is expected to announce the oft-rumored iPad Mini
at a press event next week
, which will likely then go on sale on or around November 2nd, well in time for the holiday shopping season. That time frame has analysts wearing out their calculators as they crunch numbers trying to determine how many iPad Mini devices are likely to be sold in the coming months, and what effect it will have on Apple's full size iPad. Their conclusion?
"We believe that the smaller iPad could cannibalize one million regular iPad units in December at a rate of cannibalization at 20 percent. For every five million smaller iPads, you lose one million standard iPads," Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray, relayed to AllThingsD
Munster's estimate is just slightly higher than that of Bill Choi's, an analyst with Janney Montgomery Scott who pegs the iPad Mini cutting into about 15 percent of full size iPad sales.
No matter how you slice it, the iPad Mini is going to eat into Apple's regular iPad sales, the only question is by how much? That's going to depend on a number of factors, starting with price. Right now very little is known about the iPad Mini, other than the fact that it will probably ship with a 7.85-inch display.
The challenge Apple faces is putting out a product that's able to compete in the growing 7-inch tablet category dominated by Android, while at the same time ensuring there's still demand for its 9.7-inch iPad line.