Tablet sales continue to be strong, after growing 43% from the second quarter of 2012 through the second quarter of 2013. It’s predicted by some analysts that at this rate, tablets sales will outpace PC sales by the middle of 2014. One of the reasons why tablets like the Nexus 7 and iPad have been doing so well is that they are able to offer top-notch technology and rapid updates. What can we expect to see for the new generation of tablets coming out in 2014? It seems as though the boundaries between mobile devices will become increasingly blurred, as tablets, smartphones, and notebooks all move forward to a streamlined ideal. The following are a few trends to watch for.
1. Improved Screen Quality
Screen technology has been improving steadily over the past year with the appearance of displays like the Apple Retina, and you can expect this to continue in 2014. The next generation of tablets will have more high definition panels than in the past, with an increased pixel-per-inch ratio.
2. Switch from Seven to Eight Inches
In the small tablet category, many major brands including Apple and Samsung are ditching 7-inch tablets in favour of 8-inch screens like the iPad Mini. It’s rumoured that the Nexus 8 will feature an 8-inch screen to replace the existing Nexus 7, as well as the next Kindle Fire. Tablets like the Nexus 7, Kindle Fire, and Android devices are sticking with 16:10 ratio screens that seem to be more user-friendly, and work within the eight inch format.
3. More Resilient Screens
Many current tablets use Gorilla Glass to protect their screens, and this trend will also continue into 2014 as new tablets will become even more resilient. Screens will be able to withstand scratches and bumps with an even tougher new protected glass known as Gorilla Glass NBT. This has been specifically designed to protect touchscreen notebooks and tablets, leading to less scratch visibility and more durable screens.
4. More Prepaid Data Plans
Major carriers from Verizon Wireless to Virgin Mobile are all now offering prepaid wireless plans for tablets, and this range is expected to continue growing due to increased demand. Consumers are finding prepaid mobile internet options from Lebara or other carriers to be more convenient and economical than signing up for a two year plan, particularly as mobile technology continues to move forward. EE now offers the UK’s first multi-SIM contract, allowing you to use the same plan to pay for SIM cards that can be used on multiple devices. This offers a unique alternative to individual prepaid SIM cards from providers like Lebara or Virgin. Expect to see an even wider range of options to cut your media bills next year.
5. Dual Operating Systems
Some brands are now offering machines with two operating systems. The Samsung ATIV Q combines both Android and Windows into a single machine, for example. The Asus Transformer Book Trio is another example of this hybrid tablet, as is the new 18.5 inch Transformer All in One desktop device. Machines like these are further blurring the lines between smartphone, tablet, and notebook.
With an improvement in screen technology, faster processing, and more data plan options, you can expect to have more choice than ever if you plan on purchasing a tablet in 2014.