Between Apple’s iPad Mini, Amazon’s Kindle Fire, Google’s Nexus 7, and a wide array of products from other manufacturers, the 7-inch tablet market is looking pretty crowded. That evidently hasn’t stopped Toshiba from creating another mini-tablet, though.
Digitimes today reported that Toshiba has placed manufacturing orders for an “entry-level” 7-inch tablet. According to the report’s unnamed “Taiwan-based supply chain makers,” the tablet has been dubbed the AT7-A and could launch as soon as the third quarter of 2013.
Toshiba already offers a 7-inch tablet as part of its Excite-branded tablet lineup. The Excite 7.7, though, is priced starting at $500 – far from the sub-$200 prices of Amazon’s Kindle tablets or Google’s Nexus 7s.
Digitimes’ report points out that while the 7-inch tablet market’s profit margins are slim, and while the market is now over-crowded, the quick growth of the market segment is still encouraging manufacturers to try their hand at grabbing first-time tablet buyers. Acer, Lenovo, and HP have all released 7-inch tablets priced under $200 in the past year, and Digitimes’ sources consider Dell the only “first-tier” tech manufacturer to not have a current 7-inch tablet on the market. Dell has not released a 7-inch tablet since the dismal failure of the Streak 7.