If Apple releases an iPad mini, it could be very bad news for the competition.
Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu claims that he is "picking up much increased component sourcing activity for what appears to be for a smaller form factor iPad," and that a release of a petite version of the iPad by Apple could be "the competition's worst nightmare".
Wu estimates that the Apple could sell as many as 16.5 million iPad mini units in the September quarter, a figure that's lower than the consensus estimates of 17-18 million, but still a figure that should strike fear into the hearts of the competition.
The December quarter could be even better, with Wu estimating that Apple could shift as many as 22.3 million iPad minis.
When it comes to pricing for the iPad mini, Wu doesn't think that Apple needs to lowball the price in the way that Google and Amazon have done with their $199 tablets. "A price point of $299 or $349 makes sense," says Wu.
In other news, Wu says that negative press coverage of the iPhone 5 relating to scratches, a purple haze present in photos, and the downright poor Maps app hasn't impacted supply and demand.
"From our latest supply chain work, we have not picked up a drop-off in demand and production appears to be improving with the bottleneck moving from components (like the in-cell touchscreen) to the assembly of the iPhone 5 itself," says Wu. He goes on to predict sales of 27 million for the September quarter, with this rising to 46.5 million in the December quarter.
Image source: Nickolay Lamm/InventHelp.