Intel exec: No future in 10-inch tablets

Kirk Skaugen believes that smaller tablets will survive, while bigger slates will disappear in favor of hybrid laptops.
Written by Sean Portnoy, Contributor

Will the full-sized iPad and the Google Nexus 10 become the equivalent of tech dodos? According to an Intel exec, bigger tablets will become an afterthought as the market evolves.

Kirk Skaugen, a vice president in Intel's PC Client Group, declared at the recent Intel Solutions Summit 2013 that the future for 10-inch tablets will "rapidly erode" in 2013. That's thanks to the success of smaller tablets, whether in the form of the 8-inch iPad mini or 7-inch Android competitors.

But Skaugen also believes full-sized slates will disappear as hybrid laptops that offer detachable displays or other tablet features continue to enter the marketplace. Not surprisingly, many of those convertible notebooks will be powered by Intel chips and based on the company's ultrabook platform.

It also helps that Windows 8 is touchscreenfriendly, and Skaugen said that Ultrabooks shipping with Intel's forthcoming Haswell processors will be required to have touchscreen support. He predicted that 13-inch versions would have convertible displays that "flipped" into tablet mode, while 11-inch models would have detachable screens.

Of course, Apple has shown no interest in creating its own hybrid MacBook, though the iPad mini is cannibalizing sales from its original iPad. Likewise, there's been no indication that there will be any convertible Android-based portables. Prices would also need to drop, as Windows 8 convertible laptops already available are generally priced higher than a mainstream buyer would budget for a new system.

Do you agree with Skaugen that 10-inch tablets are headed for extinction? Or is it wishful thinking since Intel has not been a major player in the standalone tablet market to date? Let us know your thoughts in the Talkback section below.

[Source: CRN via Xbit Labs]

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