Apple expects to sell twice as many tablets as Amazon
Apple is almost certain to launch a smaller iPad, going by the name of the iPad Mini, a case of 'when', rather than 'if'. It also seems pretty confident that its miniature tablet will sell big too.
According to the WSJ and in turn, component suppliers in Asia, orders have been placed for more than 10 million units in the fourth quarter. If you want to put that into perspective, the total is roughly double the orders that were placed for Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets in the same quarter, despite Amazon rolling out the tablet to a much wider global market in the run-up to Christmas than it did last year.
Production is well underway for the 7.85-inch tablet and a launch is almost certainly going to happen later this month. We're just waiting for those invites to drop. When it does launch, expect a scramble for pre-orders and a shelf date of November.
Apple might be confident, but with a buoyant budget tablet market, the success of Apple's smaller tablet might depend on price. That's something no one is really clear about as yet. The hope is that Apple will come in below $300 (around £187), but with Apple looking at itself as a premium brand and with UK prices rarely being a direct conversion from the US, that's more in hope than expectation.