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Will Apple's iPad 'Mini' Be a Bust?

All the hype may prove to be full of sound and fury, signifying nothing . / Credit: Photo illustration by Karl Tate

Apple fans are frothing at the mouth in anticipation of the release of Apple's sequel to its wildly successful iPad, a 7.85-inch, Wi-Fi-only tablet computer speculatively called the "iPad Mini." All the hype, though, may prove to be full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. The results of early polling of potential buyers are underwhelming.

Half of consumers are not interested in buying Apple's tinier version of the iPad, according to a survey of 1,322 consumers conducted by TechBargains, a deal aggregation website. Only 18 percent of respondents said they plan to purchase an iPad Mini while 32 percent are undecided.

This compares with 45 percent of respondents from the same survey who said they planned to purchase the new iPhone.

Of those who plan to purchase the iPad Mini, 14 percent said that they planned to wait in line the day it is released, one in five said they will buy it online as soon as it is available and 66 percent said they don’t have a set time frame for purchase. The data also reveals original iPad owners are the most likely to pay for the new iPad Mini, with 27 percent of them planning to purchase the tablet.

The iPad Mini is also unlikely to cause a stampede across the tech toys aisle, the survey found. Current Kindle Fire owners and those who don’t currently own a tablet are least likely to plan a purchase. Only 16 percent of Kindle Fire owners surveyed and 16 percent of respondents who don’t own a tablet said they plan to purchase the iPad Mini.

When polled on the most desirable features for the new iPad Mini, 78 percent said they want a USB port, 77 percent desire a retina display, 75 percent hope for a memory card slot and 74 percent would like better speakers than the current iPad. The survey revealed that about one in four consumers believe the starting price of the iPad Mini will be $299 while nearly one in five believes it will start at $399. When asked about the display, 55 percent of consumers believe it will be a 7-inch tablet. Additionally, 68 percent of consumers believe it will be called the iPad Mini, in line with the current rumors.

"Given Apple’s recent success, it would be easy to assume that all new Apple products will be wildly popular," said Yung Trang, president and editor-in-chief of TechBargains.com. "Our survey results indicate that theory is no longer the case. According to our survey respondents, the so-called iPad Mini will not be highly coveted because consumers are questioning the necessity of a smaller iPad, especially if they own an iPad or an iPhone."

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.We're also on Facebook & Google+.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.

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