For all the rumors about the iPad Mini that we’ve been furiously subjected to, aren’t you just a tad bit curious to know if there’s an actual demand for it? The price comparison website, PriceGrabber, has taken that curiosity further and surveyed 2,063 online shoppers on the question of public demand for the miniature iPad.

The Raw Numbers

According to the survey, 52% of consumers said they’d be interested in picking up a 7-inch iPad Mini that costs $249 – $300. However, only 22% of the respondents polled own a tablet, 68% are owners of the iPad or iPad2, with another 10% being owners of the Kindle Fire. As for the reasons why they desire an iPad Mini, 64% said the lower price of the tablet as the main draw, while 54% said the smaller size is the main attraction. Buying it as a gift, business productivity, and simply because “they love Apple products” were the other stated reasons.

When asked about attractive features they’d like to see on the iPad Mini, answers were varied. Lower price expectations, 3G connectivity, and a thinner and smaller body were named by 84%, 65%, and 60% of the respondents, respectively.

The Grand Appearance

We’ve talked about the demand side of things, but how soon can we expect to see an iPad Mini on the market? Since Apple is never one to confirm rumors outright and usually likes to keep the lid off its precious offerings until the very last minute, we can only go by rumors. The latest versions seem to suggest that Apple is readying in the neighborhood of 6 million iPad Mini’s for a Q3 release. Analysts also believe the smaller iPad tablet will retail for $249 – $299.

If the rumors are accurate and Apple is really going to release the iPad Mini with its supposedly 7.85-inch screen, the question remains: how will this affect Android tablets? Apple’s iPad now holds a comfortable 68% worldwide share of the tablet market. Is there any room left in the crowded sub 10-inch slate category? From the polls, it’s obvious that people do desire cheap tablets. We can say that a cheaper Apple iPad, though smaller in size, will definitely help maintain Apple’s tablet dominance.

For now, the stars of the 7-inch Android tablet scene seem to be the Kindle Fire and the Nook tablet, both “coincidentally” priced at $200. Feeling the pressure, Samsung has started to understand what setting a low price point can do for a tablet’s demand and has followed suit. They have begun offering more competitively-priced tablets, like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 lineup.

Meanwhile, Asus is reportedly working with Google to release the first Google Nexus tablet in the coming months, for an expected price of $250. It’s clear as day that the price trend, in general, is sliding down, accelerated by the popularity of the Kindle Fire. While it’s hard not to argue that price is the main factor that people will take into consideration for their tablet purchase, we can’t discount the importance of the platform’s ecosystem and the preference that people have for a certain platform.

The introduction of a cheaper iPad Mini might not necessarily eat into Android’s market share, but might increase the tablet’s user base as a whole. With the expected arrival of Windows 8 tablets, iPad Mini, a 10-inch Kindle Fire, and a slew of Android tablets in all sorts of sizes and shapes, it’s possible the 106.1 million tablet sales that analysts have forecasted for 2012 will be bested.

Bams Sadewo
Sade has an addiction, and it is incurable. Being as furiously addicted as he is mobile technology, it's only natural that he would want to work with the best Android site in the world. He scours the internet at all hours of the day and night to bring you the freshest, most interesting news on the rapidly expanding world of Android!
  • olbp

    One major, and I do mean MAJOR problem for apple will be delivering expectations at a sub-300USD price. Apple customers are, from my experience, not all that much up on technical details, like cost of what goes into a device. They are VERY likely to expect ALL the functionality, including resolution, etc., of the ipad3 on the sub-300USD mini-pad. As a result, a mini-pad with fewer features could well sour the market and future customers for apple. That is what happens when you advertise “magic” instead of technical details.

    • Darktanone

      The latest rumors indicate it will have the same resolution (2048×1536) as the New iPad, with a pixel density similar to the iPhone’s 326 ppi. If this is true, the competition is dead!

      • Litlprince

        higher resolution means same terrible battery life the the ipad 3 has. even more so such a resolution will require a fast processor similar to the ipad 3. so i dont think that will be a good idea.

        • Cole Raney

          The processor isn’t a problem. Just use the same one in the iPad 3. Battery and cost still would be problems though.

  • Bence

    I have the WayteQ xTab 70i, which retails around $166 here in Hungary. This 7″ tablet has ICS, 1GHz processor, 800×600 screen, 4GB RAM and the graphic chip of the Samsung Galaxy S2. I love this little and cheap tablet more than I did the iPad (and iPad 2)!!! The size is just right, fits in my sidebag, and I can hold it in one hand. I just love it!!! :-))) And all this for a fraction of the price of an iPad… I recommend this tablet for everyone!!!!

  • Anamika

    If iPad Mini makes Android tablets cheaper i am all for it!