projectz

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Is a 7″ 16:9 tablet really what the market wants?

In the past few weeks two big hitters have announced their “iPad Killers” their entry into the Tablet market and both have gone very different directions. Microsoft have gone down the 10.6″ route with a 16:9 screen ratio and Google have gone down the 7″ route and basically beefed up the Amazon Fire specs.the Google Nexus 7 has 1280×800 pixel HD resolution and 16:9 screen ratio.

I’d have loved to have been a fly on the wall at the discussions which generated these tablets, are they really doing what they are doing because Apple has chased down Samsung and effectively won on the look and feel argument?

Consider the following:

  • The Apple iPad is the worlds biggest selling tablet
  • The Amazon Fire did have initial sales however this seems to have dropped off in recent months
  • There is no major selling 16:9 ratio tablet in the world

Google will tell you they own over 30% of the worlds tablet market, however as a recent gigaOm post suggests, this is measured on units shipped, not units sold, so they have potentially over 30% of the Tablets in boxes in warehouse space market cornered.

Android tablets reportedly accounted for 30.1 percent of last quarter’s global tablet shipments, indicating that Google is finding fast success against Apple’s iPad. The key word, however, is “shipments,” which isn’t a measurement of sales. That means the 4.6 million figure, reported by research firm Strategy Analytics, includes every Android tablet in a warehouse, in transit from the manufacturer to retail outlets or sitting on store shelves waiting to be sold. On the other hand, Apple’s 9.3 million figure (61.3 percent of tablets) represents actual sales. What’s the real deal here when it comes to tablet sales by platform?

However it’s not the sales figures which are baffling me, it’s the choices of both Microsoft and Google which just amaze me.. specifically in 4 key areas.

Screen ratio

Both vendors have gone for the 16:9 widescreen screen resolution which if you have ever used a tablet works great in Landscape orientation however in portrait renders the tablet useful. What works for a phone because of its form factor and the fact you usually use a phone in portrait doesn’t translate to the tablet form factor. The 4:3 ration Apple have opted for yes may give you black bards on landscape 16:9 video however for every other task works well as the device feels proportionally correct to use in both modes.

Keyboard

Microsoft are like a dog with a bone, i’m surprised they didn’t put a stylus sold as standard with their surface tablet. The keyboard seems like such a good idea. There are a Myriad of cases available for the iPad with built in keyboards which all add to th weight of the device and something you learn very quickly is you think you need a keyboard because ou have had a keyboard on your laptop. In reality in Apples case as i’ve not used either of these two new devices i can’t comment on them, the onscreen keyboard provides you with all the keyboard you need. You just don’t need a physical keyboard. I’m willing to bet that most people who get this device don’t use that keyboard after 6 months.

7″

Google plumping for the 7″ tablet and in the process taking a huge swipe at Amazon are as mad as a box of cats. Yes the Amazon fire sold well but the 7″ form factor sells because it’s a fudge, it is a halfway hose between true 10″ screen real-estate and a phone. I’m willing to suggest the reason Google didn’t do a 10″ tablet is simply because having used ICS on one, it sucks, nothing scales right, the few decent Tablet apps are Ok but still it just doesn’t look right.

Android is a hpne operating system, which is having a torrid time with all the various screen sizes and ratios on the phone platform, it doesn’t scale well to a large tablet and as such google have had to find a way to make the tablet work with this OS. The sooner Google get that webOS team they hired from HP working on ChromeOS and get that onto Tablets the sooner Google have a Winning Tablet operating system and not this oversized phone.

Neither company are Apple

Both Micosoft and Google are doing the right thing getting into the Tablet market, its good they are trying new things, however what happens if/when this doesn’t work? Apple produced the iPad, created a market for it and sell well. This has chipped into to Microsofts OS sales a little and over time Apple has become less and less tied to Google services so yes we get it why they feel a need to be in this arena.

However what happens when their devices don’t sell in the numbers they think they should be? No one is suggesting a Micorosoft Windows 8 Tablet running Arm won’t sell, however maybe not in the numbers Microsoft believe they will, they have competition from established competition as to Google, Samsung, HP, Dell, Asus, Acer all names which also want a slice of this pie.

All both companies have done here is create a reference device (interesting Google chose Asus not Motorola to make theirs) an example of the purest form what they believe hire device should be free of all the bloatware. Apple don’t have this competition, sure they have android nipping at their heels but no other IOS vendors so no one taking a slice of their market from them.

I’m not saying either of these products is bad, quite the opposite i’m looking forward to using them both, however if either company are doing this to make money on hardware they are doomed from the onset. There will be sales, there will be keynote telling you the best positive figures why can in 12 months however both companies need to be highly focused on making these OS’s the best they can be and let others create the hardware…

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2 comments on “Is a 7″ 16:9 tablet really what the market wants?

  1. Me
    November 29, 2012

    Ever heard of spell check or proof reading?

    • projectzme
      November 29, 2012

      Yeah, it’s a bit like you not being able to use a proper email address, sometimes the message is more than the sum of its parts..

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This entry was posted on July 1, 2012 by in Android, Apple, ipad, Tablets and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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