EVEN IF you feel there are already too many screens and devices in your home, prepare to make room for more.
Two years after the launch of the iPad, the technology giants are eyeing women and children as the next target market with a raft of smaller tablets that can slip into the handbag, purse, the back of the buggy or a blazer pocket.
Google has just launched a smaller and cheaper tablet - one that at seven inches (17.8cm) is designed to be carried around rather than the iPad which research shows has become a largely home-based device.
Even Apple, which paved the way with the 10-inch iPad, is rumoured to be looking at a cut-down version with a similarly reduced price.
Google is marketing its tablet at $250 - significantly cheaper than a top-of-the-range iPad, while Apple's new smaller tablet is expected to come in under $499.
Analysts expect the worldwide tablet market to grow now the smaller, cheaper versions are on the market - finally getting ''late adopters'' over the line. ''We are expecting a lot of growth potential from the Nexus [the name of the tablet]. We are very excited,'' a Google spokesman said.
A consumer devices analyst at the research company Gartner, Tracy Tsai, said: ''Quite a lot of people have resisted buying a tablet, maybe because they think it is too expensive or that they are still waiting to see whether they need one. These will appeal to the price-sensitive customer.''
Ms Tsai said women would be a target market as the smaller sizes would fit into their bag. And, because of the cheaper price, they would be more likely to take them out of the house rather than risk damaging the expensive iPad. ''There will be less reticence about giving them to the children to play on,'' Ms Tsai said.
The analyst IDC said women would be a ''highly targeted'' market for the new tablets as they would appreciate their portability .
It said that more than 1½ million tablets were shipped to Australia last year, and 421,000 in the first quarter this year.
But if each household already has up to five different devices - a laptop, PC, TV, mobile phone and perhaps an iPad - is there room for more?
Probably not, said John Miskelly, a director of the media agency MediaCom, who, like other analysts, predicts that laptops and PCs will ultimately lose out to tablets and mobile phones.
''I think that you will find that the other devices will just fade away and that we will be doing everything on our mobile phones and tablets,'' he said.
He thinks there is unlikely to be room for tablets of a different size and the average household will settle down to three screens - the TV, mobile phone and tablet.