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Apple's stance on the smaller-format tablet is well known, but why is Google delaying Android 3.1 updates to smaller tablets?

The Handy Tablet

There are a smattering of 7-inch Android tablets out on the market, mostly from minor makers and badly lagging in OS version. So, they seem to be lagging behind their larger cousins, despite the obvious appeal of a more mobile device and one that it is easier to grasp.

If you would prefer a 7-inch tablet, but don't want to compromise on having the latest version of Google's OS, then it looks like the wait is yours to endure. Because Apple doesn't offer a smaller screen and RIM's 7-inch PlayBook doesn't seem to flying off the shelves, and Microsoft is merely hiding behind the horizon (until perhaps next week), this really is a market for someone to grab.

Acer is the latest firm to disappoint, delaying its 7-inch A100 model, reportedly having trouble with the Android 3.0 operating system and app compatibility on the diminutive screen. Delays in upgrading tablets to Android 3.1 are adding to concerns that all is not well in the tablet world.

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Where are all the 7-inch tablets?

Holding Out For A Hero

Perhaps the next version of Android, aka Ice Cream Sandwich, which is supposed to unify the interface across all Android devices from smartphones to tablets of all sizes will help resolve this situation. But, for now, we're in an odd situation where the OS number seems to be badly hampering the rise of a useful sub-section of the market.

So, the wait goes on, unless you decide to plump for one of the 10-inch class devices. Is there anyone out there who really thinks that a 7-inch model is the way to go? Let us know why.