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CANNIBAL! Apple's 7.85in iPad will EAT 9.7in iPad sales

But not enough to prevent Cupertino beanfeast, says analyst

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Apple's much-rumoured 'iPad Mini' will eat into sales of the larger model, but it's still going to lead to a massive increase in sales of the platform - if Apple releases such a gadget at all.

So says Andy Hargreaves of Pacific Crest, a US stockbroker. Hargreaves this week said he reckons that for every buyer who opts for a 7.85in iPad instead of the 9.7in model, three more iPad Mini owners will be new to the platform.

"We anticipate 25 per cent cannibalisation of the larger 9.7in iPad, so our total FY2013 iPad estimate increases to 91.6 million [units] from 65.2 million," Hargreaves said.

His estimate for 7.85in iPad sales: Apple will sell ten million 7.85in iPads in Q4 - Apple's first quarter of fiscal 2013. It'll sell 35.2m of the scaled-down tablets in the 12 months to 31 September 2013.

The iPad Mini is expected to debut in time for the Christmas sales season, sporting 8GB of storage - a possible replacement for the currently still available iPad 2, some say. Price estimates range from $300 to $400 (£191-255), but almost certainly well above the $200 (£128) Amazon and Google are charging for their 7in tablets.

Some rumours suggest the smaller iPad will have a 1536 x 2048 "retina" display, others that it will match the iPad 2's 768 x 1024 screen - though with a higher pixel density because the screen is smaller: 163ppi to the iPad 2's 132ppi. The iPad 3's screen is 264ppi. ®

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