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Digitimes Research: 12-inch tablets facing development hurdles
Jim Hsiao, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei [Friday 14 March 2014]

Brand vendors have started showing interests in large-size tablets since early 2014. In addition to Apple's rumored 12.85-inch tablet, Samsung Electronics has already launched a 12.2-inch Android-based enterprise tablet, while Asustek Computer is planning to release a 13.3-inch dual-OS tablet.

However, most of the large-size tablet projects face difficulties because of lack of support from related platform developers and ecosystems. Apple has also been said to shelved its large-size tablet project.

Meanwhile, Google has decided to push an 8.9-inch Nexus tablet for 2014, showing that the Internet giant is starting to shift its focus to larger-size applications.

Samsung flooded the market with several tablets of different sizes and specifications in January and is pushing its 12.2-inch tablet with a new user interface and multi-tasking ability, features that are designed for the enterprise market.

But Samsung tablet has a weaker price/performance ratio compared to notebooks of the similar price range. Worse still, most of Android's enterprise applications are inferior to those on the PC platform. The Samsung tablet's new user interface also deviates much from the usual Andriod experience, to the dismay of Google. Therefore, Digitimes Research expects Samsung's new 12.2-inch tablet to only achieve shipments of around one million units in 2014.

The Asustek-Intel cooperation on large-size dual-OS tablets was originally expected to bring the Taiwan-based vendor advantages in terms of product differentiation and boost other PC brand vendors' willingness to develop Android on x86 tablets. However, because Google is unwilling to see Microsoft benefit from its ecosystem, Asustek's TD300 tablet shipments and second-generation T100 development have both been delayed.

The 8.9-inch Nexus is Google's first tablet project for 2014. With a screen big enough to compete in the large-size tablet segment, and with low cost and mobility, Digitimes Research expects the Nexus tablet to help prompt other brand vendors to turn to the large-size tablet segment, which only currently accounts for 30% in overall tablet shipments.

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