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Apple Set for Big iPad Mini Boost in China

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Details of Apple's (AAPL) rumored iPad Mini remain shrouded in secrecy, although at least one analyst expects greats things from the device when it eventually hits the Chinese market.

"We have noticed the growing popularity of the Samsung Galaxy Note in China this year and we believe this trend will play into Apple's hands with the soon-to-be-launched iPad Mini," wrote Brian White, an analyst at Topeka Capital Markets, in a note released on Thursday. "While the Galaxy Note is also a smartphone, we believe the tablet capabilities are the main reason for purchase in China."

The Galaxy Note, a smartphone/mini tablet hybrid, has a 5.3-inch screen. Apple's iPad Mini is expected to have a screen size of 7.85 inches, smaller than the current iPad's 9.7-inch screen.

Topeka's White, on a tour of China and Taiwan, predicts impressive demand for the smaller iPad. "Our conversations during our meetings and casual consumer interactions this week tells us that the iPad Mini will take off like wildfire in China," he wrote. "When we discuss the smaller form factor and lower price point, the body language tells us that Apple will finally be able to sell in volume an iPad product in mainland China and further participate in the ramp of China's mobile Internet."

The analyst notes that at an estimated price of $250 to $300, the iPad Mini would be priced at less than half the new Samsung Galaxy Note II in stores in Shenzen, China.

Like the features of the iPad Mini, nothing is known about the device's pricing, although there's speculation that it could be priced as low as $299 in the United States to make it competitive with other, smaller tablets. Almost a third of respondents to TheStreet's recent iPad Mini poll, however, predicted that the device will be priced at $349, between the cost of an iPod Touch and an iPad 2.

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