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iPad mini to outsell iPad this year

iPad and iPad mini

By Nicole Kobie

Posted on 1 Mar 2013 at 10:46

The iPad mini is set to overtake the iPad in sales this year, as consumers favour smaller tablets over their larger siblings, research suggests.

The iPad mini was launched last year, after competition from smaller, cheaper tablets such as the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7.

Analyst firm Display Search said that in "the first month of 2013, tablet PC panel shipments shifted dramatically toward smaller screen sizes".

Shipments of panels for 9.7in tablets "collapsed" from 7.4 million to 1.3 million from December to January, at the same time that 7in and 7.9in tablets grew from 12 million to 14 million, the analyst firm said.

"The January panel shipment data may be an indicator for 2013, starting with Apple’s product-mix shift," the analyst firm said.

Display Search noted that Apple had originally expected to sell 40m iPad minis and 60m iPads this year, but "the reality seems to be the reverse, as the iPad mini has been more popular than the iPad" - with Apple now expecting to sell 55 million iPad minis and 33 million iPads.

While 7in tablets are having success over larger models, they could face competition from 5in and 6in smartphone - so-called "phablets" such as the Samsung Galaxy Note II - which could "cannibalise" the market for smaller tablets, Display Search said.

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User comments

7 inches

I reckon the bigger story is that 7 inch tablets (not 7.9 inch iPad Minis) are going to outsell everything else by a wide margin - if these figures translate into sales. And the Apple marketshare of new sales would be only around 33% (adding up the 9.7 and 7.9 figures from Jan).

Mind you, using figures from a couple of months' display orders is a risky predictor of future sales.

By KevPartner on 1 Mar 2013

They didn't see THAT coming....

So, maybe Mr Jobs was right all along.

It's Catch-22 for Apple: compete in the 7" Tablet market and cannibalise iPad sales, or concede it to Google\Android\Samsung.
Either way Apple looses revenue and market-share.

The problem for iPad 10" is that for most of us a 7" Tablet is the perfect casual computing device. Just as video killed the radio... sorry iPad killed the PC, so it looks like iPad mini might 'kill off' its bigger brother.

It'll be interesting to see if Apple 'retreat' into their high-price niche (as with Macs) or if they try aggressively to play on price AND quality in a cut-throat 'mini' market.

By wittgenfrog on 1 Mar 2013


Comparing the iPad Mini to the Nexus 7, I'm not convinced that Apple is making any case on price OR quality - certainly not the former and the latter shouldn't be open to question. If it wasn't for the ability to use the iOS apps I've already invested in, I wouldn't even begin to consider an iPad Mini.

By halsteadk on 1 Mar 2013

Smaller or cheaper?

I think it's more consumers favouring cheaper tablets rather than specifically the smaller 7" form factor.

By skarlock on 1 Mar 2013


I think you've hit the nail on the head.

I think the lower price for the mini is something people can justify buying for themselves or their kids.

By Rikkif on 1 Mar 2013

Monthly Pay Cheques

7" tablets hit that magic price that allows someone to buy it on impulse - no saving. The only thing stopping me buying one is the smartphone currently does that... but that smartphone cost me £500 instead of £170. Thinking that next time I may be better off with a cheapo phone and a tablet.

By Mark_Thompson on 1 Mar 2013


I have a HP Touchpad (same dimensions as the original iPad) and an iPad Mini. I much prefer the Mini because it's much lighter and thus easier to hold for long periods.

Because of the HP "fire sale" and the fact that my Mini has 4G, the Mini actually cost me 3x more than the Touchpad.

By Alfresco on 2 Mar 2013

@skarlock is right.

This just demonstrates the bl**din' obvious. There's a bigger potential market for cheaper tablets, than for more expensive ones.

The mini is much better to handle and hold than any 10" tablet, including the full size iPad, but cost is the big driver in the popularity of 7 & 8" tablets.

By GoneWithTheWind on 4 Mar 2013

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