Analyst: Apple may launch $199-$249 iPad mini soon

With the release of an updated iPad mini looming, rumors surrounding the device are coming fast. Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst with KGI Securities, has published a note that may offer some insight into a likely future for Apple's smaller tablet.

Given that Android is beginning to increase its share substantially in the tablet market, causing Apple's estimated share to slip below 50 percent in Q1 2013, Kuo focuses mainly on price. He believes that in order to hold on to the majority market share, Apple must drive down costs through cheaper components and more streamlined chip production processes.

Prior to the iPad mini 2 launch, Apple might roll out a more affordable iPad mini to compete with Android products. To cut costs, Apple must push for lower component prices, use a more advanced process to produce the A5 processor, simplify metal casing production, remove the rear camera, cut storage to 8GB and fine more component suppliers to lower costs. We think this cheaper iPad mini [will] retail for $199-249.

Whilst Kuo does not think a budget iPad would drive a massive number of sales, he believes that such a device would help to fend off attacks from competing Android tablets of a similar or lower price point.

As MacRumors user darwynn points out, however, Apple may simply continue selling the previous generation of the mini at a reduced price, whilst releasing the second generation in tandem. Commenter siurpeeman adds that the new iPad mini would take the current $329 price point, whilst the original generation would drop down to just $229.

With the tech giant potentially following a similar trend with a lower-cost iPhone constructed from polycarbonate, it's barely a small leap to suggest similar plans may be in place for their wildly popular tablet.

Source: MacRumorsImage via Apple

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So Apple are doing a Sony trick, like with the PS3. To make it cheaper they take away most of the features, make the casing and internals even smaller and more failure prone. Haha Sony and Apple love copying one another, like they do with their laptops I bet Apple still won't include a MicroSD slot so they can still be all control-freaky once your storage runs out to force you to buy ANOTHER device with more memory, or just get an Android device with SD slot

I would love to see the iPad mini 2 with Retina get priced at $299 and the original one moved from $299 to $229.

Not gonna happen with the Retina mini but I can dream..

Cant wait to see apples face when the ipad mini 2 sales become minimal and the first gen ipad mini sales increase.... id say alot of people would buy one for the children seeing as the price will be lower itll become more attractive and a child definately wont care about retina displays and all that rubbish that they cant understand

Women love the mini. No they would still buy the new one. Every philipino woman I know in this area has a mini and would get the new one in a heart beat. It is all about image. That why so many of them carry around 1500$ purses.

Orrrrrr they will sell the iPad Mini at a lower price then the Mini 2.... Just like the iPad 2 is the cheaper iPad. And the iPhone 4 and 4S are the cheaper iPhones! *shock horror*

This is good plan. 200$ would be perfect but I bet it will be 250$ for this gen and the new retina screen mini will be 370.

I hope so, it really makes me happy to watch Apple join the race to the bottom. It's going to be ironic when Microsoft is going to be making the high end expensive hardware and Apple is releasing plasticky pieces of ****.

DJ Dark said,
I don't think they'll ever get to Samsungs level of "plasticky pieces of ****".
Oh you mean how the originals first 3 iPhones were plasticky pieces of crap? Oh how the iPhone 3GS turn brown and yellow from the chips heating up and thy were only single cores? Yet my Galaxy Note 2 Is a quadcore and as hot as it has gotten it has never turned colors. Yes my phone is really made of cheap materials. Poly-carbonate actually costs more than soda can aluminum.

Polycarbonate is use for the full cockpit of the F-22...These planes can fly faster than the speed of sound. You think the pilots are scared?

Poly-carbonate is better than alloys. Its not a plastic. Just remember, Apple used these too. Yet their laptops overheated more than the actually plastic laptops others were making. So year, you think what you like is better but factually it isnt

I wouldn't mind seeing one.. be a nice alternative for those who are wanting a change from the mountain of Android tablets and don't want to shell out a lot for a premium iPad or Win8 or RT device. It's not for me but I can appreciate the appeal.

Competition in their bread and butter market is driving that 'premium' product feel right out the window. Do I detect a slight play on words in that last sentence? Granted it's Android that's really eating their lunch.

What's interesting to note here as well is that Microsoft is kind of becoming the Apple of tablets. Out of the 7.5% of the tablet market Microsoft captured last quarter, those devices were pretty much all at the top end of the tablet price range, with higher selling prices well over Android tablets and almost certainly higher than even the iPad.

Of course is Microsoft wants to capture a large part of the tablet market there are going to have to be much cheaper Windows 8/RT tablets but I would suspect that there will still be a decent market for higher end tablets and that should be almost all Microsoft's.

Actually thats not such a bad move as you may think.

They do it already with the MacBook Pro's. Mind you just for my eyes sake I would get the Retina models ... my current iPad 2 is killing my eyes trying to read it without my glasses...

depends on what you are comparing it to. For usability, any android based tablet for me even priced at $49 is "overpriced". Same with a windows RT tablet. All depends on what you are using it for.

I respect the coming ideals for efficiency. Although, the added devices in the line are becoming more and more challenging to keep organized, I think in the end, it'll come out nicely. For those with just general needs and those who need power.