iPad Mini Sales Overtaking iPad Sales Faster Than Apple Expected
Sales of the iPad mini are cannibalizing sales of the iPad, according to a report from NPD DisplaySearch. January shipments of tablet panels between 7 and 9 inches eclipsed shipments of larger panels, indicating an unexpected shift in consumer preference for a smaller form factor tablet.
Shipments of 9.7-inch panels (the iPad) fell from 7.4 million in December to 1.3 million in January, while shipments of 7.9-inch panels (the iPad mini) rose to over 5 million. Smaller tablet panels, including those used for the iPad mini, the Kindle Fire, and the Google Nexus, saw total shipments of 14 million.
In December, NPD estimated that Apple would sell 40 million iPads minis and 60 million iPads during 2013, but the January sales numbers suggest that the mini will outsell the iPad.
As we noted in December, Apple had planned to sell 40M iPad minis (7.9”) and 60M iPads (9.7”) in 2013. 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”) and 33M iPads (9.7”) in 2013.
For much of December and January, the iPad mini was in short supply due to low yield rates of the mini's display panels, with shipping times up to a week. Apple finally reached supply-demand balance earlier this month, which will facilitate even greater sales of the smaller tablet.
During Apple's January earnings call, Apple executives addressed cannibalization fears, indicating that the company is not worried about iPad mini sales overtaking iPad sales.
Cannibilization is a huge opportunity for us. We never fear it because if we do, someone else will do it. iPhone has cannibalized iPod, that doesn't worry us. iPad has on the Mac, and that doesn't concern us.
Currently, the full-sized iPad is an attractive choice because of its Retina display, but Apple is rumored to be releasing a second generation iPad mini with Retina later this year.