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iPad mini unveiled with target of 6M unit sales volume

Posted: 01 Nov 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:New iPad? iPad mini? WitsView? G/G structure? Retina display?

According to WitsView, the panel research unit of TrendForce, iPad mini's price of $329 is not as damaging as expected in a vicious market with low-priced tablets priced at $200. The market research firm added that it is very possible that high level of costs and limited supply this year force Apple to take a relatively conservative pricing strategy.

WitsView research director Eric Chiou said that although the panel in 7.9in iPad mini doesn't carry Retina display that Apple has emphasized, the narrow bezel is still a huge breakthrough for the mass-production of medium-sized panels. Compared to rivals' FFS panels featuring WXGA (1280x800) resolution in 7in tablets, its price is at least 20 per cent higher.

On the other hand, to minimise the weight and thickness at the same time, iPad mini quits using G/G structure, whose cost competitiveness reaching peak with the three-year tradition in the iPad family, and adopts the new generation of GF2 structure. The key DITO Film Sensor in the GF2 touch module still has its bottleneck on mass-production, seeing a high level of price due to a few supplies controlled by Japanese makers for the moment.

In terms of the price of entire touch module, GF2 in iPad mini is at least 40-50 per cent higher than opponents' 7in OGS or G/G structures. The specification requirements lift iPad mini costs, which may be the major reason why Apple is unable to fully perform on prices.

Secondly, as the schedule of panel mass-production is delayed, WitsView revises down this year's shipment target to six million units from 8.5 million units. From the view of attacking market share, the price tag of $329 may be slightly conservative, but in the condition of limited supply, the pricing strategy would firstly satisfy consumers with strong purchase intention and show clear profit-maintaining effect by avoiding entering the cut-throat price competition at the early stage of sales.

Chiou further indicates that, three members New iPad, iPad 2 and iPad mini exist simultaneously in the iPad family, seeming to show the enriched variety of product lines, but the unobvious price gaps would bring the scene of competing against each other in the peak sales season this year. The promotion of high resolution tablets (QXGA and WUXGA) doesn't run smoothly, contrarily consumers fall for affordable products that emerge, forcing Apple to extend iPad2's lifecycle and put the price at $399.

From the rational analysis of size-price ratio, iPad 2 is still very appealing to first-time buyers of tablets and consumers with budget awareness. The rising issues are negative effect to the upper New iPad with a higher price by only $100 and consumers' decision depending on key issues, including display area, mobility and prices, when comparing iPad mini with a lower price by merely $70, inevitably leading to a situation of taking clients from each other.

WitsView maintains its estimate of 64 million units in the overall shipment for iPad family this year, among these, 9.7in accounts for 90 per cent, mainly responsible for the blooming or waning of iPad sales. On the other hand, as iPad mini's price of $329 is not crushing enough to Android's 7in tablets at $199, Amazon and Google Nexus are expected to stay at a relatively advantageous position in the low-priced tablet sales season of year end, respectively challenging the sales volumes of 7.4 million and four million units.

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