Apple May Beat Rivals with Smaller iPad, Say Experts

Apple is expected to introduce the smaller 7-inch version of the iPad soon, and analysts believe that theCupertinocompany is taking the right steps, even if that is against the wishes of the company’s legendary co-founder Steve Jobs.

The market has changed since Jobs’ death, and Apple’s rivals have successfully launched smaller tablets to take on the bigger iPad. Amazon’s Kindle Fire is already a rage, and now Google is joining the party with its Nexus 7 tab.

Jack Gold, analyst at J. Gold Associates, says that the 7-inch form factor is popular and very useful if you want true portability. He also mentions that these tablets are less expensive and can compete for the lower end of the tablet market.

True, Apple is doing well without a smaller iPad – it currently tops the tablet segment and  is making profit. But there’s tough competition from Samsung, Amazon, Microsoft and Google. Now that the new, smaller format has proven popular, many experts believe that Apple has no choice but to go into this segment.

Pricing is where Apple could make the difference. Apple is expected to sell the new iPad for $300, which could be a big blow for the Android tablets. Andy Hargreaves, an analyst at Pacific Crest Securities, said in a note last week that he expects Apple will sell 35 million iPad mini units in the coming year at $299, with 25 percent cannibalization of the larger iPad.

Some experts think that Apple is likely to introduce a larger screen for its popular iPhone to compete with Android smartphones.

Apple’s tardiness in moving to four- and five-inch phones has dropped it well off the smartphone leadership position it once owned and has been handing that market to Google. Well, it’s time for Apple to introduce larger phone and smaller tablet.

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