The end is near for Apple’s (AAPL) second-generation 9.7-inch iPad 2, according Evercore Partners analyst Rob Cihra. In a note to investors, Cihra said he believes Apple will streamline its product lineup and phase out the iPad 2 to make way for the iPad mini. Since the release of the new iPad, Apple has continued to sell the non-Retina display iPad 2 at a lower $399 price. Cihra notes that Apple could sell around 7 million iPad mini tablets by the end of December and 26 million total iPads during the holiday season.
Cihra’s reasoning is not too far off base, considering the fact that the iPad mini is expected to be an iPad 2 shrunken down to a 7.85-inch display with a slightly upgraded processor and possibly more RAM. It won’t carry a Retina display, but will offer the same 1024 x 768 resolution as the iPad 2. However, the iPad mini should have a higher pixel per inch density, making it much sharper than on the iPad 2.
Apple is expected to announce the iPad mini on October 23rd. The iPad mini is rumored to cost between $249 and $299.