The new iPad mini will help the market for 7-inch tablet devices to double in 2012 and 2013, according figures from research business IHS iSuppli. It says last year’s total sales figure of 17 million units will increase by around 100% in 2012 to 34 million units - and will then almost double again next year to 67 million tablets.
Tablets with a display size between 7 and 8 inches are expected to account for 28% of all this year’s tablet sales, up from 24% in 2011 but less than 2013’s forecast of 33%.
Rhoda Alexander, director of tablet and monitor research for IHS, said “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. The battle in the 7-inch space is highly spirited, with most of the other leading vendors already offering price-competitive products in this size range. 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 company says its forecast for 7.x-inch tablet sales is conservative, with 2013 sales potentially exceeding the forecast depending on Apple’s production and component supply capability.