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. Smart – yes I think you are right.

      And to add to that… as Apple prepares for the iPad3
      the original iPad will be reduced in price – so they don’t require a new device.

      (similar marketing idea as the iPhone 3gs)

  1. Apple likes the Kindle Fire, I think. There will always be customers who are (initially) unwilling to risk $500 or more to buy an iPad, because it’s something new and unfamiliar. But the HP TouchPad fire sale showed that many of them are willing to take the “leap” at a lower price, even if the product is significantly inferior.

    Apple is not losing customers in the near term, because those customers would not have purchased an iPad in the first place. However, in the longer term, Kindle Fire will train them to be tablet users. Once they are comfortable with using a tablet, they will want to upgrade hardware at some point. At that point, they WILL consider paying more to get an iPad. Kindle Fire is training future generations of iPad customers, who would not exist if the low-cost Kindle Fire did not exist.

    Amazon is not stupid either. Amazon will make its content-selling services fully accessible to iOS users. Since the purpose of Kindle Fire is to profit from selling content (not from selling hardware), Amazon loses nothing if a Kindle Fire user later buys an iPad and continues to use Amazon’s services. It may even improve profits, because Amazon actually loses profit on every Kindle Fire sold. So, Amazon ALSO benefits from having created a larger base of tablet users.

  2. Why a “iPad mini”? Why not a “Fat iPod touch”? Apple made it’s self very clear about the minimum size of the iPad but not the maximum size of an iPod touch.

  3. Bollocks…. How many hairbrain theories have we heard about in the past? Apple making cheaper ripoffs? This crap theory goes around with every device that Apple makes. U see Ferrari making a Toyota Corolla competitor?

  4. This will not happen, at least not until they can get an affordable retina display in a size that would fill a 6-7″ iPad.
    Unless Apple wants California to fall off the end of the US, witch would happen when Steve creates a massive earthquake from spinning in his grave.

  5. There will not be a iPad mini, what the fuck!! It’s like the rumors about iPhone mini…there is no iPhone mini nor there will be an iPad mini. At the most the iPad 1 will drop price drastically, like it happened with iPhone 3GS. For good sake, people will never understand.

    Probably iPhone 5 migth have a 4inch screen, but iPad reducing the size of the screen? Neve, it will never happen. Apple didn’t spend all that time testing screen sizes, and bad mouthing all thoses small sizes screens, just too make an iPad mini.

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