Apple Could Sell 4 Million To 6 Million iPad Minis This Year

ipad mini 7 inch

Photo: Federico Ciccarese, Ciccarese Design

A smaller, cheaper iPad is probably coming out by the end of the year.So, how will it do on the market?

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster thinks Apple can sell between 4 million and 6 million smaller iPads in the fourth quarter this year.

Tablets running Google’s Android tablet have taken advantage of the smaller form factor and price point as a way to differentiate from the iPad. But when Apple enters the space, it’s going to hit Android hard, Munster says.

Here’s some of what we should expect when it launches — likely at Apple’s next phone event, Munster says,

  • The iPad Mini will force Android tablets to compete on software. Apple has a big advantage here thanks to the iPhone operating system, Munster says.
  • The iPad Mini will probably cost $299. The iPad 2 costs $399, while the iPod Touch costs $199, so the new tablet will probably fall somewhere around that price point, he said.
  • The iPad Mini could decimate Android tablet sales. It could take 30 per cent of total Android tablet sales in the December quarter.

Here’s the money quote from the note:

We had previously expected a smaller iPad in March 2013, but believe the Street generally expected the device this year. We now believe AAPL could sell 4-6 million of the smaller devices in the December quarter, which would be about 20% of total iPad sales in the quarter. Strategically, we believe the launch of a smaller screen, cheaper iPad eliminates the two biggest unique features for Android tablet makers: size and price. Longer term, we remain confident that Apple will maintain a majority, and potentially increasing, share in the tablet space. We reiterate our Overweight rating.

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