The iPad Mini will have a September release date according to a KGI Securities report. The 7-inch Apple tablet will look to compete in the market with other smaller tablets such as the Amazon Kindle Fire, Barnes and Noble Nook Tablet, and the recently released Google Nexus 7.
- (Photo: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)
Apple's smaller tablet has been a long time coming, and Apple's lax attitude to releasing its lower end mini tablet has allowed various competitors to benefit by attracting customers who do not want to shell out $500 or so for Apple's industry leading 10-inch iPad.
Now a report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has indicated a September launch date for the iPad Mini is likely, according to MacRumors.
Kuo has stated that he expects the iPad Mini to make just under 2 million sales in the third quarter, but more than 13 million in the fourth quarter - potentially outselling Apple's regular iPad product.
Apple's market dominance for the tablet has come under increasing threat in recent months due to the reasonable success of Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and more recently Google in launching their own smaller tablets. Apple had a 63 percent share of the entire tablet market during the first quarter of this year, but that figure is likely to drop as competitors look to eat away at Apple's lead. However, most analysts believe that Apple will maintain more than a 50 percent tablet market share all the way through 2016.
The report has stated, "Though shipments of iPad mini's components will start in August, the new iPad line will end production, ready for transition to a modified New iPad line. As such, component shipments will drop in August as iPad mini's components shipments growth will be offset. On a side note, the modified New iPad shares the same exterior as the original model, but contains modifications to correct its thermal dissipation problem and lower-cost components."
It is likely Apple will look to price its iPad Mini somewhere in the region of $250 to $300 to compete with competitors. The Amazon KIndle Fire and Google's Nexus 7 tablets both start retailing at $199. However, Apple may feel confident that if it prices itself just within reach of that price it could tempt consumers to part with a bit more cash to get their hands on an Apple product.