There’s something about Apple and its products which leads even the slightest rumor to spread like wildfire across the blogosphere. Before the “Let’s talk iPhone” event earlier this month, most analysts were speculating that Apple would launch a new iPhone 5, as well as a cheaper variant – iPhone 4S. All of them were wrong.
Now, everyone is speculating that Apple may be working on a new 7 inch iPad, christened the iPad Mini. It will be a cheaper version of the iPad, with a smaller display, and low specifications.
Apparently, the success of Amazon’s Kindle Fire has convinced Apple that there is money to be made even in the low end of the tablet market, even if the gross margins may be lower.
The rumors were sparked off after an analyst made a statement after meeting with several technology supply companies in China, which seemed to indicate that Apple plans to launch a lower priced iPad Mini for the price sensitive consumer segment.
I said earlier that I expect Apple to continue to rule the high end of the tablet segment, while its competitors shoot themselves in the foot. The Amazon Kindle Fire is likely the only other tablet which could be successful at the scale of the iPad. However, if Apple does launch an iPad Mini, it could easily grab significant market share even in the low end of the market.
Whether or not Apple will actually do that, sacrificing its hefty margins is something no one knows yet. Given Apple’s legendary secrecy, we’ll possibly have to wait until Apple reveals it itself.