As tablet players are turning their focuses from the 10-inch segment to 7-inch for the second half of 2013, sources from the upstream supply chain believe the competition between Apple iPad mini and 7-inch Android tablets will become fiercer than before.
A new DigiTimes report published today states that Apple's total iPad shipments were 19.5 million units from January to March, of which iPad mini accounted for 12.5 million units, showing that the 7- to 8-inch segment has already become the mainstream of the market, said the sources, adding that the second-generation iPad mini could make an appearance as soon as August.
Cumulative shipments of the first-generation Nexus 7 are estimated to have reached around 4-4.5 million units since its launch in the second half of 2012. Google and Asustek Computer are already set to release their second-generation Nexus 7, using a Qualcomm processor, in May and will start mass shipping in July. It was also announced today that Samsung will release their Galaxy Tab 3 beginning in May with their 3G variant debuting in June.
2013 will be the year of the 7 inch tablet and where the battle ground will be fought in this year's tablet wars. Apple has started strongly out of the gate in 2013 – but it's not going to be a cake walk for them as the year progresses.
The good news is that Apple's follow-up design will introduce their stunning Retina Display while pushing for more innovation all around. The bad news is that their competition will try to push out enough volume to retailers this year just for the sake of being able to tout a market share victory over Apple just as they've done with smartphones. Apple will continue to introduce new innovations and continue to earn a decent profit. If you're a shareholder, the latter is all that really matters.
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