More analysts seem optimistic for iPad mini, smaller tablet market

More analysts seem optimistic for iPad mini, smaller tablet market

Summary: While plenty of people are buzzing over the $329 price tag, the iPad mini will likely do pretty darn well anyway.


When the iPad mini debuted on Wednesday with a $329 starting price tag and a 7.9-inch display, there was an immediate firestorm over whether or not Apple missed the mark already within the smaller tablet game.

However, more and more analysts are coming to Apple's defense, so to speak, with more positive outlooks for the sized-down iOS tablet.

NPD DisplaySearch, for example, argued that "supply issues" are more likely to hamper the iPad mini's sales at first over anything else.

Richard Shim, a senior analyst at DisplaySearch, listed in the report some of Apple's major supply chain partners, highlighting that the strained relationship with Samsung might be the big stumbling block:

Samsung has been one of the leading panel suppliers for the iPad. In fact when the new iPad was first released, Samsung was the only supplier that could meet production orders with LG Display gradually ramping up to meet demand. However, Samsung and Apple appear to be winding down their relationship most likely due to the legal conflicts the two have been embroiled in recently. In previous iPad launches, LG Display and Samsung have been the main panel suppliers with roughly equal panel production.

Shim also argued in the DisplaySearch memo that "the new low price point is expected to appeal to a wider audience and drive up demand." The idea is that for the Mac fans, $329 still isn't too much to ask.

Yesterday, market intelligence firm IHS iSuppli issued a report positing that a "smaller iPad" will do so well that it will contribute to the doubling of the 7-inch media tablet market in 2012 and 2013.

Rhoda Alexander, director of tablet and monitor research for IHS, explained in that report that

Just as Apple has dominated the market for 9.7-inch tablets with its iPad, iPad 2 and new iPad models, the company is poised to rule the market for 7.x-inch products, driving rapid growth of the segment in 2012 and 2013. The battle in the 7-inch space is highly spirited, with most of the other leading vendors already offering price-competitive products in this size range. IHS predicts Apple will successfully position the smaller iPad as a device that will be attractive and easy to adopt for both new and returning customers. This will spur rapid sales growth and provide tough competition for other companies contending in this size range.

While it is important to note that the report was published prior to Apple's unveiling of the iPad mini in San Jose later on Wednesday, it's still arguable that the iPad mini will do well -- at least for a smaller tablet.

The problem for the iPad mini might be framing its success in comparison to previous Apple products, which typically have more pressure to sell by astronomical amounts at launch time compared to other brands.

Image via Apple

Topics: Tablets, Apple, iOS, iPad, Tech Industry

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  • With just 6 million of Fires and 1 million of Nexus 7, small size tablet ..

    market is not really formed yet -- comparing to full-size one, where Apple ships iPads at 70 million units per year rate.

    Anyway, as I said earlier, iPad mini is not for people who want cheaper tablet -- it is rather for people who want smaller iPad.

    Hence the pricing; this device does not really compete with $$199-249 devices. Not only by price, but also by:
    1) screen size (iPad mini 35% bigger),
    2) thickness (iPad mini like almost 4 mm thinner),
    3) weight (iPad mini 40-100g lighter),
    4) built quality and materials (just incomparable -- in favour of iPad mini),
    5) applications library (just incomparable -- in favour of iPad mini),
    6) media library (wider)
    -- among smaller things.

    Too different devices, too different prices.
    • Apple doesn't think so

      Apple spent their whole presentation pleading with people to buy the iPad instead of competing 7" devices.

      Apple disagrees with you.
      • Your lies never stop do they?

        "Apple spent their whole presentation pleading with people to buy the iPad instead of competing 7" devices."

        It makes me wonder why you are so desperate you have almost stopped the basic obfuscation of truth and gone to straight-out lies.
        • Yes, this was one of Apple's goals to make people

          buying iPad mini instead of competing devices.
        • Part 2

          However, this is going to be only additional sales.
        • Part 3

          The most of sales will be from people who want smaller iPads
        • Part 4

          And from people who do not really care about other cheapo plastic devices.
    • I think your market share numbers are WAY off

      This is the reason for the iPad Mini, We'll see if it changes anything.
      • This is not serious research

        There is only two research firms that could do that kind of research.
  • You never get fired for buying Apple

    Apple has done a good job in selling the idea that if an Apple product doesn't work, it is because you are using it wrong.

    What is striking to me is the difference in tone between things like iPad reviews and Surface reviews. If an iPad review mentions any issues at all (most simply ignore all the issues) then the intention is always to highlight all the use cases that the iPad IS good at. The iPad IS good at content consumption and horrible at content creation. The focus of any review though is on use cases the iPad does well.

    Compare that to Surface where you can literally see the reviewer going out of their way to find use cases where Surface doesn't work perfectly. I've seen things like "yeah, you can use it on your lap, but don't lean forward all the way or it will fall".

    Ultimately, no product is perfect but there is certainly the effort made to always find the silver lining in any iPad review while any Surface review focuses on finding the cloud.
  • A mature iPad Mini market will include discounted last-generation devices

    Look ahead a year or less and the price of the iPad Mini will come down. Probably around 20%, which is the discount Apple applies to last-generation iPads. Thus, the last-generation iPad Mini will likely be priced somewhere around $260 U.S.

    This is the same tactic that Apple has used against 10-inch Android- and [now] Windows RT-based tablets. This will put pressure on Amazon, Google, Barnes & Noble and other manufacturers of low-cost, 7-inch tablets to further reduce their prices. The question is whether or not their generally good device quality will suffer. Reducing tablet prices further will likely cause a reduction in component specs, material quality or both.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Apple better hope the margin on the iPad Mini is higher than a regular iPad

    The iPad Mini will not sell anywhere near as well as the regular iPad and those that do buy it will buy it instead of regular iPad, you won't have both. Therefore, the Mini is going to cannibalize the sales of regular iPads. So the margin on these two units had better favor the Mini or Apple is only hurting themselves.
    Kevin Riemer
    • I'll be looking for you after the next couple of quarterly results releases

      "The iPad Mini will not sell anywhere near as well as the regular iPad and those that do buy it will buy it instead of regular iPad, you won't have both. Therefore, the Mini is going to cannibalize the sales of regular iPads."

      Wrong, wrong, wrong. I bet the iPad Mini sells about as well as the iPad with Retina, perhaps even better than the iPad 2. I think more than a few 9.7" iPad lovers will pick up a Mini, especially if they commute or have high mobility needs. While some of the most cost-conscious consumers may choose an iPad Mini over an iPad 2, those consumers would have to be described as the most tentative, or more positively, most aspirational anyway, so getting them into the ecosystem, even at the lower price, is a win for Apple.

      Of course these are just my opinions, as are yours. In late-January, and subsequent quarters, we'll see who's right.
      • The great thing for Apple is that you are right

        "I think more than a few 9.7" iPad lovers will pick up a Mini"

        After having a discussion with danbi about the gadgets in his bag (iPhone, iPad, MacBook) I absolutely agree with you that the Apple lovers (not that love is not rational) will be perfectly comfortable justifying why their bag needs an iPhone, an iPad Mini, an iPad 9.7, and a MacBook, and probably one of those nifty 5mm iMacs too for the desktop.

        Meanwhile, I'll have the Surface RT at a fraction of the weight, a fraction of the bulk, while accomplishing twice as much.

        But they will have love. I'll only get functionality.
        • lack of edit

          "(not that love is not rational)"

          should be

          "(NOTE that love is not rational)"
        • Help you Choose the right tablet for you! Not only iPad Mini

  • More analysts seem optimistic for iPad mini, smaller tablet market

    That is odd because every non-analyst article I've read said the iPad mini was nothing special. Must be the analysts wanting to pump up their stock.
    Loverock Davidson-
  • That's the great thing about analysts

    there are so many out there that you never have a hard time finding one that believes the way you do.
    William Farrel
  • At the risk of getting caught in the crossfire...

    ...I express some mild disappointment with the iPad mini. Apple had the opoortunity to drive the innovation cycle with something different but instead came out with a smaller/cheaper iPad.

    As a non-tablet owner (there are still quite a few of us neanderthals) I was hoping for better. I have bought (and sold) an iPad 2 from eBay. And I bought a Galaxy Tab 2 for my mother who is in a nursing home (had to go Android so I could lock everything down). I have no desire to carry either one of those devices about. For me, a tablet is a device with the form factor of a laptop, the limitations of a smartphone, and the advantages of neither.

    I might have bought a Nexus 7 (smaller, cheaper) but for the lack of a rear camera. At that price point I don't expect real innovation. The iPad mini seems to not offer much more for $329 except it does have a camera. Surface is not an option for me until Pro versions come out and certain software I use gets upgraded to W8.

    So we wait...