What is the Use of 7 Inch Tablet?
7 inch tablet may very well be the ideal size for an ultra-portable entertainment focused tablet. The form factor itself makes it highly portable. It can fit in purses, coat pockets, and many other places easily. The screen size is more enjoyable for entertainment than the most pocketbook computer (the smart phone) but still small enough to be more portable than a 9.7-10.1 inch tablet.
The larger tablets like the iPad are more mobile than notebooks but still capable of being used for productivity. In my view the iPad is a general purpose tablet where a 7 inch tablet is more specialized and its value will be centered around entertainment.
For the iPad customer I don’t see the value of owning an iPad and an iPad mini. The iPad in my opinion is capable of fulfilling the task of personal computing for the vast majority of mass market, non power user consumers. In our talks with this specific group of consumers were are finding that their iPads are slowly replacing their traditional PCs and we expect this trend to continue.
However, there will still be plenty of consumers who still desire, want, need, a new notebook. This market may very well benefit from a more portable media companion like a 7 inch tablet. The notebook plus a 7″ tablet combo will be an ideal solution for a certain segment of the market. And the sufficiency of the iPad as a portable media companion and personal computer will meet the needs of other segments of the market.
An iPad mini strengthens Apple’s ecosystem plain and simple.
For Google, and Amazon, a 7 inch tablet is not an ecosystem strengthener it is an ecosystem extender. Amazon’s strategy is to drive commerce and they desire their screen to be consumers personal window to spend money in the Amazon commerce engine and consume Amazon services.
Google’s desire is to extend all of the Google services to a market broader than smart phones. The Nexus 7 is the first solid step in this direction and has all of Google’s services tightly integrated.
For all the above companies a pure media tablet play makes sense. All the above companies have more ways to make money on these devices than just the hardware. So where does that leave everyone else?
The devices being positioned primarily as entertainment devices, and their subsequent dependence of rich media services, only strengthens the case that this market favors the few over the many. I am in no way saying others can’t compete only that it will be very difficult and they may need to turn over new stones in order to find partners who own all or parts of a rich media ecosystems.
All in all the tablet category is still the fastest growing segment in personal computing. Even though 7 inch tablet will be focused on entertainment and media they will continue to ignite this new growth phase of personal computing. I think we can again confidently predict that tablets will be hot again this holiday.