Shipments of Apple's latest bijoux fondleslab are expected to double next year as sales of other models dwindle.
According to a report from KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo circulating on Apple blogs, shipments of the iPad Mini Retina will shoot up by 101 per cent in the first quarter of 2014 at the expense of the iPad Air.
Meanwhile, forgetful fanbois will begin to ignore the iPad 2, which will probably be discontinued at some point next year.
The analyst expects to see 4.5 million Minis shifted in the first quarter of 2014, up from 2.3 million over the Xmas season. The predicted uptick is down to low supply levels after its surprise release.
The redesigned Air and "higher than expected" Mini sales will mean the fruity firm ships 23.1 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013.
However, sales will probably drop off once Santa has distributed all these fondleslabs, with total shipments in the first quarter of 2014 predicted to fall to 13.3 million. About six million of these will be iPad Airs, down 43 per cent from the 10.5 million expected to be sold in the runup to Christmas, according to the report.
Air will fall to Earth due to the cheaper Mini wolfing up its market share, Kuo suggested, along with "structural challenges" to the tablet market.
"We think current tablet products can, generally, sufficiently meet entertainment needs. As they are very cheap already, lowering prices won't effectively stimulate demand," Kuo wrote. "Only new applications, which will bring about new growth momentum, will be able to solve the structural problems the sector faces."
He also predicted the death of the iPad 2. We wonder who will mourn it. ®