Apple's iPad Mini Could Make Holiday Season Gains

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Rumors continue to swirl about Apple ( AAPL) selling an iPad Mini. Some on Wall Street are even starting to put sales figures on the yet-to-be-announced product.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster believes that Apple could sell anywhere between 4 million and 6 million units of its rumored iPad Mini in the holiday quarter. That would be approximately 20% of the total iPad sales in the quarter, Munster noted.

The analyst believes the benefits of a smaller iPad could take away two of the biggest selling points of Google's ( GOOG) Android-based tablets: size and price. "A 7"-8" device at $299 effectively eliminates those advantages for Android and forces Android devices to compete more on software, where we believe iOS still holds a meaningful advantage," Munster wrote in his report. "We remain confident that Apple will maintain and potentially increase its tablet market share over the next four years."

Reports of an iPad Mini picked up steam last week when both The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg published articles about such a device. Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White added credence to the articles, by mentioning it heavily in a research note.

There's always the issue of self cannibalization, though. Apple has experienced this before, with iPad sales cutting into Mac sales, but never with the same form-factor. Munster said iPad Mini sales could cannibalize iPad sales by 10%, but that the devices would take 30% of total Android tablet sales in the quarter. White estimates the iPad Mini could cannibalize iPad sales by 10% to 20%.

Shares of Apple moved higher in Monday trading, up 0.97% to $611.78.

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-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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