Count Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves as another person who expects a mini version of the Apple iPad sometime this year
. Hargreaves checked with Apple's component suppliers and says that the Cupertino based manufacturer has started ordering parts for the mini-version of its tablet Like many of the others, Hargreaves is expecting a tablet with a 7.85 inch screen. He is looking for the panel to offer resolution of 1024 x 768, the same as the display on the Apple iPad 2. The analyst expects the device to add $1 to Fiscal Year 2013 earnings and believes it will be launched before the Christmas shopping season.
The analyst says that he sees the bill of materials for the smaller Apple iPad coming in at less than $200 with a total cost of goods slightly above $200. Hargreaves says that this will lead to a $299 retail price tag for the mini iPad and that would provide a gross margin of 30% for Apple
on the unit. He expects the manufacturer to save money by employing a glass-film-touch technology instead of the more expensive glass-glass-touch it uses on the Apple iPhone and the larger Apple iPad models. That alone would cut $50 from the cost of producing the smaller tablet. Add to that the use of a smaller battery, the employment of the A5 processor and a reduction to 8GB of native storage and Apple might be able to find itself with gross margins north of 30%.
Just the other day, a reliable source told iMore
that Apple would release a 7 inch mini iPad that would cost $200 to $250
so that Apple could compete with low-price Android tablets like the Amazon Kindle Fire
. But that report is the odd man out as most of the speculation has centered on a 7.85 inch display on the mini iPad.
Where there is smoke, there is fire and all of the rumors about a mini version of the Apple iPad would seem to indicate that there is something to all of the speculation.