Rumors have been building for months that Apple would move into the lower-priced end of the tablet market by offering a 7.85-inch iPad version, which would most likely be announced this month and released next month. Now sources of the Guardian are saying that the “rumored” iPad Mini will only come in a Wi-Fi version.
Industry sources indicated to the Guardian that they do not expect to see 3G-capable versions of the iPad mini. That would allow Apple to produce it comparatively cheaply and to limit the top price of the product, while retaining mobile broadband connectivity for its pricier iPad line.
To compete with the current Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 which are priced about $200, Apple also should keep the price tag of the iPad Mini low.
A key factor will be pricing: Amazon’s Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7 are both priced at about $200 in the US, leading analysts to suggest that Apple cannot price the base version of any “iPad mini” above $250 without damaging its chance of selling.
According to the latest rumors the iPad Mini is expected to be released on 2 November. Some analysts have estimated that Apple could sell as many as 10 million iPad Minis by the end of 2012.