Is Apple Cheapening the iPad Mini?

The announcement from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) about products launching in the fall has resounded in claims from one analyst, who has detailed just what products to expect.

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KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has a reputation for being on top of the news for Apple. His insights into the iPhone maker’s supply chain often help him correctly guess what products will be launched, where there will be delays, and many other supply issues.

Kuo had been predicting a number of delays for devices like the iPad Mini with a retina screen, a cheap iPhone, and the iPhone 5S. Last week, when Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook announced that the company would have some exciting product launches in the fall, it resonated with what Kuo had been saying about delays. And now, Kuo has added more detail to his predictions.

In a research note obtained by AppleInsider, Kuo gave his expectations for the next iPads. He expects an iPad Mini with a Retina display to be significantly pushed back, with mass production not beginning until October at the earliest. He said this was due to issues fitting enough pixels into the small display. He also believes a refreshed, full-size iPad will come out in the fall, but that it won’t be a great performer because of a lack of differentiation between it and the iPad Mini…

Those predictions made sense based on Cook’s announcement regarding fall releases. However, he had a very different suggestion for what could happen with the iPad Mini before the Retina version is released. Instead of launching nothing from now until the Retina version is ready, Kuo believes that Apple could make a cheaper model of the iPad Mini and price it between $199 and $249. If Apple removes the rear-camera, cuts down on internal storage, and uses a better process for making the processors, Kuo suspects Apple could pull off the low prices to compete directly with the likes of Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle series and more.

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A cheap iPad Mini would surely be a surprise, and Kuo thinks Apple might have two more surprises up its sleeve. It’s possible Apple will be revealing a new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air at the Worldwide Developers Conference this year. Though the more traditional PC-type devices have been struggling in the market recently, a debut of new products may at least be enough to excite investment a little as the wait for new i-devices stretches on into autumn.

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