“The iPad mini’s best days are behind it. Using app analytics data from Fiksu and Mixpanel, along with my own iOS device sales estimates and projections, I was able to derive iPad mini sales since launch,” Neil Cybart writes for Above Avalon.

“Over the past two years, iPad mini sales trends have deteriorated much faster than most people think,” Cybart writes. “When taking into account the move to larger iPhones and iPads, the iPad mini’s value proposition has likely been weakened to such a degree that the decline in sales is permanent. We have experienced ‘Peak iPad mini.’ More importantly, by analyzing the iPad mini’s sales trends, we have better insight as to where the iPhone and iPad product lines are headed and the iOS platform’s overall direction when it comes to form factors.”

“While everyone is aware of the iPad’s sales troubles, one surprising observation is that most of the iPad’s sales decline can be attributed to the iPad mini line,” Cybart writes. “The 7.9-inch screen form factor has seen a dramatic 50% drop in sales on a TTM basis over the past two years while the 9.7-inch iPad line has seen much more resilient sales. This trend seems counterintuitive but provides a very strong clue as to how consumers are thinking about the iPad. When taking into account this granular iPad sales data, Apple management likely had a much easier time deciding to launch the larger iPad Pro. The trend towards larger iPads has already been years in the making.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

Apple has done extensive user testing on touch interfaces over many years and we really understand this stuff. There are clear limits of how close you can physically place elements on a touchscreen before users cannot reliably tap, flick, or pinch them. This is one of the key reasons we think the 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps… Every tablet user is also a smartphone user. No tablet can compete with the mobility of a smartphone; its ease of fitting into your pocket or purse, its unobtrusiveness when used in a crowd. Given that all tablet users will already have a smartphone in their pocket, giving up precious display area to fit a tablet in their pockets is clearly the wrong tradeoff. The 7-inch tablets are tweeners. Too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with an iPad.Steve Jobs, October 18, 2010