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Yesterday, I took a look at how a lack of "mania" around the iPad Mini's launch was a big factor in Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) 3.3% sell-off on Friday. It's not that there weren't lines forming at Apple stores; it's that the lines were smaller than past launches, such as when the third-generation iPad hit store shelves in March.
Expectations for the tablet's first week of sales are all over the map. KGI research's Ming-Chi Kuo, who's been relatively accurate with recent looks into Apple's supply chain, reports that the company will ship 850,000 iPad Minis in the tablet's first week on the market. That number is largely due to shortages, as he estimates 950,000 units were created before launch. Across the quarter, Kuo estimates 8.3 million in sales. That's a total that's still well beyond his estimate of 4.5 million Kindle Fire HDs from Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN ) and 1.9 million Nexus 7 tablets from Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) .
It's important to note that the number could be disappointing. Estimates for opening weekend sales go all the way to 3 million, which is a number anchored from Apple's prior iPad launch. More "reasonable" estimates sit in the million-unit range. Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster, whose analysis on Apple is normally interesting, is pegged at 1.5 million sales.
In the end, while investors will probably see a strong reaction to whatever opening-week sales Apple either announces or analysts estimate, the big picture continues to be supply constraints holding demand back. The more interesting result will be sales across the quarter. Yesterday I noted how early reviews of the iPad focus on how amazing its 11-ounce weight is. That combined with price point could mean the iPad Mini is most popular in segments such as teens and pre-teens, where the iPod Touch has been popular. That could shift more sales to December, as the tablet would be a popular option come Christmastime.
My personal calls into local stores showed the tablet sold out early yesterday. However, I'd also like to hear from our readers. Are you buying an iPad Mini? If not, why not? If you are planning on buying one, have your run into shortages? Make sure to leave a comment in the box below.
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