Industry insiders are confirming that Apple plan on releasing a smaller 7 inch iPad later this year. This model will be cheaper and won’t have the retina capable screen featuring in the 9.7 inch version already available. We already reported on this before, however two people close to the matter have confirmed the release, asking not to be identified, according to Bloomberg.
Apple have yet to make the plans public although it may be announced as soon as October, only a few months away.
Apple’s plans will mean customers have yet another competitor against Google and Microsoft who are both planning to release their new tablets later this year.
Analysts suggest that Apple will target the price ‘closer to the Google Nexus 7 tablet and Amazon’s Kindle Fire’, both of which are 7 inch models priced at $199.99. This will really throw a spanner in the works for Apple competitors, especially as they command the market today.
DisplaySearch have predicted that the tablet market will be worth $66.4 billion this year, with Apple holding 61 percent of the total share. Much of the Apple strength is in their class leading online App Store. Many customers simply won’t move from this platform due to the unmatched software support.
Google said on June 27th that they are releasing a tablet style device called the Nexus 7. Microsoft have plans to release their Surface tablet which will have a similar screen size to the current 9.7 inch iPad.
Google’s Nexus 7 will be built by Asustek Computer Inc and will have a faster processor and better battery life than the Amazon Kindle Fire. It will also ship with a front facing camera.
Apple are making a gross profit of 37 percent on the current iPad according to industry experts. If they use a cheaper screen on the smaller version they could make a similar profit level. Amazon on the other hand are losing money on every Kindle Fire they sell, aiming for sales on software and books.
Kitguru says: If Apple release the mini iPad and get command of another 10 percent sales, it will cause many of the lesser players to back out of the tablet market completely.