Android tablets have largely been a 7- or 10-inch affair to date, but 8 inches could be the new sweet spot, according to NPD DisplaySearch.
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 makers, like the vendors cited above, are shifting more production to tablets, as personal computer shipments continue to weaken. Tablet shipments should jump 67 percent year-to-year to 256.5 million units in 2013 from 153.6 million in 2012, the market researcher said.
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.
So, what's driving this expected move to 8-inchers? The success of the 7.9-inch iPad Mini is one big reason.
"Apple's iPad mini...has captured a significant share of the market...Brands are hoping to expand this 'middle class,' gaining some share and slightly better margins than 7-inch tablet PCs," Shim wrote.