Amid reports the Apple will release the “iPad mini” by years end, comes an analyst who says Apple could sell 4 to 6 million of the “minis” during the upcoming holiday season.
Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray believes that Apple’s rumored smaller iPad would be priced at $299 with 16 gigabytes of storage, given the company’s $199 8-gigabyte iPod touch, and its $399 16-gigabyte iPad 2. Sandwiched right in the middle of those two existing products, he sees a smaller iPad cannibalizing 10 percent of existing iPad sales, but also taking away 30 percent of total Android tablet sales in the December quarter.
“We believe this implies that Apple could sell 4-6 million smaller iPads in the December quarter, assuming a holiday launch,” Munster wrote in a note to investors on Monday. “If the launch occurs in (the fourth quarter), we believe the smaller iPad would add about 1% to revenue and (earnings per share) in December.”
Munster has believed that Apple would release the so-called “mini” in the 1st quarter of 2013. But recent reports from various outlets have indicated the device will be released by the end of the year. The device is rumored to feature a 7.85-inch display with a resolution of 1,024 by 768 pixels, using the same display technology as the iPhone 3GS.
Munster expects the smaller iPad will be unveiled at Apple’s next-generation iPhone event.
He believes that a smaller, cheaper iPad will be bad news for Android tablet makers, as their two biggest features up til now have been size and price. He expects Apple will maintain a majority of the tablet market, and may even increase its share over the next four years.
Of course all of this is merely speculation, with Munster throwing figures around about a device that hasn’t, and may not ever, see the light of day. Reports like this should always be taken with a grain of salt, or your favorite salt substitute.