Demand for iPhone, iPad Remains High, iPad Mini: Not So Much

Several data sources over the past week have indicated very high levels of enthusiasm for the iPhone 5 and the iPad "Classic," but not as much interest in the rumored (yet forthcoming) iPad Mini.

Financial services and investment firm Pacific Crest reports that its checks reveal continuing, high levels of demand for the iPhone, which is reportedly hurting Android sales. According to a report in Fortune: 

[Pacific Crest's James] Faucette writes that he's seeing several Android-based vendors aggressively discounted previously "high-end" flagship-type products to mid- and low-tier pricing. "While the [Samsung] Galaxy SIII will continue to generate positive news flow as a viable iPhone competitor," he writes, "we continue to believe that as an ecosystem, Android's shipment levels likely peaked in the U.S. as far back as last October and are likely to see further declines in the future if the retention gap doesn't close."

Piper Jaffray found similarly high demand among US teens for the iPhone, as well as high ownership of iOS devices. Based on a survey of more than 7,000 teens the financial frim found 40% owned an iPhone, while 44% owned (or had access to) a tablet. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of those who owned a tablet had an iPad, according to the survey. 

These teens were also interested in the iPad Mini, especially if it were to be priced at less than $300. Pricing an iPad Mini creates an interesting challenge for Apple because it's new iPod Touch is priced at $299 and above. Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire tablets are priced at $199; so Apple can't go much beyond $200 in pricing the Mini. However that would potentially cannibalize sales of the new iPod Touch. 

In contrast to the Piper Jaffray survey, e-commerce site TechBargains.com conducted a survey of visitors to its site (n=1,332) in September and found only 18% of respondents were interested in an iPad Mini:

  • 18% of the surveyed consumers plan to purchase the iPad Mini, while 45% of respondents planned to purchase the new iPhone
  • 50% of those surveyed are not interested in buying the iPad Mini
  • 32% are undecided about the smaller iPad

Among the 18% who were interested in buying an iPad Mini: 

  • 14% indicated a plan to wait in line the day it is released
  • Original iPad owners are the most likely to pay for the new iPad Mini with 27% of them planning to purchase the tablet
  • Current Kindle Fire owners and those who don’t currently own a tablet are least likely to purchase: 16% of Kindle Fire owners surveyed and 16% of respondents who don’t own a tablet said they plan to purchase the iPad Mini

Pricing and features will ultimately determine how popular a smaller iPad tablet turns out to be.