Will 10-inch Android tablets be the losers of the tablet PC wars?

Will 10-inch Android tablets be the losers of the tablet PC wars?

Summary: 7-inch Android slates and Microsoft Windows RT and Windows 8 models will dominate the non-iPad tablet market, according to supply chain manufacturers.

TOPICS: Tablets, Android
10-inch Android tablets like the Toshiba Excite 10 might become rarer as manufacturers focus on 7-inch Android models instead.

As the tablet market explodes, the supply chain will follow the money and direct its capacity towards the most popular options. It appears that one of those options is not 10-inch Android tablets, which could wind up being a casualty amid other form factors and operating systems.

While Apple will command a certain percentage of tablet sales with its iPads and iPad minis, all other tablets will fight over the remaining market share. Rumormonger extraordinaire Digitimes is reporting that the supply chain has already placed its bets on 7-inch Android tablets, which it believes could account for up to 70 percent of the non-iPad market. 

That remaining 30 percent will be split between tablets running the new Microsoft Windows RT and Windows 8 operating systems and 10-inch Android slates. With Microsoft's marketing muscle behind its new tablet strategy, 10-inch Android models are therefore seen as the least viable proposition. Parts makers are supposedly already shifting their output from those larger Android tablets to Windows 

Given its track record, any Digitimes report should be taken with a grain of salt, and Google's entry into the 10-inch market with the Samsung-built Nexus 10 should prove popular. Amazon also has a 8.9-inch version of the Kindle Fire HD that will sell thanks to the retailer's marketing heft, and Samsung's Galaxy Note 10 is supposedly selling well.

But other manufacturers may decide they'll have difficulty competing against those models and leave the 10-inch market to those players. As the Android tablet market has matured (somewhat), the burgeoning Windows one may prove attractive to manufacturers, though Microsft's own tablets will provide an impediment as well. Eventually a shakeout could take place across the whole tablet marketplace, but for right now, you might expect fewer 10-inch Android launches and more new 7-inch Android and Windows tablets in the near future.

Topics: Tablets, Android

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  • Nah

    People are getting a taste for Android on a 7" Tablet and many of them will jump to 10" Tablets as they upgrade.
    • I would tend to agree.

      I know many people that after getting a taste of Android 7" tablets upgraded to the 10" class iPad.
    • Agreed.

      The Android 10" tablet market has some great designs both in hardware and software. Windows RT tablets will die a quick death because there is no software for them. However, the Windows 8 Pro tablets will have a market because they'll be able to run regular Windows software which isn't the care with RT, but they will be priced at a much higher price point compared to Android 10" tablets. The other negative issue with Windows 8 Pro hardware is that it's still basically low powered netbook "guts" that are in these first Windows 8 Pro tablets which require heat vents for cooling because they are still not efficient enough. Cooling vents on a tablet? That's a deal breaker for me.

      Android tablets are much more mature both in terms of hardware and software, and they have much better price points too. This market will continue to grow despite Windows tablets.
  • Not bothered ...

    Played with a 7in Nexus at work did not like it. Most people in the office prefer the iPad however I just bought a 64GB Playbook for £129 for my wife and she loves it. I must admit after trying the iPad, Nexus and now the Playbook, I have to say I am impressed with the Playbook and if my wife does not let me have my turn I am going to go buy another one.
  • What are the advantages of Windows 10" tablet?

    Comparing to iPad/Android?
    Solid Water
    • windows

      I think it is a mistake to throw any x86 based Windows tablet in with the plethora of ARM based tablets. Arm has dominated the market because the SOC was small, available, power efficient, and just capable of running the lightweight OS systems (iOS and Android). Take a look at the teardowns and the ARM SOC is a tiny little board teamed with a large battery. By comparison the x86 CPU is much more sophisticated and feature powerful so the PCB is much larger and the battery smaller. Apples and Oranges. Once they really get a powerful x86 hardware set into the small tablet form-factor (the Surface RT is ARM and performs like it, barely capable of the Windows ARM port) I think there will be a surge of buyers looking to replace desktop notebooks with 10" Windows x86 tablets. It will be real effort to get a decent 7" Windows x86 tablet within the next 3-5 years.
      • Agreed, but the x86 tablet hardware is still not efficient enough

        The fact that all current Windows 8 Pro tablets have vents to cool the devices indicates that the hardware is not ready for prime time. The chips are still basically atom chips that are still too hot for a tablet.

        Cooling vents on a tablet is a deal breaker.
    • *Which Windows* in 10" tablet form?

      Windows 8 RT in 10" tablet? There will be advantages, but only few select use cases. General entertainment would be better served by an iPad.

      Windows 8 in a 10" tablet? Backwards compatibility with the installed base of Windows software, which is a huge advantage. Main tradeoffs are cost and battery life. If you're worried about lack of apps, google "bluestacks android" and find out more about an interesting emulator.
  • Each form factor has its fans

    I have personally used the Playbook with its 7 inch form factor for a few months now. I have no real desire to move to a larger form as the Playbook does everything I need it to do at its current size. I prefer the smaller form for the light weight and portability. There has certainly been no compromise on performance, at least not on my 64 GB model. Its is fast, extremely stable and battery life is quite good. If an Android app loaded on the Playbook misbehaves, I close the app and restart it. Nothing has crashed, frozen or stopped the OS so far.

    Its too bad the Playbook has not gained a wider audience because from a value and performance perspective, it is far ahead of other brands and platforms out there. Perhaps the Windows 8 offerings will close the gap. We'll just have to wait and see.

    As to a 10 inch form, I have seen many others use it. What always sticks in my mind is how big and clunky it is to use when carting it around when people try to use it on the go. It takes up a lot of real estate on bistro tables in outdoor restaurants where I have seen so many of them in use. It looks to be a bit heavy to hold which is why I see so many put them down on a table, lap, or other surface in order to use it. It is certainly better than a laptop or netbook for portability but is still not good enough for me personally.
  • No losers

    People can have a lot of choices and the whole mantra of there has to be one winner to shake out all the losers is theoretical debate that has been dogging tech journalism since the 1970's. There won't be just one ring to rule them all. I've got a 10.1 tablet and a small Ipod Touch and a dumb cell phone. I don't want one device to do everything. I don't want to carry anything around all the time either.
  • 10" Android Tablets

    Obviously if the government doesn't interfere, the marketplace will make the decision on the 10" Android Tablet. Since the Android Tablets are 25 to 30% less in price than an equivalent i Pad, the market may move in that direction. There have been companies in the past that were market leaders, but finally were brought down and either went out of business or became much smaller. With all the Apple Fanboys, that is not as likely as with other companies. I don't subscribe to any "Mythical Beings", and am looking for the best value for the dollar. With Windows 8 and Android, you will have a myriad of choices. With Apple not so much. Windows 8 tablets are going to be to expensive, and Windows RT tablets may not be as powerful and easy to use as Android. W8 tablets seem to run in the $800 and up bracket. Windows RT may be around $499, Which is the same neighborhood at the Nexus 10. I think that I would rather have a Nexus 10 that a Windows RT. Android has so many manufacturers competing, that there are going to be new models coming out on a monthly basis. I am not sure that Apple is prepared to do that. It's i Pad 4 came out within 7 months of its i Pad 3. I am sure a lot of Apple customers that bought an i Pad 2 may not be a big hurry to move to the latest model. There seems to be a pretty large i Pad secondary market with fairly high prices. In the not too distant future that market may become pretty well saturated. There must have been almost 1 7" or 10" tablet produced for everyone in the United States. These kind of stories may get lots of readers, but doubt that many manufacturers pay any attention to them. Sales Numbers are King!!!!
    • RE: "Obviously if the government doesn't interfere,..."

      What are you talking about? The government isn't interfering with tablets and so far Android 10" tablets have all but failed to garner any user base to spec of. Android tablets have been selling for less than the iPad after price reductions from almost day one but that hasn't helped so the 25% to 20% argument doesn't help you case. Of course then you say the Windows RT tablet at $499 is in the same neighborhood as the Nexus 10 which is what the latest iPad starts at as well. Then you go into the fanboy argument. Do you honestly think that the 100 million iPads sold to day are to fanboys alone? Try no relying on talking points to back up your case. I buy what gives me the best value for my dollar as well and at least up to this point the iPad has been by far the best value regardless of if I could have purchased an Android device cheaper. So it's a benefit that there are so many Android tablet manufacturers that new models will come out monthly yet in at the same time you talk about iPad 2 owners not wanting to upgrade so quickly. So which is it, beneficial to have new models every month or is that too fast of an upgrade cycle? If Android is your preferred OS by all means buy an Android device but don't try to justify it to us by constantly contradicting yourself.
  • Marketing Microsoft's Pigs

    Problem is, MS is late to the game and they're expensive. Worse, they're loaded with win8, which is selling like Mitt Romney's used Mormon underpants. Microsoft's "marketing" so far is a kid scraping blue lips on a happy face. Yea, that makes me want to buy their tablets. Google will rise, Apple will continue to cede market share and MS will bleed a slow death until win9, 10, or they just switch to a 'nix-based OS.
  • the Android Wave

    Ride the ANDROID WAVE & you'll NEVER Look Back! With the Play Store now equaling (and soon surpassing) the apple store, Google's Ecosystem is Right On Track to Having it All! 75% and climbing!
    • Is this the same Android tablet wave

      we have been hearing is coming for close to three years now?
  • Android tablet

    In the tablet PC category 7 inch google android tablet is the best tablet considering to performance and handiness..