iPad mini sales hit by iPhone 6 Plus popularity

The iPhone 6's popularity has been cited as the reason why sales of Apple's iPad mini have begun to struggle of late in a new report.

The larger iPhone phablet' could negatively impact the stagnating sales of Apple's smallest iPad, says Forbes, with Apple's overall global tablet market share falling from 29 per cent to 23 per cent year-over-year.

The overall tablet market has been slowing for some time, with growth in 2014 estimated at 12.1 per cent compared to 51.8 per cent in 2013.

The popularity of the iPhone 6 Plus could further "cannibalise" sales of the 7.9-inch iPad mini, given its large screen size and comparatively affordable price tag.

Forbes' Trefis Team says: "While the mini is still likely to prove popular with customers who seek an affordable, easy-to-use tablet with a comfortable viewing experience (130 per cent more area than the iPhone 6 Plus), the one-device-fits-all proposition of the iPhone 6 Plus is likely to hurt sales.

"We believe that an iPhone 6 Plus customer will be less inclined to purchase an iPad mini, given that the iPhone 6 Plus provides a good balance in terms of functionality, screen size and portability."

This week, Gartner predicted that tablet sales will grow eight per cent in 2015, with research director Ranjit Atwal attributing the tablet market's troubles to a lack of hardware innovation.

"The collapse of the tablet market in 2014 was alarming. The steep drop can be explained by several factors," he said. "One is that the lifetime of tablets is being extended they are shared out amongst family members and software upgrades, especially for iOS devices keeping the tablets current.

"Another factor includes the lack of innovation in hardware which refrains consumers from upgrading."

Caroline Preece

Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.

You can get in touch with Caroline via email at caroline.preece@futurenet.com.