Tablet segmentation by usage: Explaining the popularity of smaller tablets

“Most industry watchers have (finally) come to the conclusion that smaller, low cost tablets are taking over the industry,” Sameer Singh writes for Tech-Thoughts. “This would seem counter intuitive to our previous smartphone analysis, which showed that larger screen devices and low cost devices catered to two different segments.”

“The difference is that computing is the “default” use case for any tablet, across segments (as opposed to the computing vs. communication dichotomy we saw in smartphones),” Singh writes. ” A better way to segment the market would be by specific computing use cases.”

Singh writes, “The key point to understand here is that most of today’s tablets ranging from the 9.7″ iPad to low-end 7-inch tablets cater to [the content consumption vs. productivity] segment. As products improved and the set of tasks performed remained the same, consumers naturally began gravitating to lower priced tablets. This was the primary reason behind the cannibalization and collapse of 9.7″ iPad shipments. An argument could be made that 7-inch tablets were also easier to use, but I believe that was a secondary factor.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. “An argument could be made that 7-inch tablets were also easier to use, but I believe that was a secondary factor.”

    And you base this belief on what objective data?

    1. iPad is 8-inches (7.9″).

      It is cheaper than the 9.7″ and it fits in a woman’s purse better but that does not mean it is better.

      As for the Windows 8 and Android true 7″ tablets, they are crap that play purchased or stolen movies and a few decent Apps.

  2. Anyone here, who has an iPad mini, likes the size or wishes they had a larger screen?

    Conversely, those with the larger screen iPad, when you upgrade, will you do so buying the same size or stepping down to the mini?

    As an iPad original owner, I was just wondering…

    1. The iPad 3 I find is a tad heavy to be held for long periods of time because of its larger battery to power the Retina screen. The iPad 2 is lighter by comparison. So what I did was buy an aluminium stand for it. There are quite a few makes in the market that will allow you to swivel your iPad while it’s positioned on the stand.

      As for the iPad mini, it’s the ideal size to be held but if you want to use it to its maximum potential, get an aluminium stand as well. In fact I have aluminium stands for my iPad, iPad mini and iPhone.

      Besides the aesthetic appeal, they make sitting at a desk and reading documents or iBooks much easier. If you’re looking for portability, then the Belkin FlipBlade makes a really good stand that you can carry around with you to meetings.

        1. If you use a stand to hold up your iPad, it might be a good idea to get a Bluetooth keyboard to go with it. It makes typing much easier and you’re seated in a natural,position to type on a proper keyboard rather than the onscreen one.

          The Apple wireless keyboard is ideal but you can use any Bluetooth enabled keyboard from Logitech or other makes. But I find the Apple keyboard the most comfortable to type on.

          1. yes, i already use a the Apple wireless bluetooth keyboard – it definitely helps when typing for long durations

            excellent suggestion sir

    2. I have an iPad 3 and will be replacing it with the next full size iPad. I’ve used the mini and also have the desire for a larger screen. May be that is because I am used to e larger screen. I also do a lot of on screen typing and the mini is just to small. The 9.7″ size doesn’t bother me when I travel and makes watching movies on planes easier.

      1. IPad mini is too small for old eyes. I am using the original iPad with a cheap flexible cover – I’m an adult so lifting the iPad + cover is not so dificult and the battery life is still very good – and its constantly in use. I tend to fully exhaust the battery before recharge.
        iPad 4 may offer sufficient advancement over the originsl to make me upgrade – but that would have to be something significant – like adding a cell phone sim to allow me to use the one device (something Apple are probably not about to do) – I would then ‘call-forward transfer’ incoming calls from the iphone when I wanted to take the iPad.

        1. Modern Li-ion batteries preserve their charge capacity better, ie. last longer, if you do not fully discharge the battery before recharging. You get more charging cycles from the battery if you don’t let the battery fall below 20% charge remaining before plugging it into the charger.

    3. I too have he original iPad. But, work provided me with an iPad mini. Once you get used to the weight of the mini, it’s tough going back to full size iPad. Will buy an iPad mini if I have to turn my work one in. Does take a bit to get used to the mini.

    4. I switched to the mini, but my next iPad will again be full size. The bezel on the mini is too small, making it difficult to hold without accidental screen touches, especially when reading in bed. I never had this problem with the larger iPad.

  3. Tablet usage depends ENTIRELY on the use case. If you are leaning back with a 9.7 iPad in your lap or on a table it is the preferred tablet simply based on screen real estate.

    If you have to stand and walk around while using one a 5″ phablet or 7.9 iPad Mini is better.

    If it has to fit in your pants pocket you get an iPhone or some other touch screen phone.

    Simple really. Some people buy all three. Others compromise and buy one or two. Some folks like me wouldn’t walk around with an iPad Mini very much and stick with an iPad for siting and an iPhone for walking around.

    1. I don’t know about Ballmer, but I do not want my left ( or right) nut next to a radiating iPhone ariel all day. So I’d rather have either device in a case or at worst an iPhone belt pouch on my hip.

        1. There has been lots of discussion surrounding the effect on ears for those who seem to spend much of their day on a cell phone. But for most folk the time spent talking per day is just a few minutes. However, the phone in your pocket is ‘ checking in with the cell tower’ all day long. Day in, day out. If your cell phone is netly tucked in under your paunch, your nuts are getting microwaved all day long.

  4. The mini is great for traveling and carrying in my purse for meetings et. al., but for reading and watching movies at home, I prefer the extra real estate of the 9.7 for my 60+ year old eyes.

    1. agreed, iPad is this perfect home computer, room to room handy replacement to most PC users.

      The mini is ideal for daily travels, if it had true telephone capabilities it would replace my iPhone.

      Simplify the product line again will benefit consumers.

      iPhone: large/medium/small, 32/64/128Gb, A7 or A6
      iPad: large/medium/small, 32/64/128Gb, A7 or A6

      *the difference is iPhone includes Wifi & cellular telephone capabilities, where iPad is Wifi only. Sizes are current to product offerings now. Large 9.7″ screen, Medium 7.8″ screen, Small the 4″ screen. Storage Memory offers savings as does last years processor.

      Could not be simpler. And Apple benefits too as claiming the Largest smartphone over any competitor.

  5. Productivity with tablets is misunderstood. The people who work outside of an office are the ones that use them to make money. Pilots, doctors, and salespeople are finding them very useful. They are the ones who will spend money for a good app that improves their productivity. These are the early adaptors. The size and brand they use now will be the influence on large rollouts in industries. Mid and late adapters will buy the tablets they see being used. When tech writers and Wall Street analyst understand this, they will be able to predict the market. Tablets are useful for jobs that the PC was not.

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