Apple reinvigorated the media tablet market when it launched the iPad in 2010, and it created a multi-billion dollar industry that most consumer electronics companies are still scrambling to grab a piece of. As rivals toyed with various tablet sizes in an effort to put some space between their offerings and the iPad, Apple once again managed to find a new sweet spot in 2012 with the iPad mini’s 8-inch display: According to China-based market research firm TrendForce, the iPad mini and new tablets with similar screen sizes will grow to control 11.9% of the tablet market in 2013.

Tablets with 8-inch displays will be “the next battle field among brands” in 2013, the firm said in a new report released on Tuesday.

“Currently, the 7” tablets show remarkable diversity and even can be described as flooding, and the price-cutting among brands results in an unprofitable scorched earth for the 7,” TrendForce analyst Eric Chiou said.

The narrow bezels on 8-inch tablets allow for large displays with relatively small overall footprints, and this makes them very appealing compared to 7-inch tablets. As smartphones continue to get larger — Samsung recently announced a handset with a 6.3-inch display — 7-inch tablets are becoming less desirable. The demand for tablets with smaller footprints than 10-inch slates remains, however, and TrendForce believes 8-inch tablets will meet that demand in 2013.

TrendForce expects new 8-inch slates from Samsung, Acer, HP, Lenovo, Asus and other companies this year, and the emerging market segment will account for an estimated 11.9% of all tablets shipped in 2013, up from just 2.6% in 2012.

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.