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.
Digitimes Research: Google looking to clean up Android device mess in emerging markets (Jul 3)
Google expected to partner with HTC to launch dual-brand 8.9-inch tablet (Jun 24)
Digitimes Research: 7-inch tablet prices to continue dropping (Jun 23)
Digitimes Research: Global tablet shipments to rise in 2Q14 (Apr 29)
Supply chain gearing up for orders from Samsung for components used in new 2K tablets (Apr 8)
Japan-, Korea-based vendors increase ODM orders for 8- to 10-inch Windows tablets (Mar 28)
Digitimes Research: Korea-based makers to hold 50% share of large-size LCD supply capacity throughout 2017 (Mar 24)
Digitimes Research: Pricing for 32-inch entry-level LCD TVs up 3% on year in March (Mar 18)
Digitimes Research: 12-inch tablets facing development hurdles (Mar 14)
Digitimes Research: MWC 2014 shows new tablet trends (Mar 6)
Digitimes Research: Global tablet shipments in 1Q14 to drop over 20% sequentially (Jan 27)