The mobile market is steadily increasing as consumers continue their shift to the smartphone and other mobile devices. Apple has been a front-runner in the mobile market for several years headed by their iPhone and now only further supported by the iPad in recent years. Competition has been fierce though mainly from the devices running Google's Android operating system. As smartphones competing with the iPhone began to vary in size and shape to stand as alternatives to the iPhone's, up to this point, unchanged design, that concept is starting to be applied to the tablet category.
Industry commentary brought to light the idea of a device that is sized between the standard smartphone size and tablet, potentially ushering a new sub-category of mobile devices, the 7-inch range tablet. If Apple does press forward with this, competitors will work to offer alternatives and existing devices such as the Kindle Fire and Samsung Galaxy Tab will see stiff competition.
If Apple does release a smaller iPad, it is not entirely clear how that will impact the usage of existing iPads or other devices, but it will strengthen the mobile sector as a whole and provide additional opportunities for users to access the web. It is likely that this smaller tablet and accompanying decreased cost will bring customers that were priced out of earlier editions of the iPad into the mobile market. More customers will be able to surf the web on the go as a result.
Analysts predict that a 7-inch iPad would likely be pushed in the Asian market for its improved ease-of-use over its larger rivals for use while commuting. This aspect alone may bring more consumers into the market that previously did not want to use the larger iPad while traveling in the tight spaces to and from work. With cities around the world, including both New York and London, providing Wi-Fi to various degrees in the subway, web use while commuting could push demand for a smaller tablet. In the process, such a shift would greatly impact online marketing for companies that advertise in these spaces and for those businesses utilizing local search engine optimization campaigns to target commuters searching for local business information. If Apple does release it, the device will likely come in the fall, around the same time that the next iPhone is expected.