The iPhone 6 Could Cannibalistically Feast Upon iPad Mini Sales

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 8.30.07 AM

Pretty much every Apple product has cannibalized sales from another one: the MacBook cannibalized the Mac, the iPhone cannibalized the iPod, the iPad cannibalized the MacBook, and the iPad mini cannibalized the iPad Air.

On its part, though, Apple has always been cavalier about cannibalizing its own sales. In February, 2013, Tim Cook told investors that “if we don’t cannibalize, someone else will.” Which is why Cupertino is unlikely to be worried about analyst concerns that a larger iPhone 6 could cannibalize sales of the iPad mini.

As we’ve reported, the next iPhone is expected to debut in two sizes: a 4.7-inch model and a 5.5-inch model. The 5.5-inch iPhone 6, reportedly called the iPad Air, will likely be delayed until at least Christmas, but the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will land in September.

When it does, though, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says that it could cannibalize iPad mini sales. In an investor note released Monday, he suggested that consumers might update to the iPhone 6 to score the bigger screen instead of keeping an older phone and buying an iPad Mini. They might also choose an iPad Air instead of a Mini because they already have a fairly large screen in their pocket.

If true, the iPhone 6 could hurt sales of the iPad mini, but that’s probably not a big deal from Apple’s perspective. Larger-screened devices represents one of the few remaining growth opportunities in the smartphone market for Apple to pursue. iPhone sales make up the bulk of Apple’s business, while iPad sales have basically stalled. My guess is that Apple would rather trade in some iPad mini sales if it can be translated into even greater market penetration for iPhone.

  • BenRadUK

    “The 5.5-inch iPhone 6, reportedly called the iPad Air”
    I’m guessing this is a typo?

  • Iliyan

    I love my retina iPad Mini and I’m *not* looking forward to a 5+ inch iPhone. 4.7″ would be more than enough for me. It’s the iOS that they need to work on. And not on apps that App Store developers can write too, but on core features like a so-frikkin-much-needed (at least basic) file system, as well as a UI refresh.

  • http://www.soundgrenadestudio.com/ Wojciech Pawluczuk

    So there’s no chance for ip6 release in Q2?

    • PMB01

      There never was.

  • T_Will

    The 5.5″ iPhone will still be substantially smaller than the 7.9″ iPad Mini, so I’m not sure how much this will cannibalize those sales.

    I’m really looking forward to the 4.7″ iPhone, and using my iPad Air when I’m not as mobile.

  • marccardinal

    Click bait.

  • PMB01

    They also said the Mini would cannibalize sales of the full-size iPad and that didn’t really happen either. People will get whatever size they feel they need and however many devices they think they’ll use. This is why I have an iPhone 5S and a 3rd-gen iPad (iPad Air hopefully soon). Apple still has to convince me that a bigger iPhone is going to be usable with one hand. Samsung and their micro-tablets don’t have me convinced at all.

  • Jonah Corvus

    Why is this considered “news”? If there’s nothing to write about. Don’t write about anything. Your perpetuating the problem.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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