Report: Apple to Launch Affordable Line of iPad Minis in Late 2012
It's the story that refuses to go away. Why? Perhaps because there is more truth behind the speculation than many would like to admit.
The latest report out of China indicates that Apple will, indeed, take on the smaller, more affordable tablet market (the one seeing stellar competition form the likes of Amazon's Kindle Fire) by introducing a smaller-framed iPad for under $300 later this year.
Knowledgeable sources speaking with NetEase concur, saying that Apple may build as many as 6 million so-called iPad Minis before 2012 draws to a close. According to Kotaku, which picked up on the initial report, NetEase claimed that "the device will be released around the third quarter of this year to 'counter attack' the upcoming Windows tablets."
At most, the new, smaller iPad would be priced at $299. At the lowest, you would likely be paying $249. Although higher prices haven't curtailed Apple's record growth and corresponding sales in recent years, there are huge opportunities in emerging markets that Apple will only be able to exploit through lower-priced offerings. And, at the end of the day, that may provide enough impetus for Apple to finally launch the still mythical but often rumored Pad Mini.