10-inch tablets once dominated the market, but that’s already started to change, according to a market analysis firm.
NPD’s DisplaySearch reports that shipments of 9.7-inch touchscreens collapsed in January of this year, falling from 7.4 million to 1.3 million when compared to the previous month.
At the same time, shipments of 7-inch and 7.9-inch panels showed noticeable growth, moving from 12 million to 14 million.
Apple iPad vs. iPad mini
The full-size iPad used to be the top-selling tablet, but it has been supplanted by Apple’s smaller version, the iPad mini.
Before the launch of the 7.9-inch version, Apple had planned to sell 60 million 9.7-inch tablets and 40 million 7.9-inch ones in 2013, According to DisplaySearch. Once the level of demand for the smaller version became clear, Apple is reportedly expecting to sell 55 million iPad minis and 33 million iPads this year.
Plenty of Android Options
Apple was slow to get into the smaller tablet business — there have been Android-based tablets around 7 inches in size for years.
That’s not going to change. DisplaySearch reports that Samsung, Amazon, Google, Asus and Acer are actively developing more models in the 7-inch to 8.9-inch range.
The market analysts predict that tablet panel shipments will hit 254 million in 2013, up from 160 million shipments in 2012. Of this, 5-8.9-inch panels will account for 136 million while the 9-10-inch range will account for 118 million.