Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray has projected today that Apple may sell 1 – 1.5 Million iPad minis this weekend.
The iPad mini was announced 2 weeks ago, and will be available in retail stores tomorrow. It has garnered a lot of media attention, but Munster insists that consumers may not see the advantages of the smaller tablet form factor yet, and it will fall far behind the iPad 3′s 3M opening weekend sales. Munster also speculates that the lack of a wireless option until later in November will impact the iPad mini’s opening weekend sales as well. Understandable, considering that the device was made to be more portable.
Munster predicts, however, that smaller tablets will have their day in the sun. He adds that the iPad mini stands a good chance at improving the consumer demand for tablets with a smaller form factor.
We believe that over time that will change, and consumers will gradually realize the benefits of the smaller form factor iPad, which will drive adoption, although it may not take form in lines for tomorrow’s launch. While we don’t believe we will see it tomorrow, we believe the iPad Mini will gain momentum and become a more important product for Apple as consumers realize the benefits in portability and ease of use (one hand) from a smaller device size. We believe that the smaller tablet market has lacked the presence of a smaller iPad that brings the Apple ecosystem and brand to that market. We estimate that about 20-25% of total tablets are of the ~7″ variety, but expect that percentage to be driven up significantly by the iPad Mini over the next few quarters.
What do you guys think? Could the iPad mini surpass 1.5 million sales this weekend, despite the lack of a wireless configuration? Could it help to usher in a new era of tablet computing that other small tablets haven’t been able to accomplish?
Tell us your thoughts in the comments!