February 19, 2012, 6:57 AM —
Apple could price an 8-in. iPad as low as $299, an analyst said today, as part of a strategy to "crush the opposition."
Rumors of a smaller iPad resurfaced earlier this week after the Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, reported that Apple was contemplating a tablet with an 8-in. display.
Then, several experts expressed skepticism that Apple would introduce a tablet with a screen smaller than the current 9.7-in. size of the current iPad.
Rhoda Alexander, senior manager of tablet and monitor research at IHS iSuppli, disagrees. "Based on our sources, we're very solid [in our belief] that Apple will release a smaller iPad that uses a 7.85-in. display, essentially an 8-in. screen, this year," said Alexander.
iSuppli's projection for a release: The fourth quarter of 2012.
With savings from downsizing the display and associated touchscreen, and perhaps reducing the storage memory to a default 8GB, Apple could price what Alexander's dubbed the "iPad Mini" -- perhaps a sop to the Mac Mini name that Apple uses for its petite desktop Mac -- as low as $299, although $349 would be another option.
"Apple doesn't need to compete with the $200 price point," Alexander argued, referring to the price tag of Amazon's Kindle Fire, a 7-in. device the e-tailer started selling last November.
Adding a smaller iPad would let Apple address several issues, said Alexander.