) ultra-popular iPad Mini broke
worldwide sales records
when it was released last fall. The company is expected to post
another solid sales period when its fiscal 2013 second quarter
results are announced in April. That could be the end of Apple's
winning streak, however, as it appears that first-generation iPad
Mini demand is beginning to wane.
, the Mac maker may reduce its iPad Mini shipments by as much as
20 percent. The decline could push shipment numbers down to 10
million -- far fewer than the millions Apple is expected to have
shipped during the current period.
Two reasons were given for the decline: 1) Apple is "adjusting
its reserves" for the next-gen model, and 2) Android tablet
competition is beginning to have an impact.
That latter element is a tad suspect. While Hewlett-Packard
) recently unveiled a new Android tablet, most manufacturers are
holding new tablets for the third and fourth quarter.
If Google's (NASDAQ:
) Nexus 7 or Amazon's (NASDAQ:
) Kindle Fire HD had hurt iPad Mini sales, that would have been
apparent last fall when those products were still new.
The more likely scenario is that Apple is simply cutting
shipments because the market has peaked for the first-generation
iPad Mini. While it is possible that Apple could merely be
shifting production to the next-gen model, the company would
never do so at the expense of current-gen sales.
Look at the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S: they are still two of the
most popular smartphones in the world. Apple would not kill them
off -- or reduce their shipments -- to bolster the iPhone 5. That
would be ridiculous.
Thus, the sane conclusion is that most of the consumers that
wanted the first-gen iPad Mini have already purchased one.
While it is never good sign when companies reduce the planned
shipments of a popular device, the presumed figure -- no fewer
than 10 million units -- is still fairly impressive. At that
rate, Apple will ship an average of 3.3 million units in each of
the next three months. That is all but guaranteed to be more than
In fact, it took Amazon
nine full months
to sell five million Kindle Fires in America. If the company had
launched the first-gen model all over the world, Amazon may have
been able to sell more. Even then, it would have likely fallen
However, there is one problem with the nwe iPad Mini estimate.
Apple is believed to be gunning for annual shipments of
55 million units
. If the company only ships 10 million next quarter, it could be
difficult for Apple to reach that goal.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer
of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or
email@example.com. Follow him
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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