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Digitimes Research: Google shifts focus to large-size tablet competition
Jim Hsiao, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei [Tuesday 18 March 2014]

Digitimes Research has learned that Google is set to release at least two Nexus tablets in 2014 with an 8.9-inch model already under development and set to enter mass production in July. The 8.9-inch tablet features a display resolution of more than 2K.

Although Google may still release a smaller-size model in 2014, its strategy of skipping most of the sizes in the 8-inch range and going for an 8.9-inch display - a size that colud be categorized as large-size tablet (9-inch and above) - shows that the Internet giant is starting to shift its focus to large-size tablet applications.

In 2013, Android had an over 50% share in the small-to medium-size brand tablet market and is expected to achieve further growth in 2014 as brand vendors turn to push 8-inch tablets. The 7-inch segment will continue to see shipment growth thanks to strong demand for models with phone functions, Digitimes Research believes.

However, in the large-size brand tablet market, Android only accounted for around 30% in 2013 and its shipments amounted to only half of those of iPads. Windows also trailed behind with around 10% market share.

Because of Google's disadvantages in the large-size brand tablet market, Digitimes Research believes the release of the 8.9-inch Nexus - a product with a good price/performance ratio, sufficient mobility, and a strategic position between the large-size and small- to medium-size segments - may motivate the rest of Android camp to also skip the 8-inch segment and head for the large-size segment.

More importantly, whether the Android camp is able to create new added values for the large-size tablet market and in turn boost the overall market, will heavily depend on Google's ability to enhance Android tablet-only applications and attract more application developers to join the ecosystem.

Digitimes Research believes if the 8.9-inch Nexus can be priced at around US$299 and if Android 5.0, which may be released at the Google I/O in June, is able to feature more Android tablet-only applications, it should help the 8.9-inch Nexus tablet achieve a breakthrough in the large-size tablet market.

Content from this blog post was provided by the Digitimes Research Tracking team, which focuses on shipment data and market trends in the global mobile device supply chain. Digitimes Research provides quarterly tracking services for market sectors such as Global Tablet, China Smartphone, China Smartphone AP, China Touch Panel, Taiwan ICT and Taiwan FPD. Click here for more information about Digitimes Research Tracking services.

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