Is Apple looking to build a lower cost iPad mini?
A lot of rumors have been circling about Apple planning to build a low cost iPhone, targeting especially developing countries like China. But one analyst – Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities is trying to stretch the imagination by wondering if Apple and the consumers alike would benefit from a cheaper version iPad mini. More than that, does such a device even make sense?
One might argue that a lower price was the whole point of Apple launching the iPad mini in the first place. Lowering prices and competing with an overpopulated and a lot cheaper Android market seemed to be the reason for launching the Mini. But as rumors of the second generation iPad mini emerge, we learn that Apple has most likely decided to implement the Retina Display to the next shrunken tablet. Will this decision affect cost?
We do know one thing, though. If Apple will decide to implement the Retina Display, it will push back production of the tablet at least until the end of the year. With this in mind, Kuo believes that the company might cook up in its development labs a cheaper version of the iPad mini as to satisfy the masses, which otherwise would turn to the Android sector:
“Prior to iPad mini 2 launch, Apple might roll out a more affordable iPad mini to compete with Android products. To cut costs, Apple might push for lower component prices, use a more advanced process to produce the A5 processor, simplify metal casing production, remove the rear camera, cut storage to 8GB and find more component suppliers to lower costs. We think this cheaper iPad mini retail for US$199~249.”
Kuo feels that Apple needs to refresh its presence in the lower priced tablet sector in order to stay alive, but even with such a cheaper tablet on the market, he doesn’t foresee much growth for the Cupertino giant in this sector.