For many big tech companies, the fourth quarter is their make-or-break quarter. And investors involved with key consumer tech players like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) have plenty riding on their execution during this all-important time of the year.

However, tech and telecom analyst Andrew Tonner has always disagreed with this idea, at least to an extent. To him, the third quarter should matter most to the investors and analysts who own and watch these firms. Why? Because that's when the products that will make or break the fourth quarter are often launched. It's when investors get their first real glimpse into how the competitive landscape will look during the critical fourth quarter. It sets the stage for all the action in the following quarter.

With that in mind, Andrew looks at what's likely to hit the stage in the tablet market as we enter this critical time.