Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster is out with a new research note on Apple (AAPL)’s iPad Mini. Munster, who remains bullish on AAPL with an “Overweight” rating and a $900 price-per-share target, estimates Apple will likely see sales of between — the estimate includes preordered devices — 1 million to 1.5 million of iPad Mini units over opening launch weekend alone. This would be far short of the 3 million of the 3rd-generation iPad sold in its first weekend back in March.
[via Reuters]”The reason we expect fewer iPad minis compared to the 3rd Gen is because of the lack of the wireless option and newness of the smaller form factor for consumers,” Munster said in his note to clients.
“We believe that over time that will change.” Munster bases his predictions on the thinking that the iPad Mini will become a bigger story as “consumers will gradually realize the benefits of the smaller form factor iPad, which will drive adoption, although it may not take form in lines for [today’s/Nov.2] launch.[via Barron’s] “While we don’t believe we will see it tomorrow, we believe the iPad Mini will gain momentum and become a more important product for Apple as consumers realize the benefits in portability and ease of use (one hand) from a smaller device size,” Munster said, adding that “the smaller tablet market has lacked the presence of a smaller iPad that brings the Apple ecosystem and brand to that market.”
Munster estimates that about “20-25% of total tablets are of the ~7″ variety”, but expects that percentage to be driven up significantly by the iPad Mini over the next few quarters.
Shaw Wu, a technology analyst at Sterne Agee, shares the same bullish views as Munster.
According to Wu, concerns over iPad mini’s $329 entry price point versus expectations of $249 and $299 are overdone. He compares the gadget’s current market position to the iPod mini and iPod nano.[via AI]“This controversy reminds us of what happened with iPod mini and iPod nano,” Wu wrote in a note to investors. “Both predecessors were criticized as being overpriced but went on to do much better than expected. The key reason being high quality at a reasonable price and we see something similar here.”
Wu also said iPad Mini “is the competition’s worst nightmare that will likely slow down adoption of competitor tablets.” In particular, Wu believes this could end up being “a very tough holiday season for Windows 8.”
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