iPad Mini On Verge of Outselling Larger Tablets

Apple’s new iPad Mini isn’t going anywhere. The once publicly dismissed tablet is now a successful branch to the Apple family.

According to a new report by analysts NPD, the iPad mini will not only play well in the crowded tablet market, but even outsell its predecessors the iPad 2 and iPad with Retina Display.

“Shipments of 9.7” tablet PC panels collapsed, falling from 7.4 to 1.3M, while 7” and 7.9” panel shipments grew rapidly, from 12 to 14M. Shipments of 10.1” panels grew only slightly. The January panel shipment data may be an indicator for 2013, starting with Apple’s product mix shift. As we noted in December, Apple had planned to sell 40M iPad Minis (7.9”) and 60M iPads (9.7”) in 2013. However, the reality seems to be the reverse, as the iPad Mini has been more popular than the iPad. We now understand that Apple may be planning to sell 55M iPad Minis (7.9”) and 33M iPads (9.7”) in 2013.”

While the prediction only takes into account the shipments between December 2012 and January 2013, it could still be a sign of things to come. And fortunately, it’s just in time for Apple, which had been struggling with smartphone sales against Samsung.

Initially, the same research firm predicted that the smaller tablets will fall by the wayside due to an overcrowded market. But now, they’re changing their tune and predicting that Apple will sell around 55 million iPad Minis to the 33 million regularly sized iPads. And with it comes the stark realization that there is just one simple rule in capturing the lion’s share of the market: price.

With the recent economic downturn, it seems that wallets are clenching up and pennies are being pinched. The smaller, lower priced tablets retain most (if not all) of a normal tablet’s functionality. And price points for Apple’s newest iPad are a considerable $499, while the Nexus tablet, Kindle Fire or even the earlier versions of the iPad start anywhere from $159 to $329.

So, while there’s still a clear market for normal-sized iPads (especially for productivity and media consumption due to the larger screen), technology is becoming increasingly more mobile. The less bulk one needs to carry, the more successful it will be in the market.

[per: BusinessWeek.com]

image credit: slate.com