Apple is known to not let the possibility of cannibalisation of its own products come in the way of bringing out new, and on many occasions radically different products to the market. The MacBook Air cannibalised the sales of traditional desktops and notebooks, the iPad cannibalised sales of Macs and so on.
Analysts have now started adjusting their iPad sales estimates, taking into account the imminent iPad mini release. According to their estimates, the smaller device would no doubt sell in great numbers during the holiday season, but it won’t carve the entire market without affecting the 9.7″ iPad’s sales numbers.
Apple’s quarterly results for the period from October to December typically witnesses high sales owing to the holiday season. The iPad mini is expected to go on sale on November 2nd, giving the device nearly two months to sell in the three month quarter.
Piper Jaffrey analyst Gene Munster estimates a collective iPad sales figure of 25 million in the holiday quarter, of which 5 million would be iPad minis. Munster’s earlier estimate without the iPad mini pegged the sales figure at 21 million:
“We believe that the smaller iPad could cannibalize one million regular iPad units in December or a rate of cannibalization at 20 percent,” Munster said. “[So] for every five million smaller iPads, you lose one million standard iPads.”
Another analyst, Janney Montgomery Scott’s Bill Choi, expects cannibalisation to be a bit lower at 15 percent:
“We view the smaller iPad as mostly an incremental opportunity, but see some modest cannibalization risk to the iPad and iPod touch,” he said.
For the December quarter, Choi expects Apple to sell 25.5 million iPads. Of those, he foresees six million being iPad minis, the overall total being offset by the cannibalization of one million standard iPad sales.
While cannibalisation of iPad sales is easy to see, more interesting to see would be how iPod touch sales are affected. The entire iPod line has seen a decline over the past few years, and its possible that the iPad mini, priced in a similar range, would further accelerate this decline.
Has the upcoming iPad mini made you reconsider your purchase of an iPod touch, even though their use case isn’t exactly the same?