tech-thoughts.net’s Sameer Singh observes that most industry watchers have come to the conclusion that smaller, low cost tablets are taking over the industry. He says this may seem counterintuitive to previous analyses that indicated that larger screen devices and low cost devices catered to two different market segments, with usage patterns diverging between primarily content consumer users and the “computing” segment of smartphone users, i.e. heavy social networking/email, messaging, browsing, gaming, etc., with most of today’s tablets ranging from the 9.7″ iPad to low-end 7-inch tablets catering to this segment and consumers gravitating to lower-priced tablets, which he says was the primary reason behind the cannibalization and collapse of 9.7″ iPad shipments.
Singh argues that focusing on “consumption” as the primary use case for tablets is a myopic view that distorts perceptions of the true potential of the tablet as a product category, and that the next and most obvious move is to shift upmarket to a more demanding set of customers for whom productivity as a computing need. He notes that today, very few tablets are used for serious productivity (and ones that are tend to be either hybrid Windows or Android tablets or an iPad with a keyboard accessory), and that apart from Windows (Pro level) tablets, very few tablets are actually marketed as hybrid devices which has limited uptake within this segment, with content creators and other production oriented users working with products like laptops or possibly, Chromebooks
He observes that this state of affairs leaves an opening for cost-effective clamshell tablet devices to increase the size of this market. The challenge now is simply to persuade productivity oriented customers to upgrade from “media consumption” tablets to “lightweight productivity” tablets that can the alternative productivity device.
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