As the tablet market has grown, so the PC market has fallen. Tablets are now nearly as ubiquitous in western markets as smartphones, and sales of the devices are expect to hit record levels this holiday season.
Though Apple introduced the original iPad in a 10-inch size it envisioned to be perfect, consumers seem to be comfortable settling in with smaller, low-priced tablets. The 7-inch tablet market is now overtaking sales of larger tablets, and consumers don’t even seem to be excited by an array of new 8-inch tablets out this year. At the same time, sales are also picking up for extra-large smartphones (sometimes dubbed “phablets”), some with screens as large as 6.4-inches. Today a new report predicts that phones and tablets could meet in the middle sometime soon.
The report from DigiTimes states that demand for 7-inch tablets with phone capabilities is expected to rise in the coming years. The report’s unnamed “sources from tablet players” state that the low price of such tablets will make them popular in emerging markets, where future tablet and smartphone growth is predicted.
The most obvious factor in this prediction is price. Larger smartphones such as Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 and Sony’s Xperia Z Ultra tend to have high-end hardware for smartphones, placing them in the upper price tiers for such devices. Smaller tablets, on the other hand, often have comparable hardware but much lower prices. DigiTimes’ sources claim that consumers in emerging markets such as Brazil and China mainly use mobile devices to watch multimedia content, something that can be done for a much lower entry price with tablets.