Has Apple redfeined the tablet as an 8in device?
http://www.zdnet.com/has-apple-redef...79/?s_cid=e539

I'm thinking they might have. Purely by accident.
The evidence isn't the iPad mini by itself but the Mini within the context of the evolution of the tablet market in the second half of 2012.
I believe that the premise of the article is flawed. The author assumes that the 7" tablets are more desirable because of the size, and appears to dismisses the fact that the 7" tablets are less expensive. So is it size or price? I contend it is price.

The anti-Apple contingent for years has been claiming that Apple products are "boutique" items where customers are paying a premium for the brand. They dismissed the quality of the products, and did not place a monetary value on the engineering involved to make something like the Macbook Pro.

These Apple detractors pointed to the significantly lower prices of Windows-based laptops as "proof". They inadvertently made Windows-based computers a commodity... ie. "price" being the highest priority, value being of less if any importance.

Consumers have been trained to view Apple in that light... and Apple did nothing to correct that perception.

Enter the iPad 1....

Only Apple made money on 10" tabs because they were out there first (I'm ignoring the previous attempts Windows-based tabs) and set the bar for price. Everyone was shocked when the price of the iPad was announced. After ridiculing the iPad, competitors scrambled to produce 10" tabs but were unable to beat Apple's prices on the iPads.

10" tabs were $200, $300, and up more expensive than the iPad. With the consumer mindset that Apple products are "overpriced boutique" items, it is absolutely no surprise that these non-iPad tabs failed to gain traction. Why would price-sensitive consumers pay MORE for a commodity device than for a boutique device?

So the only thing that competitors could do was to produce a 7" tablet. The sole reason: price. They could sell a 7" tab for $150-200 less than an iPad. Consumers, having been trained to be price sensitive, buy them because they cost less.

If I'm correct, then when high quality 10" tabs are produced that cost less than an iPad, we should see sales of 10" tabs rise.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:44 AM   #13
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So is it size or price? I contend it is price.
For me, it's size. 10" is way too big. I need something portable.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:57 AM   #14
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I don't think about price, much, but I use my iPad the most and hardly touch my Kindle Fire. For this reason I did not get the iPad mini. I don't know what they will do to upgrade my iPad 3Gen as I did not see enough of an upgrade to buy the iPad4. This summer should be interesting.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:15 AM   #15
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If you put it that way then we wait and watch to see how long the religion lasts.
April 19, most likely.
http://insidemovies.ew.com/2013/01/2...shton-kutcher/
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