It's a Busy Tablet Season

By Gary Kim September 12, 2012

It has been a very busy season for the tablet business. In the summer of 2012, Google launched the Google Nexus 7 device.

In September, Amazon launched three new tablets, including a high end model with LTE, and two e-readers, moving Amazon into the Apple iPad end of the market (larger screen) for the first time.

In October, Apple is expected to launch its first “seven-inch” device, while Google is also expected to launch  a 3G version of the Nexus 7 in October as well.


Image via Shutterstock 

Barnes and Noble will refresh its Nook in October 2012 as well, some predict.

All of that activity shows the growing consumer acceptance of tablet devices, the evolving market share fight between suppliers and a threat to fortunes of traditional PCs.

The new flagship is the Kindle Fire HD family, which takes Amazon out of its low cost niche and gives it a full range of tablets in both the seven-inch and 8.9-inch form factors. The Fire HD with built-in LTE (initially provided by AT&T) marks Amazon’s entry into the higher-price tablet segment.

Amazon also is offering a new packaging for mobile broadband access, charging $50 a year for LTE, for an allowance of 250 Mbytes a month. That level of consumption means most heavy users will still be relying mainly on Wi-Fi, but most heavy users already do that, one might argue.

It’s actually a clever bit of marketing: Amazon gets the “LTE glow” at minimum cost.

There are two other Fire HD variants. The first retains the usual budget pricing and seven-inch screen, costing $199 for 16 Gbytes of storage and $249 for 32 Gbytes.

Apple will launch next in October, with an expected iPad Mini unveiling. That will move Apple into the seven-inch segment of the market for the first time.

So the fall of 2012 marks the first time several of the leading suppliers have had to acknowledge that the tablet market includes a couple of segments, distinguished largely by screen size.




Edited by Brooke Neuman

Contributing Editor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Looking For The Next iPod/Echo

By: Rob Enderle    4/29/2016

The Amazon Echo, not the Apple Watch, became the last iPod-like product largely because of a far more accessible price point, a more compelling name, …

Read More

Apple Needs Reset, Not Elon Musk

By: Doug Mohney    4/29/2016

Apple's 13 percent sales decline and subsequent stock price drop this week has lead to the usual crazy talk about how to "fix" the company. Vivek Wadh…

Read More

Is the Apple Bubble Finally Bursting?

By: Andrew Bindelglass    4/28/2016

Over the past 13 years, Apple has been one of the most successful companies in the world of tech, posting sales growths in 51 straight quarters. That …

Read More

Shared-Space Providers (Airbnb) Poised to Beat Ride-Sharers (Uber)

By: Steve Anderson    4/28/2016

Travel may be starting to make a bit of a comeback, as a new report suggests that shared-space providers like Airbnb and WeWork are on the rise.

Read More

Facebook Wants More Sharing, Building New Camera App to Drive It

By: Steve Anderson    4/28/2016

One of the great downsides to having a lot of content in any one place is that, after a while, it starts looking downright pointless to add more.

Read More