Apple could be about to introduce an ultra low cost tablet to its product range, an analyst claims, in what would be its most aggressive move yet to quell the rise of rival Android slates.
In a research note intended mainly for high-net worth individuals with investment dollars to divest, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that retina display manufacturing problems might mean the iPad mini 2 could be delayed until the fourth quarter of the year.
However, to plug the tablet-shaped gap in Apple’s release schedule, Kuo posits that the tech giant could roll out a cheaper tablet with a lower grade screen in the meantime. Other cost savings would be made for ditching the rear camera and, trimming on board storage to 8GB, with cloud storage making up the shortfall.
Apple could also minimise its per-unit spend with some uncompromising negotiating with parts suppliers and streamlining production processes for the iPad mini’s metal outer and A5 processor.
He said: “Prior to iPad mini 2 launch, Apple might roll out a more affordable iPad mini to compete with Android products
“We think this cheaper iPad mini retail for US$199~249.”
The putative low price point would mean the device sells for broadly the same as the likes of the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire, both of which feature the same kind of compact dimensions as Apple’s kit.