Demand for 7-inch Panels Surpasses 9.7-inch, iPad Dominance on the Wane?

Orders for 7-inch tablet displays have exceeded demand for larger tablet panels, according to DigiTimes, the Taiwanese technology website that always keeps us in the loop with the latest information from Asian suppliers.

This latest news, apparently emanating from "sources from panel players", confirms the market trend which looks like being maintained throughout 2012. Lately, smaller sized tablets have taken the market by storm, with Amazon's Kindle Fire leading the Android charge.

Its success is due to multiple factors, one of them undoubtedly being the convenient size, which makes it a gadget suitable for commuters for instance. Not only the pocket size design has appealed to customers, but also the consumer friendly price tag as well as Amazon's full retail power behind it.

Barnes & Noble also released its Nook Tablet, a small yet powerful Android tablet, just in time for holiday shopping frenzy. No wonder that shipments for 7 inch tablets grew by 17% in only a month.

Apple will be sticking by the 9.7 inch tablet form with the release of the next generation iPad, having already ordered a significant number of panels in this size.

There have been a number of rumours that Apple was planning a 7-inch Mini iPad itself to take on the competition head on, though a recent report pours cold water on this idea. The iPad 3 is rumored to hit the market around March.