Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will be holding a media event tomorrow, October 23, and is expected to unveil to the public, the new iPad mini, thereby answering several questions with regard to the new device in the iPad lineup. The event will be held at a venue believed to hold 1,122 seated audience, as compared to a September 12 event venue, which housed 757 seats. This is making Baird Equity Research analysts suspect a larger event than just the launch of the iPad mini. The technology giant is known to match the importance of an event with audience capacity, and this is suggestive of a refresh of the iMac lineup, which has not been refreshed for more than 540 days.
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The Equity research firm conducted a consumer survey in September, which indicated that 46% of the population interviewed would consider acquiring the iPad mini.
The results of the survey indicate that the initially hyped 7″ iPad mini would not be as successful, as more customers preferred an 8″ iPad mini, at 15%, as compared to just 5% for the 7″. A majority 54% are not interested in the mini device, while 26% were comfortable with either of the two proposed sizes in the survey. However, the analysts believe that a 7.85″ will be the striking balance, and could be the exact screen size of the device, if unveiled tomorrow.
iPad mini Hypothetical Specs vs. Competitors
The new iPad mini will be challenging in the mid level market segment, which currently is composed of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Nexus 7 tablet, along with Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s Kindle Fire Reader. Additionally, the new iPad mini will also be facing competition from its predecessors, iPad 2 and iPad 3.
The iPad mini resolution is only better than that of Kindle Fire, but still falls short in Pixels per inch, with 163, compared to 169. The hypothetical specs for the iPad mini will be challenged further in the pricing of the device, as Kindle Fire goes for only $160, while Google’s Nexus 7 is priced at $200. Kindle Fire HD is priced at $200, this capping the three that are likely to challenge the smaller version of iPad in the market in terms of price.
iPad mini Impact on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPads Business Unit
The new iPad mini is seen as a good opportunity, for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to expand its total addressable market for the iPads business unit. The device is expected to be relatively cheaper than its counterparts, iPad 2 and 3, whose cost is estimated at $400, and $500 respectively.
According to the consumer survey on iPad mini, the optimal pricing of the device will be at $242 per unit, which sets up above its direct competitors in the market, despite its weaker specs. The consumers are ready to pay a premium for the device, as compared to Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Nexus 7 at $200, and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s Kindle Fire, and Kindle Fire HD at $160 and $200 respectively. A majority of the people surveyed indicated that they would be happier with the device if its price were to $200 a piece.
At the time of this writing, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock was trading at $621.27 per share, up $11.43, or a 1.87% increase from last week’s close.