I’m not prepared to blame the OEMs. As someone who is a Microsoft whore, sometimes a mirror is needed. The markets have clearly shifted and there’s a lot of focus and attention on tablets in the 7” size (give or take). There’s the Fire, Nexus, and iPad Mini. Because they’re smaller, they’re more pocketable. Of course that also means a smaller screen and smaller battery and thus an overall cheaper price.
There isn’t an Android tablet out there that’s selling in the 10” category. It’s only the 7” variety that anyone would consider. Again, a lot comes down to the crazy cheap cost of these.
So then how in the hell does Microsoft think they can sell tablets like hotcakes if they’re not going to release a product that meets the present consumer demands? I know what you’re thinking – why is this Microsoft’s fault? Well there’s a cost to the OEM for Win8RT and that doesn’t decrease with screen size. These ultra cheap tablets have razor thin margins, too. In fact, the Fire and Nexus are more about selling products later (ads, Amazon crap, etc) than they are about the hardware itself. But if you’re paying a hefty licensing fee to MS then you need to increase the price and possibly start to put yourself out of the heart of this category.
But I don’t care if that’s why there are no 7” tablets or if there’s something else. In the end, the hardware for Win8RT is the same as Android in most respects. Microsoft hasn’t incentivized its OEMs to hit this niche. That’s a problem. Ultimately Microsoft gains a lot from all of these sales. It’s not just the licensing fee – it’s the marketplace sales, music, Xbox tie-ins, etc. Whatever the case may be, they need to grab an OEM by the ankles and get them to release a 7” tablet if they want to seriously compete in the tablet market.
Yes, Apple sells 10” tablets like mad and yes, Microsoft needs to compete there (which they are). But to leave out the fastest growing niche is asinine.
Of course, if Nokia would just drop a 7” WinRT tablet I’ll take the whole thing back…