Yesterday came more evidence that the 7.9-inch iPad mini is outselling Apple’s larger tablet. The findings show increasing sales of the iPad mini amid declining demand for the 9.7-inch iPad. Between December and January, shipments of 9.7-inch panels (such as the iPad) fell from 7.4 million to 1.3 million units. In contrast, shipments of 7.9-inch display panels rose to more than five million units, according to the findings by hardware research firm NPD DisplaySearch that echo recent supply chain chatter.

The changing levels of demand suggests consumers prefer the smaller footprint of smaller tablets. However, this faster adoption of the iPad mini over its big brother is causing analysts to revise expectations for 2013 tablet sales…

The research firm noted Thursday that Apple had originally planned to sell 40 million iPad mini units and 60 million iPads in 2013, for a total of a hundred million iPads this year.

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-inch) and 33M iPads (9.7-inch) in 2013.

In short, NPD virtually cut in half estimated 2013 shipments of the full-size iPad. Also, their new estimate now calls for a total 88 million iPads in 2013.

The growth of iPad mini shipments is likely to continue, given production for the smaller tablet was constrained due to production of the display – a factor which apparently was resolved in February.


While debate over whether the iPad mini would cannibalize sales of the larger iPad has been ongoing from the moment Apple announced the 7.9-inch device, the company has always downplayed the impact. In January, Apple execs said new products have often hurt sales of preceding devices, pointing to the iPhone and iPad prompting slower sales of the iPod and Mac.

However, these latest shipment numbers may damage Apple’s belief the iPad mini would serve as an extra tablet, enticing some consumers who specifically wanted a smaller device. The larger iPad would continue to serve another segment looking for other features.

iPad ad (Alive, education 001)

This belief of serving two segments was evident in Apple’s early decision to forego a Retina display for the iPad mini. The blow-back from consumers was immediate, clearly showing buyers want nothing to do with segmentation. Hence reports that the next iPad mini will also include the better display.

The morphing of the iPad and iPad mini into just the iPad is equivalent to the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S and iPhone 4S being viewed as simple the iPhone. While Apple would prefer to maintain these discrete segments of products that could sell at different price points to different consumers, that’s just not reality.

As a number of reports have illustrated, consumers are more apt to purchase the $99 or free iPhone 4S or iPhone 4, rather than the more profitable and also pricier iPhone 5.

In your view, is the iPad mini a better buy over its bigger brother?

  • and once the iPad Mini gets Retina Display, itll kill its big brothers sales even more. i for one am holding out for the Retina Mini

    • Same! I have a full sized ipad right now. When the retina comes out I’m selling it and using that money towards the ipad mini.

      • me too.. only if the mini has power equal to ipad4

  • Mr. E

    Imagine the sales when it gets retina display!

    • pegger1

      Imagine the price

      • Guest

        Imagine you were intelligent.

      • pegger1

        @rud0lf77, really intelligent comment. You don’t think the price will go up with a retina display. It’s already pricey for it’s size, even for an Apple product.

      • Thanks a lot. 😉 hah And no, it actually won’t go up, the iPad’s Price also stayed about the same since 2010, it actually even went down for one generation.

      • NO

      • Mohammad Ridwan

        price will be same, dumb-ass.

      • pegger1

        Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?
        Wow a lot of angry people at the thought the retina display “might” raise the price.
        Relax a little, don’t be so serious.

      • humans are angry cause life sucks for most..

      • No way the price goes up. Probably stay the same, then the no-retina get’s moved to $249.

    • retina and a jailbreak and i may get it..

  • Daniel

    Its more affordable yes, but that does not mean its better. People love to own an Apple product. And because of price they choose iPad mini.

  • Boss

    Would only get one if it had retina display pointless having one would be like watching a Blu-ray on a standard definition Tv

  • Having both, the iPad Mini is so much better when I’m going mobile. iPad 4 is now equivalent to my coffee table books for guests. I’ll no longer be buying a full iPad.

  • Once it has a retina display, I’ll probably buy a mini. But if the ipad 5 has the same form factor as the ipad mini I’ll get the ipad 5. I love the thinner bezels

  • Kurt

    Steve Jobs: “7 inch tablets are dead on arrival” haha, idiot

    Fanboys: “But the iPad Mini is 7.9 inches!?!?!”

    Me: Settle down, your god was wrong, accept it.

    • AforAppleAforAndoid

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      …../´¯/…./´¯………../¯ `….¯`
      .././…/…./…./.|_……_| ……………
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      • Kurt

        Why the antlers?

      • genXhippie

        A love of reindeer,possibly?

    • he is only wrong cause the smaller pads are cheaper.. and cheaper means more sales

      • Kurt

        SJ: Other tables appear to be just a handful of credible entrants.
        Almost all use 7″ screens compared to iPad 10″. Would offer 70% of
        benefits. But only 45% as large because of diagonal measure. 7″ screens a
        bit smaller than bottom half of iPad screen. Not big enough to make
        great tablet apps.

        SJ: Apple has done extensive testing, really understand this stuff.
        Limits to how close you can place elements for usability. Why 10″ is
        minimum size for great tablet apps.<<<<<<<<"apple really undertands this stuff" so arrogant and funny

    • What if i told you Steve Jobs was already dead when the iPad Mini came out. What if i told you Tim Cook has a different view from Steve Jobs.
      What if i told you Steve Jobs is human and can be wrong.

  • Armando

    While the smaller form factor is nice, that is not what is driving sales. It’s a question of economics. The lower price point is much more accessible than that of its big brother.

    • Wrong, the people in my social network and I all bought it precisely for the smaller dimensions. This device is a joy to carry around. The price is an added bonus and the lack of a retina display does not bother me in the least. I think way too much attention has been placed on this. The resolution while less them my ipad4 is still REALLY good. Please dont let that hold you back from purchasing this awesome product.

  • Jose Gonzalez

    I personally never bought a full sized iPad for two reasons. One, it would be to big and heavy for me to be carrying around. And two, the price of it is just ridiculous for me in my financial stance. Once the mini came out, I though great! Smaller and cheaper than the iPad. It just worked out great, I use it all the time on the go and it is just a pleasure to have one.

  • Mohammed Sahib

    iPad mini is selling more than iPad 4 simply because the latter is so similar to the iPad 3 and released so soon after it, that many people were not compelled to upgrade. iPad mini on the other hand is a whole new product/size and it attracted new people who just wanted a small tablet (who perhaps were thinking to go android before the mini) as well as many of the existing full sized iPad users who went and bought a mini. Add to that the smaller entry price of the mini, and you can figure how it won sales. If the iPad 5 is really a redesign with faster hardware, it can sell better than the 4, but better than the mini 2? It has to be seen.

    I hope (iHope) Apple won’t resort to holding off some new features form the mini 2 to make people buy the iPad 5. It did in the past and there is a strong possibilty it will do it again. Sad, but true 🙁

    Long comment :S Sorry about that!

    • ipad 4 is much more powerful full graphically that ipad 3..

  • I have an iPad mini with LTE and just love the thing. The form factor is perfect. It’d be tough to go back to the bigger one because this mini is so convenient and comfortable. Best size for gaming, bar none.

  • ipad mini is more accessible due to its lower price..lol poor folks can now have an ipad

  • I wonder why the iPad mini didnt have an HD screen in the first place