Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu said in a note to investors on Thursday: “We continue to believe that the iPad mini is the competition’s worst nightmare and will likely slow down the adoption of competitor tablets.”
Competitors include Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD and Google’s Nexus 7. “In particular, we believe this could end up being a very tough season for Windows 8,” Wu said, referring to the newly launched operating system from Microsoft.
Wu specifically mentions the price tag of the iPad mini in comparison to its competitors. While Apple’s 7.9in tablet is more expensive than Amazon and Google’s offerings at $249, Windows 8 devices are expected to be more expensive. Microsoft’s 10.6in Surface RT tablet is already “arguably overpriced” said Wu, referring to the device’s $559 starting price.
Experts couldn’t seem to agree on a price point for the iPad mini ahead of its announcement, with some predicting prices as low as $300 and others guessing more than $400. “This controversy reminds us of what happened with iPod mini and iPod nano,” said Wu. “Both predecessors were criticized as being overpriced but when on to do much better than expected. They key reason being high quality at a reasonable price and we see something similar here.”
The iPad mini went on sale this morning, greeted by much smaller queues than previously seen at new Apple product launches.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has predicted that Apple will sell 1.5 million iPad minis this weekend, half the amount of iPad 3 units that were sold within the same space of time following its launch. Munster thinks that iPad mini adoption will pick up as consumers discover the benefits of a smaller form factor, though.