In another edition of our long-running ‘quit your worrying’ series, we present why the iPad mini won’t take a bite from larger Apple tablet sales. You may recall, when the smaller iPad was introduced, experts offered wide-ranging estimates on how many sales the 7.9-inch tablet would cost the original iPad. A new survey suggests the number of cannibalized iPad sales will be very, very small. More than half of people who intend to purchase an iPad mini within the next 18 months have never owned a tablet, according to a survey conducted before Apple’s new device hit stores.

Of that group, roughly 17 percent said the mini would replace another device, according to the Cowen and Co. numbers. Of the portion of people intending the mini as a replacement, 29 percent said it would be the iPad. However, 42 percent of the replacers were targeting their Windows PC…

In other words, the survey indicates most people are buying an iPad mini as their first tablet. Additionally, if the iPad mini is cannibalizing anything, it is Windows-based PCs. Although the survey also found just thirteen percent of those surveyed said they intended to buy the mini to replace Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

As AllThingsD correctly points out, the iPad mini increases Apple’s tablet market.

With the iPad mini, Apple isn’t wooing consumers who might have otherwise purchased a larger iPad, it’s jacking into an untapped market looking for a smaller version.

Two intriguing datapoints emerge from the survey.

First, of those planning to buy the iPad mini to replace another device, fewer chose the Kindle Fire (thirteen percent) compared to the larger iPad (29 percent) as what they plan to ditch.


A clue might be in the 42 percent who’ll replace their Windows PC with the mini.

Perhaps the iPad mini is viewed more as a PC alternative. The Kindle Fire, while offering some tablet-like functionality, may be viewed by consumers as more of a reading device, rather than a full-blown tablet.

What do you think?

Is the iPad mini more of a threat to PCs than the Kindle Fire?

  • i think it will come down to the buyer.
    some people just prefer pc’s instead of tablets, because they do not like touch screens.
    others will see the mini as super portable, and will be able to perform functions while on the go almost or even easier than using a laptop or other tablet.
    i think that it will be a 1st buyer market and those looking to find something in the in between tablet size range that will give up the extra $$ over the cheaper linux devices out there.
    Now if they want extra slots for expandable memory or who ever the sales person is then of course they will possibly go with the other tablets out there.

    i think that the windows tablets are really getting good with their marketing, design and products, the only problem is …well everyone has used windows before …so it’s just a new wrapper for most people.
    Linux devices have their place and honestly sometimes work just as good if not better in some ways than the ios system can out of the box, but that’s where in my opinion most users prefer the smoothness of the ios interface rather than the file like structure of the linux operating systems out there for tablets…
    each has its own pros and cons…

    • Andrew Weissman

      That’s a very diplomatic response, but also an interesting one =)
      I do agree with you on most points (I have no comment on Linux due to never having experience working on it) but I also think that the Windows 8 transition from Windows 7 might be too confusing of a transition for some, and a viable tablet might peak their interest instead. Just food for thought though.

  • Still don’t regret buying!!

  • Johnathan Jennings

    I got my Nexus 7 yesterday.

    • Kurt Andersen

      cool story bro

  • I went back and forth on replacing my iPad 3. In the end, I really like the smaller form factor, retina or not, old processor or not. The size is just too compelling for me to hunk around a bigger retina device. IMO So I bought my yesterday.

    • Same here. Tried one at the Apple Store and immediately fell in love retina display or not. I am currently in the process of selling my iPad 3 on eBay lol.

    • Al

      Wow… You actually replaced your iPad 3. I haven’t seen the mini up close and personal, mainly because I don’t want to have to go through the differences between the two. I’m pleased with the iPad 3 and I await for the fifth generation iPad.

  • Jose Gonzalez

    Still waiting to get one…hopefully this christmas season will have me owning one soon.

  • I can totally see it replacing a windows PC. What do most people do on their pc’s anyway these days? Browse the web. A tablet is better at browsing the web while not having to go through the rigors of going to your desktop, or even simply opening your laptop. An iPad mini is right with you ready to go at a slide of your finger.

  • PC’s are going to be replaced with tablets. i remember a IDB article which showed a chart which said that by 2017 people will have tablets as there main device in their house.