Are 7"ers 'Netbooking' Tablets?
I have been reading several articles over the last few weeks bemoaning the effects that netbooks have had on PCs in general. That is, acclimatizing consumers to cheap, disposable laptops with terrible user experiences is a very bad thing for consumer-company relations, consumer loyalty and overall sales. They have largely been well written, and the point they make is hard to disagree with.
That said, the explosion of 7" tablets that we look to be seeing at CES this year makes me feel like that is what may happen to tablets as well. Sure, the iPad Mini and the Nexus 7 are great devices, but they are bought by companies with a long-tail in mind: app sales and other residual profits arising after the hardware is purchased. However, companies like Vizio, Acer and others have no real hope of any income after the user picks up that tablet. Thus ensues a race to the bottom: who can skimp on internals, build quality, screen quality, touch experience quality etc, while keeping the purchase price as high as possible. An explosion of 7" Tegra 3 tablets (the new Atom of the tablet world) with mediocre screens and poor build quality, that people love to buy but hate to own.
When netbooks appeared, people were super excited about the comoditization of laptops: the disposable, cheap and dirty portable computer. As a result, people began hating them, the companies that manufactured them and the stores that sold them (poor Best Buy, who bore the brunt of that ire).
What's keeping the same thing from happening to tablets?