As Apple tacitly acknowledged with the iPhone 5's larger screen, consumers are craving the larger screens seen in high-end Android smartphones. At the same time, a large number of consumers seem to be more interested in smaller, less expensive 7-inch tablets, rather than the 9.7-inch iPad. Now Both Apple and Samsung are betting that there is a market for tablets even larger than the iPad.
DigiTimes is reporting that both Samsung and Apple are preparing mega-tablets with 12-inch or larger screens. The report's unnamed "sources from the upstream supply chain" believe the companies are looking to compete more directly with notebook computers.
The report also predicts that Samsung will be "more aggressive" than Apple in developing larger tablets, as Apple still sells high-end MacBook products with smaller screens. Samsung will be able to expand its offerings to include tablets of all sizes.
News of Apple and Samsung experimenting with larger tablet forms comes just as smartphones are rising in size to nearly the dimensions of small tablets. Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Note III is expected to have a 5.7-inch screen, and Sony's Xperia Z has a 6.4-inch screen.
Though tablet shipments slowed during the second quarter of 2013, Android tablet shipments still managed to double from the previous year. Much of the increase in tablet sales comes in the mini-tablet product segment. New versions of Google's Nexus 7 device and Amazon's Kindle Fire lineup are expected to increase tablet shipments this fall.