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iPad Mini to "turbocharge" small tablet sales

Posted: 25 Oct 2012     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:iPad Mini  small tablets 

Market research analyst IHS claims Apple's new iPad mini will "turbo-charge the market for 7-inch tablets and help the market to double in 2012 and 2013."

Global sales of tablets with displays in the 7-inch size range are expected to boom by about 100 per cent this year to 340 lakh units, up from 170 lakh in 2011. Sales will nearly double again in 2013, rising 96 per cent to 670 lakh.

"Just as Apple has dominated the market for 9.7-inch tablets with its iPad, iPad 2 and new iPad models, the company is poised to rule the market for 7.x-inch products, driving rapid growth of the segment in 2012 and 2013," said Rhoda Alexander, director, tablet and monitor research for IHS.

IHS predicts Apple will successfully position the smaller iPad as a device that will be attractive and easy to adopt for both new and returning customers. "This will spur rapid sales growth and provide tough competition for other companies contending in this size range."

The 7-inch size range will account for 28 per cent of all tablets in 2012, up from 24 per cent in 2011. In 2013, the 7.x-inch share will rise to 33 per cent.

"IHS expects the 7.x-inch product to be particularly popular in Asia, where interest in a smaller version of the iPad has been strong," Alexander said. "If Apple has sufficient supply to meet demand in Asia following product launch, then the 2013 sales could be off the charts."

Apple tablet competitors that are using the Android operating system until now have gravitated to the 7.x-inch size as a way to find a competitive niche compared to the bigger 9.7-inch iPad. With the anticipated arrival of the smaller iPad, these companies are increasingly looking at the 8.x-inch and larger categories as they seek to find new avenues of differentiation compared to Apple.

By contrast, new tablets based on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows RT and Windows 8 operating systems are likely to focus on products with 10-inch-and-larger displays, although there may be some offerings with displays as small as 8.x-inch.

For more statistics and forecasts, click here.

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