Topeka analyst Brian White, who has been travelling around Asia recently, checking up on the consumer electronics companies there, said he was “blown away” by the way in which accessory providers have been ramping up for the launch of the so-called iPad mini. Some have been producing accessories for the device since September. Interesting, considering invitations for the event at which Apple will unveil the iPad’s diminutive sibling haven’t even been distributed yet.
“We uncovered over 20 suppliers that showed us accessories for the iPad Mini,” White said. “Some already have the accessories boxed, labeled and ready for order.”
Among the vendors White spoke with was one that had on hand a “pilot” iPad mini. While the device’s origins aren’t clear, White seems to have been quite impressed with its physical form factor. “This 7.85-inch iPad Mini fit our hands like a glove,” he said. “We were easily able to tuck the device in our sport coat [and feel it may provide] a more mobile iPad experience for certain use cases.”
Given that, White is confident that the device will be well-received by consumers, and has high expectations for early sales. He figures Apple will sell between five million and seven million iPad minis during the December quarter, but predicts that ultimately it will surpass the unit volumes of the larger iPad.