Analyst Reports

Analyst Predicts No New iPad mini or 12-Inch iPad in 2014

"Tepid" sales and the long rumored iWatch could push the iPad mini 3 and Apple's 12-inch "iPad Pro" to the back burner in 2014. KGI Securities’ analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts Apple will only concentrate and launch a second-generation iPad Air this year. Kuo says the new tablet will most likely feature Apple's updated A8 processor, Touch ID and a few minor improvements. The rumored 12.9-inch iPad will also be released in limited supply in 2015, according to Kuo's note obtained by Mac Rumors.

iPad Air 2

"Compared with lower-margin iPad mini with Retina display, which shipments has been tepid, higher-margin iPad Air was a hot selling item in 4Q13, which will slow Apple in developing new iPad mini models. We believe Apple plans to launch upgraded iPad Air early this year, and will accelerate development of 12.9” iPad. As such, more resources will be allocated to these two products, which will affect the progress of the development of new iPad mini. All told, we think chances of the debut of a new iPad mini in 2H14 are slim. In addition, the 12.9” iPad is unlikely to be offered in 2014. For these reasons, we predict the only new iPad product in 2H14 will be the upgraded iPad Air."

Another Analyst Predicts iPad mini 2 Shortage

The latest iPad mini 2 shortage rumor comes from Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek who believes the second-generation tablet will have a Retina display. However, it is the Retina display which makes Misek worry that stock of the new Apple slate will be limited at launch.

iPad mini 2 Shortage

"We expect a Retina Display iPad mini to be introduced at $329. Yields for Retina film based display for mini remain terrible, which is why there was speculation (i.e., Reuters) that the launch could be pushed out to CQ1. We think initial launch supplies could be constrained to as few units as 2-5M."

Analyst Predicts A7X Powered iPad 5, iPad mini 2 in Time for Christmas

KGI-Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has gone on record predicting Apple has plans to release the iPad 5 and the iPad mini 2 with an A7X processor in time for the upcoming holiday season. Since the A7X will be a significant upgrade from the current A5 processor found in the iPad mini, Kuo believes this indicates the second-generation mini will use a Retina display like its larger counterpart.

Apple A7 Processor

Retina displays decrease the amount of pixelation the human eye detects at a normal viewing range while increasing resolution. The analyst’s prediction of the A7X chip in both devices is based on the fact that only an A-Series-X chip is powerful enough to run a Retina display, eliminating an upgrade to an A6. However, some pundits believe this doesn't rule out the possibility of an A6X powered mini.

Does the iPad mini Mean the End of the iPad 2?

Is it time to say goodbye to the iPad 2? Rob Cihra, analyst with Evercore Partners thinks so. Cihra told investors Apple will most likely discontinue the second-generation tablet after announcing the iPad mini on October 23.

iPad Mini rumor

According to Cihra, Apple's goal is to offer "clearer product tiers", meaning the iPad mini will replace the iPad 2 as the lower tier entry product of the iPad lineup. If true, Apple will be replacing the $400 iPad 2 with a more affordable $300 to $350 smaller tablet. This has most analysts calling the iPad mini the "competition’s worst nightmare.

Analyst: iPad Mini Would be the Competition's Worst Nightmare

Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu told investors on Tuesday that it is a “question of when, not if” Apple would release the so-called iPad mini. Wu believes a 7.85-inch iPad would be "the competition's worst nightmare" since most companies can't compete with the higher priced new iPad and iPad 2.

iPad Mini

Wu is not the only analyst who believes Apple will enter the smaller tablet market to compete with Amazon and other tablet manufacturers. Technology Business Research analyst Ezra Gottheil told Computer World that the 7-inch tablet is a "good form factor for some users," and that he believes it has always been in Apple's plan to "protect that price flank."

Kindle Fire a Gateway Tablet For the iPad?

JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz believes the Amazon Kindle Fire is only the beginning for first time tablet owners, and Kindle buyers will eventually "gravitate to more feature-rich" tablets like the iPad.

Moskowitz recently talked with Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Pete Oppenheimer who said people are replacing their home computers with tablets. They believe Kindle owners will eventually want to upgrade to a larger screen and more features like cellular data access once they get a taste of what tablets have to offer. Apple also thinks Amazon's success will be the death of other Android tablets since Apple and Amazon are the only two companies who can provide the total tablet experience.

Kindle vs iPad

I don't see a lot of Kindle owners jumping at the chance to spend more money on a second device unless Apple drops the price of the older generation iPads after the release of the iPad 3. A recent UK poll revealed that 46 percent of iPad owners didn't believe they were getting their money's worth, because they hardly use the device at all. It's also little early to start making predictions about the Kindle Fire's influence on the tablet market since it has only been out a few weeks.

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