Tablet Wars are Coming: Lower Prices, Smaller Sizes
By Jim Lundy
Will 2012 finally be the year that the Tablet wars get started? So far, not in the first half, but the second half looks promising mainly due to new form factors. Rumor are swirling about smaller 7 inch tablets coming from Google and Apple.
The main thing that is occurring is the maturation and the price segmentation of the Tablet Market. Apple has grabbed the high end of the Tablet market and since its launch in 2010 has fended off nearly every attack from competitors. Some will claim the this is due to the features of the device, we know it is due to the continued growth and appeal of its mobile ecosystem.
Tablet Form Factors: Apple already has two
Of course Apple really has several tablet form factors already. The iPhone is really a tablet with a cellular modem installed in it and it runs the same apps as the iPad. Same thing goes for the Android 4.0 release (Ice Cream Sandwich): Android phones and tablets can run some of the same apps.
The new battlefront for winning tablet market share will be fought with lower prices for smaller devices. Google appears to be ready to try to match Amazon Kindle Fire price of $199, which is one reason for the alleged delay of its launch until July, 2012.
The question of size comes into play when trying to use a tablet for work. A 7 inch tablet may be ideal for a textbook replacement. Users may still want a larger tablet for using it in a workplace setting.
Tablet Prices will fall
So with price drops comes more demand, more manufacturing and eventually even lower prices. Apple has shown that it can manage its manufacturing costs effectively, so much so that it has dropped the price if its successful iPad 2 to US $399.00 Even with this move, it puts pressure on others trying to enter the tablet market. Aragon Research is forecasting that we expect to see prices for 10 inch tablets at $299 in the next 2 years.
So right now, the main ecosystem players working on the segmentation of the tablet market are Amazon, Apple and Google. We don’t yet know what Microsoft will do, since new Tablet announcements are months away. One thing is clear, competition is good for consumers and good for the enterprise.
We cover the entire spectrum of mobile ecosystems and tablets in our new Strategic Report: The Enterprise Guide to Mobile and Tablet Computing. This 85 page report has it all (ecosystems and the vendors, tablet use cases, MDM, MAM, and selection criteria). Aragon Research clients get this report at no charge as part of their yearly subscription. Contact us today to learn more.