Customers from both Hong Kong and China show considerable interest in Apple’s iPad Mini. In relation to this, Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets said that his checks in the said countries saw “insatiable demand” for the 7-inch tablet.
Due to this, the demand leads to the device’s stock-outs and limited availability. All models of the iPad Mini, which was launched in Hong Kong on November 2, 2012, were completely sold out during the last week of December 2012.
The device was also met with strong interest when it was rolled out in Mainland China on December 7. In fact, it has been out of stock at Apple retail stores in China during the same period.
Prior to China launch, we indicated that the iPad Mini would be the “next big thing in China” and we believe this phenomenon is starting to develop. In our view, the smaller form factor and lower price point will allow Apple to sell the iPad Mini in more meaningful volumes versus the regular-sized iPad.
Moreover, White discovered during his checks in both Hong Kong and China that the iPad Mini has already become more popular with consumers than the iPad 4.
Coming this March: New iPad and iPad Mini
In another news, it was rumored that a fifth-generation iPad and a replacement iPad Mini will be unveiled this March. Hindustan Times reported that the so-called iPad 5 will be lighter and slimmer than its predecessor, while the replacement iPad Mini will feature high-definition display.
As to the speculation that both devices will debut in March, this is traditionally the month that Apple releases new tablets—the only exception being in October 2012, when an updated iPad and new iPad Mini were launched to capitalize on the roll-out of 4G LTE mobile connectivity and to cash in on the growing market for smaller tablets respectively.
Popularity of iPhone 5 in Hong Kong and China
As for the iPhone 5, the handset’s stock has improved over the past weeks. It is now more widely available for walk-in customers in both Hong Kong and mainland China.
After the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note I/II became more popular than the iPhone 4S in recent months, our discussions now indicate that the iPhone 5 has recently become the most popular high-end smartphone at the resellers that we spoke with.
Meanwhile, Topeka Capital Markets has maintained its 12-month price target of $1,111 for AAPL stock. White is even bullish on Apple, with a price target almost twice the company’s current trading price. Obviously, the price target is significantly higher than an average target of $740 among major analysts.