New rumors have emerged that Apple will release a 7.85 inch iPad in the Fall. The October release will see Apple smash its way into the lower end smaller tablet device market.
According to Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves, "We anticipate an entry-level 7.85" iPad with 8GB of NAND capacity to price at $299 with an initial gross margin of 31%. We estimate Apple will sell 10.0 million 7.85" iPads in FQ1 (Dec. 2012) and 35.2 million in all of F2013. Based on estimated component order volume, we believe our iPad mini unit estimates are well within Apple's production capacity. We anticipate 25% cannibalization of the larger 9.7" iPad (for every four 7.85" iPads added, we reduced our 9.7" iPad estimate by one), so our total F2013 iPad estimate increases to 91.6 million from 65.2 million."
Hargreaves report was published on Thursday and will be sure to excite Apple fans, and those who have been cautious about purchasing Apple's regular iPad due to the higher cost or larger size.
For months rumors have been swirling that Apple was developing its own 7 inch model of its best selling tablet. However, as usual all the news has come through leaks and rumors and Apple has remained its silent self on all topics related to upcoming releases.
Currently the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Barnes & Noble Book Tablet devices are taking a healthy share of the tablet market by capturing the smaller and cheaper end of the market. However, it is thought by analysts that if Apple wades into the 7-inch tablet market and prices itself below the $300 mark then a huge base of customers who currently would purchase the Kindle Fire or Nook would prefer to pay a little more and get Apple's 7-inch device. The effects could be devastating on Amazon's and Barnes & Noble's tablet sales.
Other rumors surrounding Apple's regular iPad series state that Apple could renew its larger iPad at the same time and introduce a lighter and longer-lasting battery and offer a new camera location.
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