Apple’s upcoming iPad mini is set to shake up the tablet industry for a second time later this month. Its 9.7-inch tablet is the king of premium slates, and the smaller model is expected to dominate the entry-level market. But it won’t just cost rivals like Amazon and Google — it’ll cost Apple, too. You see, for every five iPad minis sold, the Appleis expected to lose one 9.7-inch iPad sale.
That’s according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who says iPad mini sales could reach more than 5 million units during the December quarter — assuming the device goes on sale on November 2, as expected. That would make the device a huge success, but it could have an impact on 9.7-inch iPad sales.
Based on that forecast, Munster predicts Apple could lose one million 9.7-inch iPad sales during the same three-month period. With a price tag between $249 and $299 for the base model, some customers who may have been planning an iPad purchase could be tempted to go for the smaller, cheaper model as opposed to the larger one.
Even so, the upcoming iPad mini announcement has led Munster to increase his forecasted iPad sales from 21 million units to 25 million units for the December quarter. He also added 8.5 million iPad sales to his 2013 forecast, estimating a total of 95 million units sold, with a quarter of those being the iPad mini.
Even though the iPad mini may mean less 9.7-inch iPad sales, it’s going to mean more iPad sales overall for Apple. And more sales means more App Store users, more iTunes users, and a bigger boost to the iOS ecosystem. Apple’s hardly going to mind losing a few iPad sales if it leads to bigger profits, then.
Munster says the iPad mini could be available in a number of different colors and capacities, and that there could be a cellular version as well as the Wi-Fi-only model. We’ll find out for certain on October 23 when Apple’s event takes place in San Jose.