iPad mini Enhancing, not Cannibalizing iPad Sales

| News

Instead of seeing a decline in full-size iPad sales once the iPad mini was released, consumers are still showing strong interest in the 9.7-inch tablet while PC sales have dropped.

iPad mini sales hurting competition, not iPad salesiPad mini sales hurting competition, not iPad sales

Cowen and Co. surveyed 1,225 adults where 12 percent of the respondents said they planned to buy an iPad mini some time in the next 18 months, and 52 percent of them were new to the tablet market, according to AllThingsD.

Only 16.6 percent of the survey participants eyeing the iPad mini said they planned on replacing their current tablet with the small form factor iPad. 13 percent of that subset will be replacing a Kindle Fire, 42 percent are replacing a Windows PC, and 29 percent are replacing a full-size iPad.

The numbers suggest that instead of eating into iPad sales, the iPad mini is drawing in new customers that otherwise wouldn't consider buying a tablet, or at least weren't considering an Apple product. "The iPad mini creates more demand than it cannibalizes," commented Cowen and Co. analyst Matthew Hoffman.

That's good news for Apple and bad news for the competition since consumers are showing greater interest in the iPad lineup.

"Since 52 percent of the mini intenders in our sample did not own a tablet of any type, we see it successfully positioned as likely to penetrate new entry-tier segments," Mr. Hoffman said. "Mini will no doubt take some iPad '4' sales, but its low price also looks like an important tool to capture new consumers' attention."

In other words, the iPad mini isn't a cannibal tablet; it's a predator.

[Some image elements courtesy Shutterstock]

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Its completely misleading to say that the iPad mini is enhancing retina iPad sales.  Many people are buying retina iPads true.. but the iPad mini being in existence is not making people suddenly want one.

Its also silly to say that its not cannibalizing full sized iPad sales, because of course some people will change their mind and buy the smaller/cheaper option. 

I don’t think looking at what people are buying one to replace is useful, you need to look at what they bought it instead of.


I would say that if 29% of buyers are replacing a iPad with the iPad mini, then the iPad mini is cannibalizing iPad sales.

I would also say that if 13% of buyers are replacing a Kindle fire with an iPad mini, that some of those might also have considered an iPad, so some of that percentage would be cannibalization as well.

It might be better for Apple to cannibalize its own sales than to wait for Google and Amazon to do so, however. It has to be alarming in Cupertino that Android is at 70% of the phone market….


Clarification: that’s 29% of the buyers who are replacing an existing tablet.

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