The Two Towers of Tablets, 7” Amazon Kindle Fire and 7.9” Apple iPad are the Global Tablet size of Choice

“It seems people especially like the size….. [it’s] lighter, slimmer and easier to carry”

DisplaySearch analyst David Hsieh in an interview with CNET News related to the Apple iPad Mini’s potential in December 2012

PC and Laptops are being slowly being killed off by the Apple iPhone and now the Apple iPadin line with my predictions in “How the Apple iPad killed Ultrabooks, Printing and the Mouse as the World Rediscovers Tablets”. But it’s what happening in the Tablet world since March 2013 that suddenly come up on my stats radar. This as the stars are falling into alignment in 2013 for Global Tablets domination, ironically by 7” Tablets.

According to analyst Adobe’s Digital Index Report in March 2013, Tablets now surpass Smartphones in Internet Traffic:

  • 8% of Global Internet Traffic originates from Tablets

  • 7% of Global Internet Traffic originates from Smartphones

Adobe Tablet Stats

But it’s the Tablet that’s the most popular in the Google Android Tablet World that’s a surprise: the Amazon Kindle Fire. According to analyst Localytics in January 2013, based on installed programs across some 500 million devices worldwide:

  • 33% of the Android Tablet Market belongs to the Amazon Kindle Fire

  • The Amazon Kindle Fire is No. 2 in the Tablet race overall after the Apple iPad

Amazon Kindle Fire Google Android Tablets

The Amazon Kindle Fire is truly a shopaholic’s dream; shop online anytime, anyplace based on the stats in “Amazon is Legally Blonde as the Kindle Fire HD Upgrade is CEO Bezos’s Confessions of an Online Shopaholic”.

Interestingly, Apple’s 9.7” iPad’s feeling the heat from its son, the smaller 7.9” Apple iPad Mini. According to Taipei-based Digitimes estimates based on Apple’s Q2 result, which interestingly covers, for them, the period from January to March 2013:

  • 19.5 million iPads sold

  • 12.5 million were iPad Minis

This coincides with DispaySearch’s stats that estimated about 12 million Apple iPad Mini’s shipped. Apple doesn’t shell down its stats. So if these estimates turn out to be true, the Top Dog in Tablets by the end of 2013 won’t be the 9.7” Apple iPad (1st to 4th Generation included) but the NKYOB (New Kid on the Block), the Apple iPad Mini.

Here in Jamaica the recent donation of Apple iPads and Apple iPad Mini by LIME and fifty six (56) Huawei Media Pads 7 Lite, valued at some JA$1.1 million dollars to seven (7) East Kingston Schools by Digicel on Monday April 8th and Tuesday April 9th 2013 serves to cement this global view, as both Telecom Providers mainly donated 7” Tablets.

The Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining also plans to subsidize some 20,000 Tablets to some thirty (30) Under-performing Primary and High Schools as part of E-Learning II, dubbed the Schools Tablet Computer Programme. This is being done via the UAFCL (Universal Access Fund Company Limited), the same Fund that funding the islandwide CCTV Network as per my article Jamaica’s National Security Ministry plans CCTV Network and Automated Traffic Ticketing System.

And most likely too, these Tablets soon to be distributed to these lucky Primary and High Schools are subsidized 7” Tablets; fodder for yet another Geezam article. But one thing is sure: at this rate, the 7”Amazon Kindle and the 7.9” Apple iPad Mini are BOTH on a path to becoming the most popular size in any Tablet.

Price being no object for Apple products thanks to strong brand loyalty as at US$329 retail, the price is kinda high for a 7.9″ Tablet. But if the price’s a considering factor then the sub-US$200 Google Android Tablets such as the US$159 7″ Amazon Kindle Fire, US$199 7″ Google Nexus 7 and the US$179 7″Samsung Galaxy Tab quickly fill that gap. In short, just like the stats by ABI Research on the adoption of Smartphones in the Developing World, sub-US$200 prices are drive the adoption of both Tablets and Smartphones in 2015 and 2017, accounting for up to 42% of sales Globally.

ABI Statistics

Thus cheaper models of BOTH Tables and Smartphones are needed by the Handset and Tablet Makers to begin to penetrate the still untapped budget-conscious Developing World and parts of the First World still addicted to Feature phones and Voice Calling. With 4G Broadband coming to Jamaica thanks to the auction of the 700MHz Spectrum coming up in May 2013, the Tablet and Smartphone markets are set to explode and it’ll mostly driven by devices priced sub-US$200 retail.

So thanks to compelling Content, Convenient form factor, Availability of 4G Wireless Broadband Internet and Pricing in the case of Google Android based Tablets in the next five (5) years, 7” Tablets are poised to become The Two Towers of the Tablet World,  The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) style.

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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.

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