According to a recent report from market researcher NPD DisplaySearch, reported by Cnet, smaller tablets are getting hit by large smartphones, generally referred to as phablets. According to DisplaySearch, global shipments of tablets have declined year to year for the first time in the first quarter of 2014.
Hisakazu Torii, a DisplaySearch analyst, said the following in a recent statement:
"Competition between 5.5 [inch] and larger smartphones and 7 - 7.9 [inch] tablet PCs will reduce demand for tablet PCs through 2018. The "unit share" for tablets between 7 and 7.9 inches peaked at 58 percent in 2013, but "will gradually decline in 2014 and beyond,"
DisplaySearch didn't mention any specific tablet, but we know that the 7.9-inch size market is dominated by Apple's iPad Mini, followed by Google's Nexus 7, Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX 7 and devices coming from Samsung and other Android OEMs.
Rumor has it that Apple could bring out a 5.5-inch large iPhone that could compete with the 6.3-inch Galaxy Mega and the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note. But if it will do so, Apple could risk cannibalizing sales of the iPad Mini. DisplaySearch says tablet makers will move to larger sizes to avoid that from happening
"In addition...11 [inch] and larger tablets will exceed 10% of the market by 2018", the report noted.