New report predicts smaller tablets will lose ground to large smartphones

ipad mini

A new report from NPD DisplaySearch predicts that shipments of tablets that are between 7 to 7.9 inches in size, such as the iPad mini, will begin to lose market share compared to larger tablet products, thanks in part to competition from larger smartphones.

The report notes that in 2013, shipments of smaller tablets took up 58 percent of the total market. However, that percentage is expected to go down, with NPD predicting that hardware companies will put more of their tablet focus on products that are between 8 and 10.9 inches. NPD believes that shipments of the larger tablets will overtake the smaller ones in terms of market share by 2018.

While this could issue affect sales of the iPad mini, that could also be the reason why the iPhone 6 may be a much larger smartphone than previous models, if all the rumors are to be believed.

The report adds that tablets that are 11 inches or more are expected to take up 10 percent of the total tablet market by 2018. Hisakazu Torii, vice president of smart application research at NPD DisplaySearch, stated, "The increase in screen sizes will help increase tablet PC revenues."

NPD has lowered its 2014 tablet shipment forecast to 285 million units worldwide, with the firm blaming the delayed launches of new products as part of the reason for their adjustments.

Source: NPD DisplaySearch

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John Callaham

News Writer for Mobile Nations, along with being a Space: 1999 fan

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Reader comments

New report predicts smaller tablets will lose ground to large smartphones


i certainly would not be surprised at all if this proves to be the case. if a person has a 5" or larger smartphone it makes little to no sense to have a 7"-8" tablet. may as well go for the models in the 10" range.

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I would argue that a 5.5" phone (if it even exists), is still not a tablet and Apple isn't likely to start making 6" phones or 7" phones like Samsung.

It seems that many people are gravitating to the idea that one device makes more sense than two, but for those of us that have a tablet as our main device, a giant phone makes little sense. It won't even run iPad apps.

Or if a person has a small smartphone (like the present iPhone) it makes sense that a smaller tablet fits. But then again I know more people with the bigger iPad than the mini. Be interesting to see what happens if (and when) Apple builds a bigger iPhone (although I'm not expecting a "phablet" out of them.

Oddly, I'm considering a dumb phone and moving to an iPad Mini with a data plan because phablets are too big to be phones. It's a stupid trend.

I'd be shocked if this happens. The iPad mini has proven to be the most popular tablet bar none and has been that way since the day it debuted.

I'm going to test out the 5.5" iPhone when it comes out but it's likely to be too small for proper tablet use, and has a different aspect ratio to boot. I would expect that they will make an even smaller iPad myself, to bridge the gap between iPads and iPhones completely.

They will soon have iPhones at 4", 5" (and maybe 5.5") and iPads at 10" and 8".

It seems more likely to me that we will see some other product debut at the 6-7" range that has the iPad aspect ratio and that can run iPad apps, instead of just blown up phone apps. I wouldn't rule out a 11-12" iPad either.

Keep the 4" iphone as i have now and the ipad mini which i have now. Bigger is not always better!

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