Most tablets in use today are iPad-size. That’s because most tablets in use are iPads. But in my opinion iPad’s just too big (and expensive) to represent the future of tablets.
Recently I’ve asked LI professionals about this. Bellow you may find the most interesting of them.
«I think it is going to come down to lower cost and lower weight. Even as I “type” this answer on my iPad3, I feel the device is heavy. I will almost always grab my Kindle over my iPad with the Kindle app because the Kindle is so much lighter to hold when reading, and I do not want to hover over a table when reading.»
Experienced Program Manager and Business Analyst
«The short answer is convenience, weight, and price. The iPad debuted as a consumer-friendly replacement for a laptop, so a larger screen felt familiar. With newer, smaller iterations of tablets on the market consumers are becoming more comfortable with smaller screens (helped along by the improved resolution and fidelity of the newer LCDs.) More efficient and powerful processors within the devices make them more useful tools, as well as more portable.
Depending on how you define “tablet market,” you can look to the absolute domination of Smartphones as proof of the convenience/weight/cost model winning out over screen-size. Smartphone sales dwarf tablet sales.
Generally, I think the sweet-spot for tablets will be Smartphones with a slightly larger screen than we see now, but still considerably smaller than the mid-size tablets (the 7″ screens.) They do virtually everything a tablet does now, but has the added benefit of easily fitting in a pocket or purse.»
Experienced Entrepreneur and Consultant
«For the personal/consumer market the smaller format tablet may have an edge, but for corporate/office use the larger format tablet is already making the laptop and, in some cases, the desktop computer obsolete.
Tablet manufacturers, especially Apple, have done an excellent job at getting product placement in movies and on TV in very suitable uses for a tablet. It is difficult to watch a recent TV program that doesn’t have a tablet in use somewhere during an episode.
The larger format tablets work much better for showing something to someone standing next to you than does a small format tablet.»
Executive Director at Rebounders United
«Dominate? No. But they are a welcome addition – I really want something not much larger than a paperback that I can slip in my pocket and use for ebooks, but is better functioned that a kindle or similar – and the new smaller tablets seem ideal.
I do think there is one improvement still needed – the size of the screen needs to use all the available space, right up to the edge of the device instead or a large margin around it.»
ICT Programmer Manager at Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
«I think each new device type encourages entirely new and differing behaviors from us. With a desktop, monitor, mouse and keyboard we’re like these information seeking insects, clicking and typing and mining the web. On a mobile device, we’re out and about, very task-driven, very mesmerized in a habitual way, smoking information like the new great American smoke break or something, transactional, but only in short strokes and flows. We love our mobile devices too, its something Freudian and deeply sexual with the touch screen, the gentle strokes, all the handholding and extremely intimate, personal relations with our data-driven posthumanic sojourns, all our connectedness just a touch away. And then there’s the tablet version 1.0, right? Big touch, big strokes and a much more browserly, relaxed pace that actually feels more like a walk through a catalog or magazine on interactive crack. About the size of a large analog notebook of paper, or a thin book, but a little trendy-cool and somewhere in-between a research instrument and a fast tasking tool. Smaller tablets create yet another in-between, a soon-to-be discovered mental terrain that will most likely encourage a new set of emotions and behaviors. I’m fascinated to see how all of these devices will start to work better together and how the smaller tablets will not necessarily dominate the market so much as inspire new design, interaction, business and technological challenges. Should be really fun stuff!»
Accomplished designer focused on user experience, design education, curation, performance and dynamic media
In conclusion, big tablets like the current iPad will be popular. But they’ll always be the high-end minority. The future belongs to small tablets like the Nexus 7 and the upcoming mini iPad.