Analyst: no Black Friday iPad mini discounts means huge demand exists

While Black Friday discounts abound at Apple and around the web, one product where deals are absent is Apple’s iPad mini. The reason: people want to buy the smaller iPad deal or no deal, one analyst opines. According to Wells Fargo’s Maynard Um, “early checks suggest demand continues to be robust with strong store traffic through the week and early Friday”. That ship times remain two weeks for both the Wi-Fi and Cellular models points to the iPad mini becoming a must-have holiday item (kids agree)…

“Unsurprisingly, Apple is not offering any Black Friday promotions for its iPad mini given end demand”, Um told investors (via Barron’s).

Demand for the iPad, which went on sale in October, can be gauged by the time customer’s have to wait before the product is shipped: two weeks. While some lower-priced tablets could shave off a few points from Apple’s lead in units shipped, “we expect Apple to have a more dominant unit/profit share in tablets”, Um adds.

The analyst believes Apple will “meet or exceed” Well Fargo’s forecast of 20.2 million iPads sold during the December quarter.

As iDB reported recently, a large number of consumers intending to purchase the mini say it will be their first tablet. This indicates Apple’s strong demand for the smaller iPad is not coming from people who already own a tablet.

Many current iPad owners have complained the iPad mini display lacks the crispness of the larger iPad 4. This charge has led to claims a Retina-equipped iPad mini will be the first product update out of the gate in 2013.

Another Apple product Um sees as having pent-up demand is the iPhone 5.

Similar to last year, Apple is not offering promotions on its iPhones. Ship times improved to 2 weeks from 3 weeks within the last week, and in line with our checks, suggests improvements in the supply chain as end demand continues to be strong.

However, there are some deals to be had on the iPhone 5.

AT&T, for example, is offering a refurbished iPhone 5 for $99.

Also worth pointing out, online auction site eBay recently began offering various Apple-certified refurbished products as well.

Um isn’t the only Wall Street observer offering up Black Friday prognostications.

Gene Munster, the Piper Jaffray analyst who has beaten the ‘the Apple TVs are coming‘ forecast like a dead horse, now says a sub-$200 iPhone should appear within the next two years.

But don’t expect to see the cheaper device at your corner wireless carrier as Munster predicts the cheaper iPhone to head to Brazil, China, Russia and other untapped markets.

Both Um and Munster give us something to chew on while digesting that huge Thanksgiving Day meal. The question is whether the insights satisfy our hunger for Apple’s thinking or just leave a bad taste in our mouths.

Will the iPad mini mean a smaller market share but larger profit margin for Apple?

And, can Apple overcome its distaste for the word “cheap” and create an Android-killing handset for less?

Don’t be shy, meet us in comments.