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7-inch Android tablets to overtake iPad in Q1 2013, analyst says

Android tablets are set to overtake the iPad and iPad mini in Q1 2013 sales, mostly made up of inexpensive 7-inch devices.
March 5, 2013
Galaxy Note 8 vs Nexus 7 vs iPad mini aa (6) -600px

Android tablets are on the rise. It’s not enough that the 7-inch form factor has quickly supplanted the full-sized devices in terms of sales and Internet traffic market share (this includes the iPad Mini), but now analysts predict that Android tablets will be overtaking the iPad in quarterly market share, too.

By end of this quarter, the Android tablets will take 57% of the market, as compared to the iPad’s 40%, says estimates by Sameer Singh, published at Tech Thoughts. These are projections based on figures published by NPD.

Tablet market share Q1 2013

These estimates are mostly based on shipments of tablet displays, which are an essential component of tablet manufacturing. Trends in tablet display shipments can help predict trends in sales and shipments in the short run. Of course, these do not necessarily translate to actual sales figures, but supply-chain analysis often results in a more or less accurate prediction of what’s to come in terms of mobile sales, especially in the next two months or so.

Here are a few observations:

  • Demand for cheaper and smaller tablets (7-inchers) might be picking up, as seen with how shipments of 7-inch Android tablets are growing faster than shipments of both the 7.9-inch iPad Mini and the full-sized iPad.
  • The iPad Mini is cannibalizing sales of the full-sized iPad. Unless Apple comes up with an update to its 9.7-inch line, then this trend will continue.
  • Demand in the emerging markets is picking up. In developed markets, it’s usually during the holiday seasons when device purchase is at its highest. But with the rise of inexpensive Android tablets, these devices are becoming more and more accessible to the lower-end markets.

Read also: Cherry Mobile unveils Fusion Bolt tablet: quad-core power and Jelly Bean for just $99

Of course these trends and predictions are not yet set in stone, being analyses based on upstream supply reports. But still, trends tend to manifest themselves in real-world figures shortly after, especially if these are prevailing trends like the growth of Android as a tablet platform.

Are you buying a new tablet in the next month or so, and will it be a 7-incher?