"Price-sensitive" consumers will prolong tablet popularity and the iPad Mini will lead the way.
Not only will the iPad Mini make its mark on the tablet market, but the device could even hurt the PC market in doing so, an analyst has predicted.
J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz stressed that consumers aim for "feel good" products during difficult economic times, consequently giving the iPad Mini and other tablets the edge over PCs. He noted that consumers are expected to replace their smartphones and tablets two or three times before they purchase a new computer, leading to the average PC having a life cycle of between four and seven years.
"In our view, the iPad Mini stands to target price-sensitive users and the ereader crowd," Moskowitz said. "Given the global economic uncertainty, we think price-sensitive users could gravitate toward an iPad Mini instead of making a PC purchase."
"Our research indicates that the smaller size, absence of Retina display, and less storage capacity underpin the base model's potential price point of $249," he added.
Apple will release the iPad Mini at a much slower pace than the iPhone 5's launch strategy, Moskowitz predicted. The revised tablet is likely to release in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa during November and December, with the Asia-Pacific region due to receive the device mid-December.
Apple is rumored to be announcing the iPad Mini tomorrow, while a release in the US and Europe is reportedly set for November 2. Apple has apparently instilled enough confidence in the tablet by ordering 10 million units for the remaining months in 2012.