Component Suppliers Say 'iPad mini' Coming in 2012
Much like the broad tablet community, Apple has for months anticipated the arrival of Amazon's iPad-competitor - the $199 Kindle Fire. But according to the revelations from Apple's component suppliers in the far east, Apple is planning its answer to he Kindle Fire in early 2012 in the form of a smaller, more cost-efficient version of the iPad.
Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White confirms the chatter, saying that his recent tours of China and Taiwan have yielded information suggesting that an "iPad mini" will reach consumers next year. He was quick to warn, however, that the "mini" moniker should not be interpreted to mean that Apple will drastically reduce the iPad's screen size for this model. Instead, the goal of the "iPad mini" will be to grow the Apple tablet community from a lower entry-level price point.
The Amazon Kindle Fire has a screen size of 7 inches, while the iPad currently sports a 9.7-inch display.
"We believe this lower priced iPad could be priced in the mid-to-high-$200 range," White shared with investors Wednesday. "We expect this will be followed by a much more powerful, feature rich standard-priced iPad 3 in (the second quarter of 2012)."
It should be noted, however, that rumors of an "iPad mini" have persisted since the original iPad was first unveiled in January 2010. So far, we haven't seen it. What's more, we were also left hanging by the mythical low-end iPhone 4 model - something many expected to see at last week's iPhone 4S unveiling. So, given the spotty history of product predictions out of the supply chain, any talk of an "iPad mini" should be taken with a grain of salt.
Source: Business Insider