Analyst: Apple may launch ‘iPad mini’ in early 2012 to ‘fend off’ Kindle Fire

“Apple may be working on a new entry-level tablet scheduled to launch early next year,” Zach Epstein reports for BGR. “In a note to investors on Wednesday, Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White recounted numerous meetings with technology supply chain companies at a trade show in China this week.”

Epstein reports, “White’s meetings with Apple suppliers has turned up an interesting note… ‘Our research is pointing to the unveiling of a lower priced iPad in the first few months of 2012 that is aimed at expanding the company’s market potential by tapping into a more price sensitive consumer segment’ the analyst wrote. ‘Essentially, this ‘iPad mini’ will also fend off the recently announced Amazon Kindle Fire that addresses the low-end tablet market with a $199 price tag but could lead to bigger tablet ambitions from the online retailer in the future.’ White continued, noting that the ‘mini’ moniker refers to the tablet’s lower price and not necessarily a smaller screen size. ‘We believe this lower priced iPad could be priced in the mid-to-high-$200 range,’ White said. ‘We expect this will be followed by a much more powerful, feature rich standard-priced iPad 3 in 2Q12.'”

Read more in the full article here.

51 Comments

    1. Apple always does this, though. As the price of technology comes down, you get more for the same price. If they need to expand the offering, they keep the old version around as well for a lower price.

      I can imagine an iPad 2 will still be offered after the iPad 3 goes on sale, only it will be $100 less.

      People will claim that Apple is doing this to “fend off android competition” when in reality, it is simply the standard Apple way of extending its product line without undermining its value proposition.

      1. This is pretty much what I suspect too – – except that particularly if the iPad3 goes Retina Display, the iPad2 discount may very well be by $200 (hits the $299 psychological price point) … and then the key answer will be if it is left in production, not unlike the iPhone 3GS.

        -hh

        1. I think you mean tier not tear, though the competition is shedding tears so I’ll give you credit for a clever pun. Kudos.

          This could be true. The iPad 2 with less memory (8GBs?), will sell for less and the iPad 3 will sell at standard prices or even a small premium for the double resolution display.

  1. Kindle Fire might die, someday, but not sure if that will happen upon arrival. Though the verdict shall remain inconclusive until the after Christmas return line is exhausted.

    W.r.t. Apple releasing a iPad mini, I wonder if that will happen right after they release their long overdue iNetbook. If anything, I expect Apple to someday release a Kindle competing iPad-X that may also sport e-ink as needed on the fly.

    1. Just like the Amazon Kindle Fire will do. Those who think this is competing with the iPad are wrong — it’s going to compete more with the iPad Touch. And it will do fairly well with many consumers. The 7″ screen is much more enjoyable for media consumption than the small iPod Touch screen, and 7″ is still relatively portable. For those who want something to fit in their pocket, however, this isn’t really an option. And for those who want something more fully functional, they’ll buy the iPad.

      1. Right, because surely Amazon is also sporting a customised SoC (withing that non-profit margin) that delivers power to the resource happy games without draining the battery.

      2. The Kindle Fire is less portable and less capable than an iPod Touch. Do you realize how lame it’s going to seem in comparison?

        “What? You mean this big fancy 7 inch tablet actually does less than an iPod? And in exchange for its screen size, its sole advantage, I can’t even put it in my pocket?”

        It won’t compete against anything Apple makes. But it will kick the snot out of other Android tablets, and cause Google to wail and gnash their teeth because their services have been removed from it.

    2. Not necessarily. The iPod touch is all about portability. The iPad is about functionality. A 7″ iPad tweener minus the back camera, targeted at the price sensitive and the people who like paperback books might now be a bad thing.

  2. All things considered, the Kindle is a great product for what it was made for…to read books. I noticed many Mac users have a kindle. Hell my wife is going to buy one to read and share books with her sister. We all have iPads but they suck when trying to read when you are sitting outside in the bright light. That is ok, I love my iPad for everything else.

    If Apple made a kindle-like screen for reading in a dumbed down ‘reading’ tablet, I would think Amazon could get wiped out but until then, Kindle will thrive and probably grow.

    Give credit where credit is due.

    1. To me, I can’t stand the kindle screen.
      I had my uncles for a weekend, I read on it for about an hour… And went back to the iPad.

      As for outside, when I’m outside I’m around outdooorsy stuff… Bikes, lawn mower, weed eater, fly pole, boat, guns, cigars…
      iPad or kindle would be nowhere in sight. Wait, at night with a good cigar I do have my iPad.

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