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iPad Mini won't eat into its big brother's sales, analyst says

Cowen and Co. says that the Mini "creates more demand than it cannibalizes" and that over 50 percent of those who plan to buy an iPad Mini are first-time tablet buyers.

Apple's iPad Mini
Apple's iPad Mini

Apple's iPad Mini won't cannibalize too many fourth-generation iPad sales, a new study has found.

Analyst Cowen and Co. recently conducted a survey of 1,225 U.S. adults on their upcoming tablet buying preferences. According to All Things Digital, which obtained a copy of the survey's results, just 12 percent of respondents said that they would buy an iPad Mini within the next 18 months. Out of that group, just 16.6 percent said that they were buying the tablet to replace it with another tablet. Moreover, just 29 percent of those folks said that the tablet they were replacing was an iPad.

Given that, Cowen analyst Matthew Hoffman argued that the "iPad Mini creates more demand than it cannibalizes."

Not all analysts would be quick to agree. Last month, for example, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster wrote to investors that the iPad Mini will have a 20 percent cannibalization rate.

"For every five million smaller iPad [sales], you lose one million standard iPads," Munster said.

Munster said last week that he still believes the iPad Mini will "have a slight cannibalization effect" on Apple's larger slate, adding that his checks seemed to indicate 90 percent of customers waiting in line for the new Apple products were actually looking to buy the iPad Mini rather than the full-sized iPad.

Still, the iPad Mini won't have the biggest impact on the iPad. According to Cowen, 42 percent of iPad Mini buyers plan to replace a Windows PC. Another 13 percent of iPad Mini owners will ditch an Amazon Kindle Fire.

One other interesting tidbit from the Cowen study: 52 percent of iPad Mini buyers currently don't even own a tablet.

Now playing: Watch this: Unboxing the iPad Mini