Rumor: Apple to Launch 'iPad Mini' in 2012

Here's a "new" rumor that's been around for a while--in one form or another. Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White, who's been meeting with component suppliers in China and Taiwan, says he's heard rumors of a less expensive, possibly smaller, iPad arriving in 2012.

Apple Insider reports the new iPad would be targeted at cost-conscious consumers seeking a less pricey tablet, something akin to the new Kindle Fire, Amazon's $200 color slate that's already selling well (even though it doesn't start shipping until next month).

The current iPad 2 starts at $500 but offers more goodies than the Kindle Fire, including a larger 9.7-inch display (vs. the Fire's 7-inch), front and rear cameras (the Fire lacks a camera), and a mega-selection of apps (140,000 and counting).

Fiery Competitor

So what's it cost? In a note to investors, White writes: "We believe this lower priced iPad could be priced in the mid-to-high-$200 range."

Amazon Kindle Fire
Amazon Kindle Fire
If Apple does launch a 7-inch iPad, the lower-end tablet would compete directly with two popular, similarly-priced color slates: the Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble's $250 Nook Color, which is rumored to be getting an upgrade sometime this month.

A smaller iPad would also suggest that Apple's management team is establishing its independence. In an October 2010 conference call with analysts, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs dissed 7-inch displays, calling them too small for quality tablet apps.

In addition to the rumored "iPad Mini," Apple reportedly is building the next-generation iPad 3 with a higher-resolution, 2048 by 1536 pixel display, according to various sources, including research firm IDC. The iPad 2's screen is 1024 by 768 pixels.

The iPad 3 will arrive in early to mid-2012, rumors say. Or will it?

Contact Jeff Bertolucci at Today@PCWorld, Twitter (@jbertolucci) or jbertolucci.blogspot.com.

Related:
Shop ▾
arrow up Amazon Shop buttons are programmatically attached to all reviews, regardless of products' final review scores. Our parent company, IDG, receives advertisement revenue for shopping activity generated by the links. Because the buttons are attached programmatically, they should not be interpreted as editorial endorsements.

Subscribe to the Best of PCWorld Newsletter

Comments