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Device vendors are exploring variations on the original form factors of PCs, smartphone and tablets Device vendors have introduced in-between products, such as phablets and 2-in-1s, and more closely married keyboards to tablets, such as the Surface and the Asus T-100, to differentiate themselves from competitors. Google, influenced by the simplicity of tablets, introduced the PC-like Chromebook and, working with Asus, the Chromebox for Meetings appliance. While smaller tablets have gained market share, some vendors are introducing tablets larger than the original iPad.
The original form factors remain; however, iOS and Android devices have become smaller, and the phablet devotees have gravitated toward larger models. The 2-in-1 PC is ahead of the tablet-plus configuration for multipurpose devices. In what direction is the market moving? Will the market share for phablets increase if and when Apple introduces a larger smartphone? Can a vendor grab attention with a tablet-centered physical ecosystem, as Dell is trying to do with the Venue 11 Pro?
On Tuesday, May 13, Principal Analyst Ezra Gottheil and Analyst Jack Narcotta gave a webinar that incorporated the latest feedback from the market with results of TBR’s device user surveys to predict the evolution of form factors in the devices market.
Questions during the discussion included:
1. What are the winning configurations, and which form factors do they displace?
2. Which markets fit these configurations?
3. What are buyers looking for, and how will this change?