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Tepid Demand Seen for iPad Mini

Tickers in this article: AMZN BKS AAPL

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- With rumors continuing to persist about an Apple(AAPL) "iPad Mini," it appears that demand for such a device may not be there.

Of the 1,049 readers who voted in a poll by TheStreet, just 32.12%, or 337 of respondents voted, "Yes -- I'll buy anything Apple related."

There may be some hope, however, if Apple is able to make a 7.85-inch tablet, and not compromise on the user experience. More than 35% of voters said they might purchase a smaller iPad, but they would need to see it first. Rumors of a smaller iPad have persisted for months, and have grown stronger in recent days, as Apple gets set to sell its latest tablet on Friday.

Nearly a third of those who participated in the poll, 32.79%, agreed with former CEO Steve Jobs that a 7-inch tablet was "dead on arrival." Jobs once said during a 2010 earnings call that he didn't think the size was right for the software. "The reason we won't make a 7-inch tablet isn't because we don't want to hit a lower price point, it's because we think the screen is too small to express the software."

Amazon(AMZN) and Barnes & Noble(BKS) have shown that there is a demand for 7-inch tablets, but at significantly lower price points. Both Amazon's Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble Nook are priced far lower than the iPad, but offer less features. Apple recently cut the price of its iPad 2 to $399, as it introduced a new iPad last week.

Apple shares are surging in afternoon action, rising 4.4% to $593.17 at last check. The session's peak of $594.73 is yet another all-time high for the stock, which has soared more than 40% since the start of the year.

Interested in more on Apple? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

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--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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