Could smaller tablets come out on top?
As of yet, the majority of tablets sold have been on the larger side in the 10-inch realm. But one industry observer believes smaller tablets -- those with 7-inch screens -- will eventually emerge as the dominant form factor due to its heightened mobility.
Writing for Computerworld, Mike Elgan asserts that while 10-inch tablet computers are "portable," 7-inch devices are truly mobile and can be taken virtually anywhere with little trouble. The writer also notes that smaller tablets tend to be cheaper, which will be an important differentiator as more models hit the market.
So far, most tablets sold have been the size of the iPad® because, as Elgan correctly points out, most tablets sold so far have been iPads. But change does seem to be on the way as tech companies and manufacturers continue to introduce smaller form factors that don't break the bank.
One thing tablet manufacturers must be cautious of is functionality. Though a number of smaller and cheaper tablets have hit the market in the past few years, most have arrived at the expense of functionality. Going forward, if and when the smaller tablet becomes the dominant form factor, manufacturers will have to ensure their devices come fully loaded and do not skirt certain capabilities.