An inexpensive iPad Mini will help Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) stir up the 7-inch tablet market completely and force rivals to change strategies, an analyst has said. IHS iSuppli analyst Rhoda Alexander said Apple could go as aggressive as $249 for an entry-level model of the rumored new tablet.
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Apple’s overall approach to the device will depend on whether the company wants to “crush the opposition” or just maintain dominance, Alexander told CNET. “And the price point would be how they do that,” she said.
While a $299 price tag would be a better fit for profit, the company could go as low as $249 if it really decides to pressure the market. A higher-end model with 4G LTE would be closer to $349, Alexander said. The analyst added rivals including Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) will need to start resorting to strategies like the latter’s promotional campaign for the Nexus 7 tablet, which places an advertisement for the device on its ultra-popular search home page. Driving more sales before the iPad Mini arrives is the smart way to go, the analyst said.
“The input I’m getting from the supply side is that [Google] has actually raised the quantity of orders being built this year,” Alexander said. “We see it on the order of five to six million in 2012 or maybe even a little more than six million.”
However, the Wi-Fi-only Nexus 7 may not do as well in international markets where 3G is necessary, according to Alexander, while a cheaper 3G- or 4G-capable iPad would possibly thrive.
Shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) closed Friday up at $665.24, sporting a $623 billion market cap.