Apple continues to flirt with the idea of a 7-inch iPad, with a research analyst now claiming that Apple will unveil a 7.85-inch iPad Mini with 8GB of memory in October.
No sooner has Google announced its own 7-inch tablet and new rumors have emerged on a same-sized iPad, with Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves suggesting that the 7.85-inch iPad Mini will debut in Q4.
“We anticipate an entry-level 7.85″ iPad with 8GB of NAND capacity to price at $299 with an initial gross margin of 31%,” wrote Hargreaves, in a research note posted last Thursday.
Hargreaves went onto claim that the iPad Mini will probably cannibalize some of the larger iPad sales, with CNET revealing that Hargreaves also added that Apple would most likely kill off the $399 iPad 2 to make way for a 16GB iPad Mini.
“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.”
A number of rumors have circulated on a smaller iPad since the instatement of Tim Cook as Apple CEO. Cook’s predecessor, the late Steve Jobs, famously took a dim view of the 7-inch form factor.
In recent months, TabTimes has learnt that Apple has reportedly been testing a 7.85-inch iPad at its offices in Cupertino, while other sources (including Samsung) have claimed that the device could tip up in September.