While Apple yet has to officially release its highly-anticipated smaller iPad media tablet, it looks like the company is absolutely confident of its success. According to as media report, the consumer electronics giant hopes to sell as many as ten millions of iPad mini units in the first quarter of availability.
Citing information it got from component suppliers in Asia, the Wall Street Journal reports that Apple intends to build ten million of smaller iPad media tablets in the fourth quarter of 2012. The amount of iPad mini to be assembled this quarter will be two times higher compared to the number of Amazon Kindle Fire set to be built in the same period, a clear proof that Apple hopes to maintain its leadership on the market of slates.
At present there are numerous images depicting the Apple iPad mini, but they are not final. Some analysts already revealed that in some ways the smaller iPad will be even better than the full-sized model, which sounds logical as they smaller version reportedly features a number of technologies utilized in iPhone 6.
“Apple did not skimp on the aesthetics of the much anticipated ‘iPad Mini. In fact, we believe the ‘iPad Mini’ could outshine the new iPad in terms of how the device feels in a consumer’s hands,” said Brian White, an analyst with Topeka, reports AllThingsD web-site.
Foxconn, Apple's key supplier, has already initiated mass production of the iPad mini just in time to roll-out the novelty commercially slightly ahead of the holiday season. The device will feature 7.85" LCD screen with 1024*768 resolution made by either AU Optronics or LG Electronics, something that has already been revealed. It is expected that Apple will formally introduce smaller and lighter iPad later this month.
It is unclear whether the new iPad mini will utilize Apple A5 system-on-chip that powers iPad 2 or Apple A6 found in the iPhone 5, but iPad mini will unlikely feature Apple A5X found in the latest iPad 3 since it has too sophisticated and expensive memory sub-system. Given smaller sizes of the A6 compared to predecessors thanks to 32nm process technology, it may power then new iPad. Still, one should remember that Apple also has 32nm version of the A5.
So far, Apple has been offering iPads only in 9.7" form-factor and even criticized smaller media tablets. Nonetheless, many of Apple rivals, such as Amazon, Google, Samsung Electronics and some others are enjoying great demand for their 7"-class slates. In addition, the iPad mini 7.85" will likely be less expensive to make than the third-gen iPad 9.7", which will let Apple to offer them at lower price that the full-sized model that starts at $499. This will strenghten Apple's positions on the media tablets market. Last quarter the company sold 17 million iPad media tablets. Provided that iPad mini does not cannibalize sales of 9.7" model, with 25 - 30 million tablets shipped in Q4, the company's positions will not only remain unchallenged, but will even get stronger.