Brian White with Topeka Capital Markets said on Thursday he feels Apple's so-called "iPad mini" is poised to become "the next big thing" in the nation of over a billion people. As reason for this prediction, he pointed to growing popularity for Samsung's large-screen Galaxy Note smartphone.
"While the Galaxy note is also a smartphone, we believe the tablet capabilities are the main reason for purchase in China," he said. "Our conversations during our meetings and casual consumer interactions this week tells us the iPad Mini will take off like wildfire in China."
Assuming the iPad mini were to be priced between $250 and $300, that would have Apple's rumored 7.85-inch tablet at a price point less than half that of the new Galaxy Note II.
White is currently on a tour of Asia where he has spoken with component suppliers and gauged interest in electronics products in the region. Earlier this week, he described Hong Kong as having "iPhone 5 fever," after all of the stores he visited were sold out of Apple's latest smartphone.
iPad mini rendering. | Source: Martin Hajek
While the iPad mini hasn't even been confirmed by Apple, that hasn't stopped rampant speculation and even precautionary measures from being taken. For example, AppleInsider revealed earlier Thursday that retailer Best Buy has begun sending out in-store displays to showcase iPad mini accessories.
Apple's anticipated iPad mini is expected to be unveiled by the company this month. Rumors have suggested it will feature a 7.85-inch display with a lower resolution than the Retina display on the third-generation iPad. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple has ordered more than 10 million units it aims to sell this holiday season.