In a note to investors sent out today, Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White talked about meeting with several supply companies at a trade show in China, noting “The whole world is shrinking.”
On his meetings with Apple’s suppliers he noted: ““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,” the analyst wrote. “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.”
Before you start having dreams about pint-sized iPads, the “mini” refers to the price tag of the device and its feature-set, not the physical size of the tablet. The “iPad mini” he’s talking about would probably be a slower version of the tablet without some of the features we’ve become accustomed to with the current iPad 2.
White went on to say, “We believe this lower priced iPad could be priced in the mid-to-high-$200 range,” White said. “We expect this will be followed by a much more powerful, feature rich standard-priced iPad 3 in 2Q12.”
What do you think? Will Apple release a lower-cost iPad next year?