When Apple first released the iPad back in 2010, rival vendors scrambled to release 10-inch tablets that might compete in the re-emerging media tablet category. Early offerings weren’t well received, however, and Android tablet makers soon discovered that the best way to compete was to scale down to 7 inches and offer less expensive tablets. Following the release of the 8-inch iPad mini, however, Apple rivals again began to chase the new iPad model, believing a balance between size and price could be struck at 8 inches. Initial offerings like the Galaxy Note 8.0 were indeed solid, but a recent report suggests sales have been disappointing all around.
According to unnamed sources at Taiwan-based component suppliers speaking with Digitimes, Android tablet makers are cutting orders for 8-inch tablet parts because sales are falling short of expectations. Samsung and Acer were both named in the report.
Vendors thought that 8-inch tablets would gradually replace 7-inch models as the new mainstream tablet size, but apparently only the iPad mini has seen real success among 8-inch tablets. Demand for competing models from Samsung and other tablet makers has been “weak,” according to the report.
Digitimes says that 8-inch tablet shipments are expected to make up about 10% of total global tablet shipments in 2013, though Apple’s iPad mini will account for the lion’s share of that figure.