According to the research firm, the domination of small screen tablets will be short-lived.
7 to 7.9 inch devices took over the tablet market in 2013. But by 2015, their share of tablets sold will pass below 50%. Then, a majority of tablet buyers will opt for 8 inch or more screens, NPD DisplaySearch projects.
The declining popularity of small tablets is probably due, in a large part, to the rising popularity of phablets --large smartphones which are usually categorized as phones, not as tablets.
So far, the iPad Mini doesn’t seem to suffer much from this phablet competition. Hisakazu Torii, vice president, smart application research at NPD DisplaySearch, rather emphasized “falling demand for seven-inch-class sizes in emerging regions and in China, where many local white-box brands have experienced lower-than-expected shipment growth".
(For more stats, check out TabTimes’ State of the tablet market)
This actually caused the first year-over-year decline in quarterly figures of tablet shipments - from 59 million units in Q1 2013 to 56 million in Q1 2014.
Still, even if the growth curve flattens a bit, NPD projects that 285 million tablets will be shipped this year --a 14% increase over 2013.
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