Samsung appears to have killed the 8" version of its range topping Galaxy Tab S Android tablet, whilst it's looking unlikely that Apple will show the smaller iPad much love when it gets around to revamping its tablet line. Microsoft killed the 8" Surface before it got to market and Sony has only the older Z3 tablet available if you'd like your Xperia in the 8" variety.
It seems that OEMs have seen enough from sales figures to be persuaded that this market segment has been killed off by larger phablets.
With Xiaomi and Asus pushing the boundaries of screen size of their 'phones' that's understandable. For most people a large phone and a large tablet make perfect sense together.
Of course it's at this point the question of utility raises its head. Put even a 6" phablet up against an 8" tablet and you'll find that there is no comparison in usable screen space. That's true of any tablet to phablet comparison. But whilst a larger 10" tablet steps things up again you start bumping up against the law of diminishing returns.
The 10" tablet needs a bag. The 8" tablet rides in your pocket. That portability is what I find interesting about the smaller form factor. Add a stylus and handwriting recognition and you've done away with the need for a keyboard too.
I'm just disappointed to find that I am in a rare group of customers who will mourn the passing of a smaller tablet when premium OEMs stop creating them.
In the extremely unlikely event Apple chooses to deliver an iPad Mini Pro this year I will be an extremely happy camper.