An iPad Mini priced at $299 would crush the opposition, says analyst Rhoda Alexander of IHS iSupply. While many industry watchers are adamant that Apple will not introduce a smaller version of the successful tablet, Alexander is bullish.
With savings from downsizing the iPad’s components, including the touchscreen, and restricting the memory to 8MB, she believes Apple could sell an 8in device for as little as $299 and not more than $349. Apple would not need to price as low as $199 in order to crush the opposition.
Ever since the introduction of the first iPad, I have felt the need for a smaller device. I was very disappointed when Steve Jobs dismissed smaller seven-inch tablets so abruptly. His comment about users needing to file down their fingers was pure posturing and made iPhone users wonder how they were managing to be so productive on a still smaller 3-1/2in screen.
There is a place for a smaller tablet in the Apple line up. At the right price it will not cannibalise sales of the existing 10-in model, particularly so if the iPad 3 has its new retina display. There will be enough to differentiate the two sizes and I believe they would be complementary. Many iPad owners would buy a second device, one for home and one for the road. Even more would choose an Apple at a lower price instead of turning to Amazon or other manufacturers. There is a lot in the Apple name, like it or not.
It makes a lot of sense and the success of the Kindle Fire shows there is a market. The Fire does not sell on price alone; it is obvious that many consumers actually prefer a smaller and lighter device, especially for reading. Apple is aware of this and I tend to agree with Rhoda Alexander that we will see an iPad “Mini” before the end of this year.