The iPad Mini has been a part of the rumor mill for about as long as the idea of an Apple tablet has been around. When Amazon released its Kindle Fire, it stirred up the rumors even more.
In a note to investors on Tuesday, [Shaw Wu with Sterne Agee] said that a so-called “iPad mini” is a “question of when, not if” from Apple. He believes it would make strategic sense for Apple to expand the iPad family to boost sales and ward off the competition. Wu believes that a smaller iPad would be “the competition’s worst nightmare,” as most companies already struggled to compete with the iPad when its starting price was $499. Now, Apple continues to sell the 16-gigabyte Wi-Fi-only iPad 2 for $399.
We all know that analysts, on the whole, have a terrible track record with Apple. More often than not, it is safer to bet against their predictions than with them. Just because the rumor mill wants it, doesn’t mean Apple is going to release it. While Apple has most assuredly long had a 7-inch tablet prototype, that doesn’t make it true that they are going to release a 7-inch tablet. The iPad is selling like hotcakes, and undermining the impressive sales with a lower cost item while their growth is spiking seems silly.
We’re not ruling out Apple ever releasing a 7-inch tablet, but we’d be very surprised if it happened any time soon. Truth be told, we’re still not sold on the concept of using a scaled-down iPad interface on a smaller tablet. Tap targets are already pretty small on the 10-inch iPad — it would get much worse if you were expected to tap the same target at a reduced on-screen size.
Source: Neil Hughes