After years of rumors, Apple is finally expected to launch a smaller version of its iPad next Tuesday, October 23. Although the device is technically still unconfirmed, various leaks suggest that it will have a 7.85-inch display and may come in several variants starting for as low as $250.
Armed with those details, analysts have already begun to predict how the new tablet will perform over the holiday shopping season.Unsurprisingly, the consensus seems to be that the iPad Mini will do well -- how well, of course, depends on who you ask.
Apple has reportedly ordered over 10 million units for the fourth quarter, and Topeka Capital analyst Brian White expects the company to sell between five and seven million of those devices. Similarly, Bill Choi of Janney Montgomery Scott believes Apple will move about six million iPad Minis this year.
Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster expects a solid showing for the new device, but his outlook is a tad more conservative. Munster predicts that Apple will sell 25 million iPads over the holidays with about 20 million being full size iPads and five million of them Minis. He previously estimated that the company would move 21 million large iPads, but he reduced that figure to account for cannibalization from the new slate.
"We believe that the smaller iPad could cannibalize one million regular iPad units in December or a rate of cannibalization at 20%," Munster said. "[So] for every five million smaller iPads, you lose one million standard iPads." By comparison, Choi believes Apple will sell 25.5 million iPads with the Mini eating 15% of the original's sales. He noted that he foresees minimal cannibalization risk to the standard iPad and iPod touch.
Apple iPad Mini mockup by Nickolay Lamm