Research firm: 68 percent of Q2 tablet shipments are small-screen devices

Microsoft's current Surface RT tablet has a 10.6-inch screen.

Much has been made about how Microsoft has recently cut the price of its 10.6-inch Surface RT tablet by $150. However, a new report by the research firm Canalys shows that the overall tablet market has now firmly embraced devices that are smaller than the 10.6-inch Surface RT and Surface Pro and the 9.7-inch iPad from Apple.

The Canalys report claims that 68 percent of all tablets shipped in the second quarter of 2013 had displays that were smaller than 9 inches.  Tim Coulling, Canalys Senior Analyst, states:

Consumers have been evaluating tablets and the results are now in ... With touch-screens contributing to a high proportion of the build cost of a tablet, small-screen products can be priced very aggressively.

Apple still leads in terms of overall tablet sales, but iPad shipments declined quite a bit in the second quarter of 2013, while shipments of tablets made by Samsung, Amazon, Lenovo and Acer each went up 200 percent year-over-year. That's mostly due to the fact that those companies sell tablets that are in the seven and eight inch range, which also makes them cheaper and perhaps more desirable by shoppers.

So far, the only Windows 8 tablet that's been released which is smaller than 10.1 inches is the 8.1-inch Acer Iconia W3, which hasn't exactly gotten the best of reviews. However, it looks like overall, the smaller and cheaper tablet is the one that people are gravitating towards from now on. Recent rumors indicated Microsoft is working on a Surface RT device with either a 7- or 8-inch screen.

Perhaps Microsoft should strongly consider launching at least one version of its next Surface RT tablet that has a 7- or 8-inch screen and let the Windows 8 and Intel-based Surface Pro have the larger 10.6-inch screen.

Source: Canalys | Image via Microsoft

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