The media tablet market growth phenomenon followed the Apple iPad launch in April 2010. Since then, competitors try to keep up with Apple's innovations. Many have launched their own tablet products in a range of screen sizes and designs -- in contrast to Apple's approach, with its consistent 9.7" iPad design.
For example, Amazon successfully launched the 7.0” Kindle Fire -- with integrated Amazon content and services -- and Samsung rounded out its tablet lineup with the 7.0", 8.9" and 10.1" Galaxy Tabs.
"As the tablet market continues to heat up, manufacturers are striving to differentiate next-generation products to compete with the iPad," said Stephanie Ethier, Senior Analyst at NPD In-Stat.
Media tablet screen size has emerged not only as a key differentiator, but also the leading indicator of different tablet usages.
According to the latest market study by NPD In-Stat, their research highlights top tablet usage scenarios based on device screen size and provides market insight based on the different tablet form factors.
For example, devices with smaller form factors in the 3.5" to less than 7.0" range, spanning PMP and tablets categories, best serve entertainment needs that are typically considered complementary to everyday activities -- such as commuting, exercising, and other on-the-go activities.
Other findings from the NPD In-Stat market study include:
- Worldwide shipments for devices with screen sizes between 3.5" to less than 7.0” will decline throughout the forecast period to 15.6 million in 2016.
- Despite anticipated price erosion, revenue in the 7.0" to less than 8.5" form factor represents one of the brightest spots in the tablet market due to anticipated Amazon Kindle Fire demand.
- Due to continued iPad success, tablets in the 9.7” to less than 11” form factor category will represent 65 percent of worldwide tablet shipments.
- The bill of materials for a 9.7” tablet will fall to $246 by 2016 due primarily to strong consumer demand and declining display costs.