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As the sales for desktops and notebooks have been weakening, tablets have become the crucial production line for high-tech companies to achieve sales targets. According to WitsView, the display research division of TrendFroce, in an attempt to meet consumers’ diverse and various needs, makers of tablets will introduce a host of new products in different form-factors in 2013. One of the key new additions on the tablet market will be slates with 8”-class displays.

The two key focuses in 2011 - 2012 were the lift in the display resolutions as well as boosting attractiveness of low-priced products. The main focus for this year is expected to be the emergence of new form-factors and screen sizes. Based on the current development of the tablet market, the 8” products take a posture of both attacking and defending, and the segmentation of this new size must be the next battle field among brands.

WitsView’s research director Eric Chiou believes that the main striking force to 8” tablets is from the replacement effect of 7” tablets. Currently, the 7” tablets show remarkable diversity and even can be described as flooding; meanwhile, the ongoing price-war between manufacturers reduced margins on such products. As a result, makers will have to introduce slates in 8”-class form-factor. One of the most important features for the 8” tablets is the application of the narrow bezel design. The narrow bezel helps to minimize dimensions and fit 8” display into form-factors similar to those of 7”-class slates.


Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9", one of the world's first slates with 8"-class display

The tablets with 8”-class screens are also seen as a weapon for the non-Apple camp to fight against iPad mini. With its slim shape and stylish design, iPad mini has gained a strong traction among consumers. Tablet makers will advertise the fact that 8” is larger than 7.85” display of the iPad mini and will price their tablets $50 - $100 lower than $329, the entry-price of the small tablet from Apple. In addition, 8” tablets will let certain companies to address the growing market of phablets without the need to create one.

Based on WitsView’s estimates, media tablets with 8”-class displays will account for 4.5% of the overall tablet shipment. But after companies like Acer Group, Asustek Computer, HP, Lenovo, Samsung and others enter the 8” game, the proportion for the 8” tablets will grow to 17.6%. As a result, the share of media tablets with 8”-class screens will account for 11.9% of all slates shipped in 2013.

Tags: Apple, Acer, ASUS, HP, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Samsung

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