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Surprise: Notebooks may benefit from rising demand for smaller tablets

by Doug Drinkwater

March 27 2013


Tech analyst Patrick Moorhead thinks the proliferation of 7-inch tablets could be good news for notebook makers

Growing demand for smaller, sub 8-inch tablets is widely seen as a good thing for Amazon, Google, the Android operating system and the tablet market as a whole. But one analyst now contests that these models could even help notebook makers.

Moor Insights & Strategy president and principal analyst Patrick Moorhead raised that possibility in a blog post for Techpinions, in which he claimed that smaller tablets are pure consumption devices.

“Usage models are different on a 7-inch tablet versus a 10-inch tablet,” said Moorhead, who recently voiced his opinion that Windows 8 tablets are better than iPad for enterprise.

“7-inch tablets are more appropriate as content consumption devices, driven primarily by the screen size and input methods.  If you have ever had to type out a lengthy email on a 7” tablet, you know what I mean. 7-inch tablets are great, however, for reading and deleting emails, watching videos, reading e-books, and browsing simple web sites.”

As such, Moorhead believes that 7-inch tablet owners are more likely to rely on notebooks than those with 10-inch devices, something he believes could result in a reasonable sales boost for notebook manufacturers.

“With all of this considered, I believe this means that those with the 7-inch tablets have a greater need for a modern notebook more than those with a 10-inch tablet. 

“This is not to say that I expect the market for MacBooks and PC notebooks to explode immediately with amazing growth, but I do believe it will lead to increased notebook sales. When you consider the aging installed base of low battery life, thick and chunky Windows XP and Vista-based notebooks, my thesis gets stronger.”

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