When Apple unveiled the new iPad earlier this year, the company reduced the price of the iPad 2. The price drop ensured the iPad 2 still had plenty of life left in it until the next iPad hit in 2013. That was the thought at least, but one analyst isn’t so sure.
Rob Chira, an analyst with Evercore Partners, believes that the iPad Mini may replace the iPad 2 this year. Apple would phase out the year-old tablet in favor of an even cheaper 7-inch tablet that may or may not be a hit among consumers this holiday season. For Chira, however, the tablet will definitely be a hit.
Chira expects Apple to sell 7 million iPad Minis alongside 19 million regular iPads during the holiday season. That fits with previous reports that said Apple would be ordering 10 million iPad Minis for the holiday shopping season. Having a few extra left over isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and Chira points to big profits for Apple. He expects the company to post $56.1 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter.
Going beyond the market impact, let’s look at the actual strategy here. Apple would be extremely smart to jump on board with everybody else at this point. Having just one 10-inch tablet every year isn’t going to cut it anymore. You’re going to need to have a 10-inch tablet for the tech junkies and a cheaper 7-inch tablet for the casual consumers. By having both, Apple would be a force to be reckoned with. Not to mention, they would be able to reveal two tablets a year instead of just one. Alongside a new iPhone, the hype would be palpable.
In short, it’s a smart move. The iPad 2 is still selling well, but an iPad Mini coupled with the new iPad would do even better. Google really needs that $99 tablet if they want to undermine Apple at this point.