It was inevitable that after Google’s Nexus 7 announcement, the “iPad Mini” rumors would start surfacing again. The 7-inch Asus-branded tablet has garnered quite a bit of attention this week.

Apple has long been believed to be working on its own 7-inch slate, with reports coming from both Apple-insiders and news outlets alike that such a product exists. But will we ever see it?

The latest report comes from Pacific Crest‘s Andy Hargreaves. The analyst told investors that his firm believes that Apple is planning to unveil a 7.85-inch iPad this fall.

“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 F2013. Based on estimated component order volume, we believe our iPad mini unit estimates are well within Apple’s production capacity.”

Rumor or not, releasing an “iPad Mini” right before the holidays would probably do wonders for Apple’s bottom line. Not to mention what it would do for its already-dominant tablet marketshare.

We have a bit of a problem with the $299 price point though. Google is selling its Nexus 7 at just $199, so it seems like Apple would be pricing itself out of the market at $300. Although to be fair, word is that Google is currently losing money on every tablet sold. And that’s just simply not Apple’s style.

But even if we took the competition out of it, would $299 be worth it for a 7-inch tablet? That’s just $200 cheaper than Apple’s 10-inch Retina-display slate. And just $100 cheaper than the iPad 2.

More importantly, where would the iPod touch fit into all of this? The device hasn’t seen an upgrade in almost two years. And last we heard, it was going to be getting the same 4-inch screen upgrade that the iPhone is rumored to receive this fall.

In all reality, Apple wouldn’t need a larger iPod touch and a smaller iPad. You would think that it would either a) make an iPod touch with a larger display (4, maybe 5-inches), or b) scrap the Touch line altogether and make a smaller tablet.

The odds are actually pretty good that Apple has at least one of these products in the oven, and will unveil it alongside the new iPhone in the fall. The question is, which one is it? And which one would you be more likely to buy?

[CNET]

  • For the longest time, i thought Apple was scrapping the iPod Touch… Im pretty sure they will considering they only mentioned it ONCE at the WWDC keynote, and that was to say it was compatible with iOS 6.

    • apple will continue to the sell iPod touch. why?
      -children
      -cheapest way to enter the ecosystem
      -people who want a phone with a physical keyboard (BB) or any other special feature, but also wants to access the apple’s ecosystem (iTunes)

      • it doesn’t have a physical keyboard… I don’t understand what you’re saying.

      • He is talking about having another phone which has a physical keypad while also owning an iPod touch

  • skychet

    besides being smaller, apple has to spin it so that it won’t be just a watered down smaller version of the current ipad (if indeed that’s all it will be). they need to give it something different from the current ipad, or no current ipad owner would want it , kinda like how they gave the ipod nano a camera feature that they never gave its bigger brother. that was a smart move to attract both crowds of people who already had ipods and people who were new to ipods but wanted something smaller. they should go the same route with an ipad mini, especially for a company who almost always makes vertical moves, not horizontal.

    • Sounds like you want it to have a stylus!

      Welcome back Apple Newton.

  • iNfAMOUS70702

    $250 would be a better price but i think even at 300 it would STILL outsell the nexus 7

  • quietstorms

    I don’t know why this rumors keeps on popping up but here are two reasons why it won’t happen:

    1. There isn’t any proof that there is a significant demand for a 7″ tablet. There was a recent study conducted that said people actually prefer the larger screen. The significant factor here is price and I’m guessing that Apple will adopt the pricing model of the iPhone to the iPad. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a $299 iPad 2 next year.

    2. Apple didn’t build the iPad as just a consumption device and that is what a 7″ tablet is. Apple’s intent was to make it the “PC for everyone”. Jobs said as much with his car/truck analogy.

  • the ipad 2 sells for $400 (just wait for another year it will be $300). Same when the new iphone will be release the price of the 4s and 4 will go down. probably the ip4 to $300-$400 then the 4s $500-600 FU which the rumored ipad mini price point will fit in. And most likely to happen that a new ipod touch will be release, along with the new iphone probably both at 4inch ,for $200 and the old one for $100 to compete with low end devices. That’s Apple like.

  • What about a 15 in iPad just think about it

    • Get a MacBook Pro 15in it will almost do the same thing and more and the retina version would be almost the same thickness

      • how about adding a touch screen to macbooks..??

  • Horrible price point. 16 gig iPad 2 can be purchased everyday at Micro Center for $360. If they make this and sell it at $299, Apple would be competing against itself. That is the wifi only version though. .

  • I know.. 5 inch iTouch!!! You price that at 200$, beat 7in cause you are Apple and beat phones like the Streak…

  • Honestly, I don’t see apple making a 7 inch iPad. It just isn’t what they would do!

    • It isn’t what anyone has done until the past year or two.

  • “apple won’t make it”
    “it’s just not apple”
    All you people that keep making comments like this. Do you even work for apple? If so, do you even work in the right department to make comments like this.
    I think not.

    • when u r using products by company for 8 yrs or so…u tend to get a decent idea abt their thinking…so dude chill…every body hav an opinion and everyone is allowed to post one….:)

      • Really? 8 years just using a product and you think you know how a company thinks? If you worked in a company in a fairly high position, then and only then i think that person can make such a confident statement.
        The second part you mention about opinions, i agree with you. But why make such confident statements when you ( people in general ) don’t have a clue?
        That’s my opinion.

      • I work at dell…and have a fair idea how company thinks…bt ohk i didnt work at apple nd believe me most f us know der thinking.,.will iPhone ever have a SD card slot..??…my opinion is no wotz urs..??…No ryt..!!!…even without working there you pretty much know it and datz all i meant to say…:)

      • Ok, let me ask you a question then. Is apple going to make an smaller ipad as stated in this blog?

  • I think a bigger iPod would do better because like people before me have said , the ipad 2 is already $400 and could be $300 next year, and the iPod is $200 do if apple priced the iPad mini at $200 they would be screwing themselves in the iPod department

  • well I prefer iPod classic