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Will Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), Apple Inc. (AAPL) Go Smaller in the Future?

There used to be a time when bigger was better in the tablet market. While some consumers are still interested primarily in size, many are beginning to realize that smaller is the “in thing” right now. This is something that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:MSFT) will be paying close attention to in the near term.

Both of these companies are looking to grow their tablet market share, albeit in different ways. While Microsoft is lagging far behind, Apple is still out in front and hoping to grab even more market share as 2013 continues on.

Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)The NPD Group recently posted an interesting piece on its official blog, discussing the future of the tablet market and where companies like Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQAAPL) are going to be spending their time and resources.

Here is a brief excerpt:

“Tablet PCs with screen sizes smaller than 9 inches are currently forecasted to account for 66% of tablet PC shipments for the year. However, that share is expected to increase starting in the third quarter of the year with new 8-inch tablets and a refresh of the iPad mini in the fourth quarter. These new tablet PCs are part of a trend in the tablet PC market that is balancing between differentiation between increasingly larger smartphones and an expansion of the tablet PC opportunity to further drive adoption.”

As you can see, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and its iPad mini is mentioned while Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and its lineup of tablets is left out of the conversation.

The reason for this is simple: Apple is the industry leader and Microsoft has not had nearly as much success.

The good thing for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is that the company can take cues from the rest of the industry, including this type of information, to alter its product line for future success.

The post goes on to explain that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will be pushing ahead with a new mini:

“Apple is expected to refresh its iPad mini in the second half of the year. The new iPad mini will continue to use a 7.9-inch display with a 1024×768 resolution, but it will use the iOS 7 operating system and an A6 processor, in a slimmer design than the current generation.”.

Small is in as far as the tablet market is concerned. This is something that will shape the way companies, including Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), approach the future.

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