IHS iSuppli predicts off the sales for the iPad mini in 2013

Just as Apple revived a dormant tablet industry, the iPad maker is expected to double the market for seven-inch tablets. Thanks to its incoming smaller iPad, demand for tablets in the seven-inch range will grow to a third of the overall market by 2013, a market research firm announced Tuesday.

“Just as Apple has dominated the market for 9.7-inch tablets with its iPad, iPad 2 and new iPad models, the company is poised to rule the market for 7.x-inch products”, said Rhoda Alexander, director of tablet and monitor research for IHS iSuppli. Indeed, the market for such tablets will increase 100 percent this year and next, according to the research firm…

The new iPad “will spur rapid sales growth and provide tough competition for other companies contending in this size range”, Alexander told CNET.

Sales of tablets in the seven-inch range this year will grow to 34 million units, up from the 17 million sold in 2011. In 2013, sales of smaller tablets will jump 96 percent to 67 million.

The only limiting factor for Apple will be overcoming any production snags and pushing enough smaller tablets out the door to meet demand. If successful in keeping pace with demand, “2013 sales could be off the chart”, Alexander adds.

Today’s widely-expected introduction of the iPad mini should end a market which Amazon and Google has largely had to themselves. Unlike the current Android-powered seven-inch tablets, the iPad mini will be sold as a device “easy to adopt for both new and returning customers”, according to the analyst.

The iPad mini’s screen is thought to be able to run all apps designed for the iPad 2 without any changes on part of developers, allowing a seamless transition between devices, for instance.

The iPad mini reportedly should start at $329 and begin shipping November 2 after today’s announcement.