Can Apple’s iPad Mini Crush Rivals?

The iPad mini’s starting price of $329 has struck several people as being too high, but JPMorgan analyst Mark Moskowitz believes the new Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) gadget is capable of stealing sales from lower-priced rivals based solely on its features. While Apple has clearly designed its smaller tablet as an attractive alternative to new devices from Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), its entry price point is $130 higher than that of the Nexus 7 as well as the Kindle Fire HD.

“In our view, the larger screen size and iOS 6 capabilities of iPad mini stand to be good enough to grab share from the $199 tablet crowd,” Moskowitz said in a note to investors. The analyst had earlier estimated that Apple would price the iPad mini starting at $249, but that prediction had been based on the assumption that the base model would offer only 8 GB of storage. The analyst said the features and specifications of the new tablet turned out to be better than expected. The iPad mini starts at 16 GB and goes up to $659 for 64 GB of space.

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The analyst said that the addition of the iPad mini to Apple’s product line proved that the company was keen not to miss out on opportunities in the lower segment of the growing worldwide tablet market.

“We think the iPad Mini, coupled with the fourth-generation iPad, underscores Apple’s accelerated refresh rate of important devices and software,” the analyst wrote. “With the iPad mini and the new fourth-generation iPad, we believe Apple does not plan to forgo the profitable parts of the lower-end segments in tablets.”

The tablet will open for pre-orders on Friday and will reach stores on November 2.

Don’t Miss: iPad Mini: Here’s Why Apple Thinks $329 Works.