Are 7in tablets the way forward after all?

Are 7in tablets the way forward after all?Last time we checked, consensus was that the 10in screen size was the sweet spot for tablets rather than the smaller 7in form factor – after all, Steve Jobs said as much, so it must be true.

But perhaps in a reminder of just how far from mature the tablet market actually is, the balance now seems to be shifting towards the smaller size.

Jobs' chief argument against the smaller style tablet was that it gets stuck in the no man's land between smartphones and full-size tablets, and fails to really offer the benefits of either.

Sales figures have largely supported his argument too, although that's simply because the hugely dominant iPad only comes in the larger size – or to put it another way, if the iPad 3 arrived with a 25in display that would immediately become the most popular form factor.

But according to DigiTimes, November saw panel orders for the smaller 7in screen size overtake the larger type for the first time. The immediate point that springs to mind is that we're talking panel orders here, not product sales, and it's widely believed that Apple is scaling back orders of the iPad 2's 1024 x 768 display as it prepares to unleash a higher-resolution panel on the iPad 3.

That said, Amazon's success with the Kindle Fire and Samsung's recent refresh of its own smaller Galaxy Tab suggests that there's life in the smaller form factor after all.

Now what would really mix things up is Apple itself releasing a smaller-screened 'iPad mini' to grab a slice of the 7in tablet market. Now where have we heard that before...?

Read more about: Apple iPad 3

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blizzard7  Dec. 23, 2011 at 23:18

I actually think the 9-inch point is the best overall. :p

JanSt / MOD  Dec. 25, 2011 at 13:16

Blizzard, I think 8.9'' :p


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