Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White has been feeding investors some intriguing new information lately, saying that Apple is preparing to unveil an iPad mini next year, to better compete with the likes of Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
The ‘mini’ moniker is said to refer to the tablet’s affordable price, not necessarily a smaller screen size.
“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 (AMZN, $235.48, NR) 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,” he added.
White added: “We believe this lower priced iPad could be priced in the mid-to-high-$200 range,” White said. “We expect this will be followed by a much more powerful, feature rich standard-priced iPad 3 in 2Q12.”
It should be noted that Apple has never fiddled with the idea of rolling out a 7-inch (or smaller) tablet.
The company has recounted on numerous occasions that such products undermine the ‘tablet experience’. Apple likes its tablets in the 10-inch range (as far as the display is concerned).
But, as White himself tells investors today, Apple is not necessarily trimming down the pixel count. Rather, it’s approaching the market from all possible angles, much like it’s doing with the iPhone at the moment.
Apple is currently selling three iPhone models (with a two-year carrier plan) at 0$, $99, and $199 respectively catering to every possible type of customer looking to own a smartphone.
So, would it be too hard to believe the company will be applying the same move on the tablet front in a few months? No, it wouldn’t.