When I come to think of it, technology buyers often times are an unpredictable bunch. Seven out of each ten told iDB they would never buy a non-Retina iPad mini, lots of folks appeared disappointed post-announcement and more than half told us they would never buy and iPad mini. Heck, even kids haven’t fallen for Apple’s advertising blitz as they want full-size iPads for Christmas.

Fast forward to today, when NPD DisplaySearch estimates the iPad mini is now outselling its bigger brother as Apple doubles display panel orders with LG Display and AU Optronics to more than twelve million units, up from the previous estimate of six million holiday units

Remember, Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster called for six million iPad minis this Christmas. Looks like he terribly underestimated the smaller iPad’s potential as the 9.7-inch tablet, which begins at $329 for the 16GB Wi-Fi-only version, has turned into a big seller.

NPD DisplaySearch analyst David Hsieh said to Cnet:

The iPad Mini apparently is selling better” than the new iPad 4. It seems people especially like the size…[it’s] lighter, slimmer and easier to carry.

Citi analyst Glen Yeung and Sterne Agee’s Shaw Wu recently said as much, painting the iPad mini as a fine young cannibal in the iPad lineup. Going forward, DisplaySearch estimates Apple could sell a hundred million tablets next year, half of them iPad minis.

He also issues an advice to Apple: “If the iPad Mini volume is anything near 50 million units, Apple will need to find other panel suppliers in addition to AUO and LG Display”.

Apple appears to be facing supply issues in the run-up to Christmas as the online Apple Store still quotes shipping times of one week for the iPad mini. Strong demand is a good sign as buyers are obviously attracted to the iPad mini’s price point and thin/light form factor. Plus, they ain’t keeping them in drawers collecting dust.

And if the rumor of a next-gen iPad mini with Retina display pans out, the iPad mini is bound to become the best-selling iPad just like the iPod nano became the top-selling iPod model.

Microsoft Surface?

Don’t ask.

So, 50 million iPad minis in 2013…

Not bad for a “disappointing” little gadget, isn’t it?

  • Justin

    I don’t know what y’all want, but I want an iPad 4…

    • I idont want jit cause it will never be jailbroken..lolol i will be keeping my ipad3 for ever

  • I think it’s more about the entry level price point rather than the size. But I’ve been wrong 2 other times in my life….

  • Yup, sounds about right. Love mine. I think the mini will outsell bigger iPad by 3rd quarter 2013.

    • yup then retina mini will come out and 3/4 of those buyers will buy it and even more folks who waited for the retina

  • Lordthree

    The non-retina is barely noticeable

    • I have both. It is noticeable!

    • falce it is very very noticeable and sad

      • Lordthree

        I’m using mine right now. It’s not retina (I’ve for 4S) but its not that bad. The ppi is noticeable but barely

    • if you compare them side by side, you can somehow notice it but if you are using it alone, you can’t really tell

    • I checked it out release day. I tell everyone the non-retina is not noticeable because all you are really doing is taking an iPad 2 resolution and shrinking it down in a smaller screen. You get clearer, closer to Retina, but not retina certified.

  • But I am surprised just by changing screen size and reducing the price has impacted so much that it is outselling best of the best iPad 4 😉

    • there are millions of folks who want apple stuff but dont get it only due to the high prices..

  • umm yeah cause its cheaper and all the folks who just want any apple device will grab it even though it made from old obsolete tech…lolo

  • I bought an iPad mini and took it back because the non retina display was less than par and it had some speed issues due to the A5 processor. So I bought an iPad 4. Much better.