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Apr 17, 2012

$249 "iPad mini" to Ship By the Millions in Q3, Says Chinese Report

Chinese web portal NetEase is dishing out details regarding a potential 8-inch Apple iPad launching later this year, with initial shipping estimated at 6 million units.

The report may seem fairly credible, considering that NetEase also weighs in on the actual number of shipping units in the first batch of these unconfirmed 8-inch tablets.

The Chinese web portal, quoted by gaming site Kotaku, stresses that Apple is releasing a 7.85-inch iPad in order to “counter attack” the army of Windows tablets about to be released.

Apple’s “iPad mini”, as some analysts have come to name this rumored Apple product, will reportedly cost somewhere between US$249 and $299 (189 to 227 EUR).

MacRumors chimes in to support the speculative report, claiming that a 7.85-inch display with a resolution of 1024 x 768 would boast a pixel density of 163 pixels per inch - “exactly the same density as the non-Retina iPhone and iPod touch models”.

In other words, almost every title in the iTunes App Store would display well on the new tablet’s screen.

While all these elements seem to lend credence to the NetEase report, it is worth pointing out that Apple has recently slashed the price of the iPad 2, making it a suitable rival to the slew of tablet computers hoping to eat away at Apple’s market share.

This doesn’t necessarily mean Apple isn’t considering the iPad mini. After all, even the well-connected John Gruber said he knew of such a device being prototyped in Apple’s labs.

The real question is: does Apple want to pour development and manufacturing resources into an all-new niche product (let alone the fact that Apple doesn’t do niche products) when the iPad 2 already fills that gap?

Probably not. But we wouldn’t want to seem all-knowing, so we’ll let Tim Cook & Co. have the final say in this.


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