Will Apple launch a cheaper iPad?

An analyst says a more affordable model could be in the works for early 2012 that could challenge Amazon's Kindle Fire.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 13, 2011 2:22PM

By James Rogers, TheStreet TheStreet

 

Apple (AAPL) may be planning to launch a low-price "mini" iPad in early 2012, according to Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White, who says that the tablet could present a challenge for Amazon's (AMZN) new Kindle Fire.

 

"Our research is pointing to the unveiling of a lower-priced iPad in first few months of 2012," White explained in a note. "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," he wrote.

 

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos aimed some careful digs at Apple's iPad during the Kindle Fire launch earlier this month. The Internet giant, he explained, is "building premium products at nonpremium prices."

 

Apple's cheapest iPad 2 is $499.

 

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White, however, does not expect Apple to launch a smaller tablet than the 9.7-inch touchscreen iPad. "The mini refers to a reduced price point of this iPad and not necessarily the size of the device," he said. "We believe this lower-priced iPad could be priced in the mid-to-high $200 range."

 

The low-price iPad would likely be followed by a more powerful, standard-price iPad 3 in the second quarter of 2012, he added.

 

Apple has typically avoided offering cut-price versions of its products, although the gadget maker recently cut the price of its iPhone 4. The company also announced that its iPhone 3GS will be free with a two-year contract.

 

Up to this point, though, Apple has given no hints of lower-end tablets or changes to its iPad pricing. The consumer tech giant has already sold more than 28 million of the devices and enjoys a dominant position in the tablet space.

 

Shares of Apple were rising $4.26, or 1.1%, to $406.45 on Thursday.

Apple declined to comment for this story.

5Comments
Oct 13, 2011 3:57PM
Oct 13, 2011 9:44PM
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its not an ipod touch. if you read it its a lower grade i pad. so its the same screen size. How Hard is That To Understand. 
Oct 13, 2011 10:39PM
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So, its an ihalfPad.  Interesting.  I might  buy one unless I get the kindle Fire first.
Oct 13, 2011 5:37PM
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So what they are making an Ipod touch???? Ipads are overgrown Itouch so what they going to meet in the middle???? I dont get why people waste money on this crap. Hell while apple is at it why dont we do a Super pad make it 65" touch screen tv with the iOS
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