7 inches of iOS goodness for $299
are increasingly confident that Apple will introduce a smaller, cheaper iPad sometime in the latter part of the year.
Arete research analysts Brett Simpson and Richard Kramer believe the new low-end iPad will feature a 7-inch screen and it will appear in Q3, with a price tag of just $299, which is next to nothing in the Apple universe. The iPad mini should use cheaper components and end up with a BOM cost of under $100, which would make it significantly cheaper to produce than the iPhone.
The launch should follow the introduction of the all-new iPad 3, which is expected in a few months. It is worth noting that a couple of years back Steve Jobs publically stated that Apple was not interested in 7-inch tablets, as they were too small to do the job. However, commenting the netbook craze Jobs also said Apple would not start making sub-$500 computers as Apple’s DNA would not let them ship such junk.
Either the times are changing, or the rumour mill is spinning out of control, but it would make a lot of sense to introduce a cheaper iPad aimed at the Kindle Fire market. Then again, it would have made sense to launch a cheaper iPhone to compete against mid-range Android and Windows phones, but Apple never did that, either.