Screen Size Analysis (Sub 12″) August 2011

Posted on 24 August 2011 by

This is the seventh report on sizing trends in PCs below 12” screen size (and above 5”) appearing in the German market through the popular price comparison engine, Geizhals.at (*1) The last one was done in Feb 2011. Once again we’ve seen a big jump in overall numbers. The 7″ segment and 10″ segment have grown while the 11″ segment has shrunk. The 10″ market dominates more in this report than it did in the report of Feb 2011 although there is a clear trend occurring in the 7″ space where growth in products has occurred in all of the last 4 reports.

Number of SKUs in the market

The number of choices in the mobile screen space (above smartphones) has grown over 2x from approx 240 SKUs to over 630 SKUs.

 

Screen size distribution

The big jump in numbers is clear to see from the top graph. Total numbers jumped by 115 with most of that growth coming from the tablet form factor and the 10″ netbook/notebook sector. Big increases in the 7″ tablet sector (now the biggest number so far) and a reduction in the numbers of 11″ devices mean that  percentage distribution has changed a lot. The iPad2 introduction caused the growth in the 9″ segment.

In the 10″ netbook space which accounts for 75% of the 10″ category there are now 18 AMD C-Series SKUs and 315 Atom SKUs. 64 of the Atom-based devices (20%) use the high-end N570 version.

In interesting statistic is that 1 in 5 devices on the market in the 5-11″ segment are from ASUS.

Across all categories, ARM-based CPU designs account for  23% of all devices, almost exclusively in the tablet sector. It will be interesting to see how that changes over the next 2 years with the introduction of Windows for the ARM processor.

In terms of weight, the tablets mean that the average weight of a device has gone down.  28% of the devices weigh under 1KG.

Meego appears for the first time along with the cheapest and lightest netbook ever launched. The ASUS Eee PC X101.

Chromebooks did not enter the sub 12″ screen space yet. (Acer 700 not available in Germany)

Sandy Bridge (2nd Generation Intel Core CPUs) enters the sector with 14 SKUs from 5 devices.

Total number of tablet form-factor devices:  193 (30% of total)

Cheapest devices:

  • X86/Windows Laptop – Eee PCR101D at 199 Euros. (Was: Samsung N145 at 228 Euro)
  • Non-Windows Laptop (X86-CPU) –  Eee PC X101 (Meego) at 169 Euros
  • ARM Tablet – Debitel One Pad  (Android 1.5) at 59 Euro
  • X86/Windows Tablet – Archos 9 at 370 Euros (was 402 Euros)

In terms of netbook trends, the search and news volumes seem to be steady after their large drop in Q1 (see Google Trends.) Numbers of devices in the market have increased and obviously the introduction of Cedar Trail in Q4 will create news, products and searches in the netbook category. The trend for netbook products, news and search is going to be level-to-rising for Q4 That may, or may not, relate to sales numbers.

In terms of handheld PCs, our focus here at UMPCPortal, it’s a sad story. The online market is now almost totally clear of 5-9″ X86-based Windows devices. It will be interesting to see how the Windows 8 market affects this in 2012.

Warning: Please remember that this is a single data-source analysis of what is happenning today, in the German market. This is not a complete market analysis report. You may use the data and images but please also reference this article which includes this warning.

*1 Based on SKUs, not model families. Data taken from Geizhals  An English language (and UK market) version of Geizhals is available at Skinflint.

Categorized | Report

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  • D T

    Before I said anything, let me say that this is one of my favourite tech sites, and that is because of the enthusiasm, the camaraderie, and the honesty that is present here. This site has been a breath of fresh air, and I wish this site and the owner / bloggers the best no matter what happens.

    As we can see in the chart here, UMPC / Wintel MIDs have pretty much died in the market, being replaced by smartphones (which have grown bigger) and tablets (using smartphone platforms) which have grown smaller. It’s not a pretty site for x86 UMPC / MID at all.

    My take: UMPC / MID have always been a niche market to begin with; so that means it’s always going to be small (niche implied that) (no pun intended). The format just doesn’t fit the typical Wintel products for consumers: cheap and practical. UMPC / MID have never been cheap (actually I consider them to be probably the most expensive for what they do), not too practical due to format limitation and compromises being made. That is usually not a concern if it’s going to stay niche. Selling to the vertical market such as Fujitsu has always been (I have seen Fujitsu tablet more than 10 years ago, this is nothing new, selling to the medical market).

    But consumer market is a totally different beast. The problem? Dare very few people actually say this on this sacred site, it’s because of how poor Windows interfaces with touch and tablet. I have seen tablet format since the company that AST bought (GRiD), and then AT&T Ego or something like that; to the first one I own: (still do) SonicBlue Progear (FrontPath) running Linux or Win 98SE. No problem, Microsoft didn’t bless those at the time.

    But I am shocked how limited it still was when it was XP Tablet Edition, as if it’s done as an after thought. Inking was the major selling point, and sure many swear by OneNote. But what about manipulating the OS? Changing things in Control Panel?

    Fast forward to today. Friend’s Acer Iconia W500, excellent hardware, and Windows 7 which is touch enabled, so they claimed. But while it’s still cumbersome to do anything with the big fingers on the capacitive multi-touch LCD. They are simply not made for each other: Windows and fingers.

    I own a BenQ S6. While I did all I could to stabilize the system (as if it’s some kind of pre-production prototype), and tweak the performance on it. There is one thing I cannot do without a third party trick: using the stylus to register a right mouse click, was worse than my early PocketPC PDA (e.g. Toshiba e740), as the inaccuracy has let the pointer to loose the delay trigger required to shift into right mouse click mode. As simple as that, and as necessary as Windows system requries this move, yet a MID manufacturer did not even bother to make this function, which IMHO, so important, to work properly. However, this is not as bad an issue should the device has built in pointing device (and hopefully keyboard).

    Then there is the inferior text / font scaling from XP (while Vista / 7 are better but usually not a good choice for super slow Z series CPU).

    If you have something that is both expensive, and limited in terms of user friendliness, you have nobody else to blame if it fails in the market, simple as that. And it is so especially when a shift in paradigm has come: iPad (and subsequent Android tablets). Although not exactly the same form factor, one can easily see the value delta: iPad for $500. but with excellent hardware and design. or may be a Korean made MID, which is made out of plastic case, slow performance (due to heavy OS as Windows on slow Z series CPU), and buggy system designs (due to lack of experience, and rush to market), also for $500. (and that is already the cheapest model). Which one would you pick if you don’t care about form factor itself?

    So the remaining die hard users or enthusiasts here, are likely the geeks who can overcome all the above hurdles, and also have a need, or better, love for Windows, because they need, or better, want Windows to be their mobile OS no matter what. Apps could be the driving factor here, and I can totally understand. But if it’s for Windows for Windows sake, then it’s a bit stubborn I think (being platform religious?).

    As more and more apps get ported or replaceable on tablet platforms, less and less unique ones are required to have Windows to launch them, the less important Windows is in the competition arena.

    Right now, I still have a few apps that I like and will use while mobile, that are still not available on Android or iOS. But some had been ported to a certain extent. Sooner or later, except some heavy duty apps, most things can be ported and will. Will everything be replaced? I don’t think so, but for most people, they don’t need everything under the sun either.

    This Windows based UMPC / MID, seems to me, like a market for trying to sell a truck that runs on 2 wheels, like a motorcycle. While a truck with 4 wheels or more are very common, and while 2 wheels motorcycles are also; trucks with 2 wheels only are not only uncommon, they are probably the hardest to drive and use. Sure it fits a certain niche, for example, in cities where traffic is very busy and streets and backlanes very narrow, to fit a very niche situation. But would you buy a 2 wheel truck if you were an average joe?

    I don’t think UMPC MID running Windows will ever die, because the niche market will always have those who need these devices. But I think these devices will likely come from Fujitsu, which has entrenched relationship into the vertical market space, and therefore can continue to sell into those markets (working with VARs etc). But the consumer market of these, is not going to really survive much.

    Don’t believe this? Just look at the recent collapse of HP Touchpad, and the lower than expectation on the RIM Playbook, and you will see how hard this market called consumer space is. Selling to consumer is probably the hardest thing to do, as it is based on trends and more or less whims.

    HP has made a 7″ Windows tablet and it probably sells very poorly, but it doesn’t matter. All it needs is some VARs choosing it to be integrated into some vertical market applications, and then suddenly it can be sold in the tens of thousands per order.

    But since UMPCportal is more geared toward hobbyists and enthusiasts, and not industry / commercial blogging / news, it is not easy to find the necessary audience. In a different post, I mentioned that it’s up to the owner here what to do with the site. I hinted that if it stays to be Windows centrism, it is not going to attract a lot of attention, given the shift in the market.

    I own over a dozen of numerous devices across a lot of platforms, and I think I can quality to comment based on my experiences on them. I have got iOS, Android, Windows, CE / WM, on form factor ranging from watch size, PDA, to 5″, 7″, 9″ 10″ 11.6″ etc. you name it. It is just sad for me to declare that Windows has been a love hate relationship, as on small devices, it’s a pain, although it is also the most productive in the weird sense.

    Peace! and no platform religion please.

    • Thanks for that detailed post. I tend to agree with everything you said there. Windows UI is not finger friendly, UMPC are niche, most apps will get ported.
      I still think there’s a place in the consumer market for a device that can be both windows and consumer focused. It might come with windows 8, it might come with virtualized windows / android.

      • zeo

        Besides VM, it may also be possible with hybrid systems that can switch between x86 and ARM hardware.

        Overall though, I think one of the other major issues with UMPC was the lack of easy to use docks. So the system could double as a light weight desktop, among other usage scenarios that could have been improved with the right accessory.

        Products like the iPad are physically very limited as well but have a very robust accessories market to help compensate. Something that many of the competitors still lack.

        Like this Brando iPad keyboard case is pretty versatile…

        http://www.rainydaymagazine.com/RDM2011/Home/June/Week1/RDMHomeJun0211.htm#Brando_iPad2KeyboardCase

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