The DisplaySearch Blog’s Richard Shim notes that tablet PCs with screen sizes smaller than 9 inches are currently forecast to account for 66% of tablet PC shipments for the year but that share is expected to increase starting in the third quarter of the year with new 8-inch tablets and a refresh of the iPad mini in the fourth quarter.
Shim says these new tablet PCs are part of a trend in the tablet PC market that is balancing between differentiation between increasingly larger smartphones and an expansion of the tablet PC opportunity to further drive adoption.
And while the tablet PC market has been dominated by 9-inch and larger tablet PCs, which made up over 60% of total tablet PCs shipped in 2012. In 2013, smaller tablet PCs are expected to make up over 60% of shipments.
Shim says Apple is expected to refresh its iPad mini in the second half of the year, with a 7.9-inch display carrying on the current 1024 x 768 resolution, but the iOS 7 operating system and an A6 processor, in a slimmer design than the current generation. A Retina iPad mini with QXGA (2048 x 1536) is also planned for production in early 2014, and Apple expected to release a new 9.7-inch iPad in the third quarter featuring an A7 processor and iOS 7.
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