iPad 3 rumors are beginning to ramp up, with many, including myself, believing the next Apple tablet will be similar in form to the current iPad, albeit with some new features. A new rumor floated about by Boy Genius Report has Apple releasing a lower-priced iPad, the “iPad Mini.”
I recently speculated that Apple could capture additional tablet market share by offering a less expensive iPad by pricing the devices in a manner similar to that of what the company now offers with the iPhone.
The iPad Mini rumor arrives courtesy of Brian White, a Ticonderoga Securities analyst, who believes the device will be released prior to the iPad 3 to compete, at a price which would make it competitive with less expensive tablets like Amazon’s Kindle Fire:
“Our research is pointing to the unveiling of a lower priced iPad in the first few months of 2012 that is aimed at expanding the company’s market potential by tapping into a more price sensitive consumer segment. Essentially, this ‘iPad mini’ will also fend off the recently announced Amazon Kindle Fire that addresses the low-end tablet market with a $199 price tag but could lead to bigger tablet ambitions from the online retailer in the future.”
Apple will, at some point, announce a new iPad, and it’s entirely possible they will offer prior iPad models at cheaper prices, but the one problem I see with White’s report is Apple announcing 2 new iPads, one being the iPad Mini, at two different points during the year. It didn’t happen with the iPad 2 Plus as some speculated following the iPad 2 announcement, and it’s unlikely we’ll see Apple do something similar when the next iPad(s) are announced.
What do you think? Will Apple announce a whole new device, a cheaper iPad, before the release of iPad 3, will they announce price cuts for prior iPad models, or none of the above? Let us know in the comments!