The iPad Mini, a smaller 7.85-inch iPad may join the iPhone 5 with a fall release.
Steve Jobs famously dashed the hopes for a 7-inch iPad saying, “This size is useless unless you include sandpaper so users can sand their fingers down to a quarter of their size.”, but looking at Apple’s product lineup there is a big hole to fill at $299.
Apple offers no product with an entry-level price of $299, which is what analysts expect Apple would price a smaller iPad at.
Under Tim Cook’s guidance Apple may finally be preparing a new product designed to sell at the $299 price, taking on the Kindle Fire and Google Nexus 7 while completing the Apple mobile product lineup.
The iPad Mini would likely sit in the Apple mobile product lineup as shown below.
- iPhone 3GS – $0
- iPod Shuffle – $49
- iPhone 4 – $99
- iPod Nano – $129
- iPod Touch – $199
- iPhone 4S – $199
- iPad Mini – $299
- iPad 2 – $399
- iPad 3rd Gen – $499
Without the iPad Mini Apple concedes tablet, eReader and gadget purchases in the $250 to $350 range to Barnes & Noble, Amazon and other assorted Android tablets.
Amazon sold a reported 1.8 million Kindle Fire devices in the first quarter of 2012 and as Amazon continues to bring a new Kindle Fire to market, Apple may no longer be content to concede the smaller and cheaper tablet market.
Analysts predict that one in four iPad purchases would cut in to the sales of the iPad, but even with the cannibalization of sales, Apple comes out ahead with an estimated 6 million in iPad Mini sales.
And it gets even better when the second generation iPad Mini arrives in 2013. With two generations of the iPad Mini available, Apple has a tablet available at every realistic price point.
Possible Apple product lineup in 2013 with a second generation iPad Mini.
- iPad Mini – $199
- iPad Mini 2 – $299
- iPad 3rd Gen – $399
- iPad 4th Gen – $499
Apple could arguably ignore the small tablet segment and push the iPad 2 down to the $299 price point next year, but an iPad Mini offers more choice and preserves the appeal of the iPad at $399 and $499.
Are you interested in purchasing the iPad Mini?