7-inch Tablet Market Forecast: Kindle Fire 2 Vs. Nexus 7 Vs. iPad Mini Three-way Battle
It seems palpable that the market for budget-priced 7-inch tablets is a rapidly expanding area for competition. Manufacturers like Samsung have long offered devices in this general form factor, but it took last year’s Amazon Kindle Fire to prove that this segment is viable.
Its combination of cheap price, just good-enough specifications and access to Amazon’s online content – which is apparently central to the online retailer’s business plan for its own devices – proved to be a hit among many consumers.
However, the entry of Google’s Nexus 7 tablet shows that consumers may be looking for something more from their budget slates. The higher-than-expected demand for the $250 16GB model also showed that buyers will be willing to shell out a little bit more to get a few key amenities.
This willingness to move up a price point could also bode well for Apple, which is rumored to be gearing up to launch the iPad Mini with a screen in the 7-inch range. The cachet of Apple branding has encouraged plenty of buyers to part with more cash than, if they had picked up other alternatives, and an iPad Mini that’s priced below the $300 price point could definitely be a viable product.
As such, Amazon has its work cut out for it, and the expectations that it would use a heavily-customized version of Android as the basis of its tablet operating system could damage its prospects against the Nexus 7, especially if the Kindle Fire 2 packs inferior hardware to Google’s tablet.
Still, there are at least two different battlegrounds between these three devices: hardware and content. The specifications of these three devices could be far closer together than we can see right now, so getting the right sort and amount of content will be critical in the 7-inch tablet market.
Hopefully, we get to see Amazon’s and Apple’s new competitors to the Nexus 7 soon.