iPad under threat from 7-inch tablets

The iPad Mini and Nexus 7 are eroding the iPad's market share

The market share of Apple's flagship iPad will continue to shrink in the face of smaller tablets, estimates Citi analyst Glen Yeung. In an investors note obtained by CNet, Yeung noted that the iPad mini has already taken the larger iPad down a notch; after the iPad Mini's launch, fourth quarter sales of the iPad fell 9 percent and 29 percent in Japan year-over- year.

In addition, 7-inch Android tablets, including the Google Nexus 7, Samsung Galaxy Tab, and Amazon Kindle Fire, took 41.2 percent of the tablet market share in the fourth quarter, up from 12.6 percent in the second quarter. 10-inch tablets fell from 67.3 percent to 40.6 percent during the same time period.

"Beyond simply the overall share loss, the data reveals a particular slowdown in 10-inch iPad sales in mature markets," Yeung said. "After analyzing the data, we have new concerns about the health of the 10-inch tablet market and, absent any material innovations (we do not count a Retina Mini or lighter/thinner iPad 5 among these), we remain concerned about Apple's ability to maintain market share."

The smaller tablet size is also leading to a surge in magazine consumption from female subscribers, according to Hearst Magazines president David Carey. He explained that 10-inch tablets worked well for men, but women were not the biggest fans of the format, according to reporting by PaidContent. Carey said Hearst is seeing percent of its web traffic coming from mobile websites, even though tablets are only accounting for 3 percent of overall revenue. Hearst Magazines is the publisher of Esquire magazine and recently brokered a deal with NBCUniversal to rebrand G4 Network as the Esquire Network.

[Image via Time's Techland]

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Latest comments (11)

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 7 years ago
Ten inch tablets are pretty useless devices. Without a keyboard and an X86 processor they are highly uncompetitive as a business tool. That they have been widely used as such is little more than a fad. Also ergonomics mean they have to be used whilst rested on a knee or a table. And they are too big to go in a pocket.

Seven inch tablets are just perfect. Ergonomically they can be used whilst held, a huge advantage. Also they will fit in a big pocket which makes them extremely portable. A 1080p display on one of these is more than good enough for all gaming genres. But obviously the industry is still learning about user interfaces. The Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire are outrageous value for money. The cost of a night out. These will obvious become the main gaming device of choice.
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Andy Samson QA Supervisor, Digital Media Exchange7 years ago
I got tired of playing games on my 7 inch tablet. Most of the games I find entertaining on it wished they have real dual analogs to control them. Using an add on would add significant bulk if the analogs are not going to be as compact as something like the 3DS' circle pads. It would also help if they have something like shoulder buttons too, but that would mean the circle pads have to be placed above the tablet's horizontal axis (held in landscape).
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Andrew Watson Tools Programmer 7 years ago
So something like a wiiu controller then?
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Show all comments (11)
Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D7 years ago
The iPad Mini is a great device - and I much prefer it to the iPad. Having said that, I actually play less games on the mini than I did on the full device, and even then there were few enough games I'd play. But for reading and magazines, the Mini is the perfect size. Having said that, Apple will no doubt find a way of trying to make the larger device more attractive again. But just hurry up with the retina Mini, Apple.
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 7 years ago
Andrew, sounds more like the the next Apple device if you ask me.

The iU.
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Andy Samson QA Supervisor, Digital Media Exchange7 years ago
@ Andrew
Something like what the original Wii U GamePad was when it was first unveiled but without hand grips to make them easier to slide into your bag.
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Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises7 years ago
I only use my 10" iPad to draw on, it's like a mini Wacom Cintiq but much cheaper and not as good. Gaming on the 10" iPad kind of sucks because it's so awkward to hold and play at the same time.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 7 years ago
Ten inch tablets are pretty useless devices.
And how many millions were sold before that new fad of the smaller tablet kicked in, Bruce? What happens when 7" becomes obsolete at some point down the road? Will we be hearing that the multi-million 7" tablets were "pretty useless" as well?
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd7 years ago
@ Greg I actually agree with Bruce. 10" tablets were poorly designed. They were popular because they were literally the only option for an effective, portable, tablet, but 7" are vastly superior for the functions people perform on tablets. They are more comfortable, capable of being held in one hand, and lighter for extended use. I suspect we've found the true "mass market" form of the tablet here. The right balance of screen space and comfort (though the iPad Mini still fails in that regard. It's too big to comfortably wrap one hand around the back, largely due to its much squarer aspect ratio).
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Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer 7 years ago

There I said it. I had iPads I used to lug about on te train and when I got my hands on a nexus 7 I never looked back. In fact the thing goes everywhere with me. My Apple apps library wasn't even a deciding factor in the jump. 10 inch tablets were pretty much a stop gap for the 7 inch ones and that was only because of the screens. Once 7 inch tablets began to have decent resolutions that was the last nail at least as far as 10 inch travelling tablets were concerned.

For home content viewing I prefer a 10 inch tablet as magazines and movies/youtube are so much better on them. This only really applies to the retina display versions though such as the nexus 10 and ipad 3 onwards. Perhaps what we actually have here is a simple failure of the tablet makers to distinguish two very different and not mutually exclusive markets for their wares. 10 inch or above should be sold as an around the house media consumption device while 8 and below should be touted as the travelling companion media consumption device. In this regard the differentiator would be to cram more computing power into the 10 inch pads, which would then serve as base stations. Cloud storage already means that your work can follow you anywhere.
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Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters7 years ago
I never even considered buying a tablet till the Nexus 7 came out, then it seemed like a no-brainer. Still utterly useless for games, mind.
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