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Will the iPad mini and Kindle Fire 2 boost sales of smaller tablets?

The tech world is standing by for two major announcements over the next two weeks, which could represent a major change in the tech we buy.

Will the iPad mini or new Kindle Fire 2 challenge Google Nexus 7?

If rumours are to be believed — and these are just rumours — Apple and Amazon are both lining up to launch seven-inch tablet devices. Not, you may think, news that will change the world, but it is a sign that something is happening.

Up until now, the majority of touchscreen tablets sold have had nine- or ten-inch displays. The iPad, Galaxy Tab 10.1 and others like the ASUS Transformer have all had screens that are more or less similar in size to a netbook.

Things are changing, though. Last year, Amazon reckoned it sold around 6 million of its seven-inch Kindle Fire tablets, making it the number two tablet in the US. The catch is that Kindle Fire is only available in the US right now.

Then along came Google’s Nexus 7 Android tablet last month, which challenges both Amazon and Apple in terms of processing power and size. Its popularity proves beyond a doubt that there are a lot of people who really like the smaller-form tablet. Partly, this is because it’s a good size for reading and browsing the web, and a good complement to an existing laptop. But it’s also because seven-inch tablets are notably cheaper. The Nexus 7 is available for under £200, for example, a considerable saving compared with a larger tablet.

Rumours are that both an iPad mini and a new Kindle Fire 2 will launch within the month in order to take on the new threat from Google, and the big winner is you, the customer. High quality tablets like these at ever lower prices are a sure sign that manufacturers are desperate and you can cash in on the bargains offered. If you haven’t bought a tablet yet, now could be the moment when they become ubiquitous.

So, will you be getting a seven-inch tablet this year? Or will you save up for something larger?

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