July 16, 2012, 2:44 PM — The latter half of 2012 should see some exciting developments in tech including a new iPhone, Windows Phone 8 smartphones, Microsoft's Windows 8-powered Surface, Android 4.1 devices, and tablets, lots and lots of tablets.
Apple is expected to introduce a smaller iPad before December, Amazon may roll out its follow-up to the original Kindle Fire, and Samsung may be one of the first companies to get on board with Windows RT.
Here's a look at some of the hottest tablet speculation that we may see turn into actual products before the holidays.
Apple may be getting ready to stop competitors from invading the iPad's turf with a low-priced 7-inch iPad to take on Amazon's Kindle Fire and Google's Nexus 7. Bloomberg recently reported that Apple was prepping a 7-inch tablet that would launch in October for $200. On Sunday the The New York Times reported a similar story to the news wire, but added the new iPad Mini will have a 7.85-inch screen.
The Kindle Fire and Google's Nexus 7 are seeing some success against the iPad by not taking on the iPad. The two companies sell $200 tablets designed largely for content consumption instead of trying to offer an iPad-like device that can replace your laptop in a pinch.
The Fire and Nexus 7 each operate by providing deep hooks into each company's content stores to make it easy for people to buy more movies, TV shows, apps, and games. The strategy of focusing on content consumption appeared to work for Amazon, and critics are already saying good things about Google's Nexus 7.
Kindle Fire 2