As usual Apple rumours are all along; this time making references to the iPad Mini a 7.85” tablet to be announced soon. The spread word indicates that the new device will be announced around the 17th of October 20012 but no invitations have been received by anybody yet.
Considering all this as true, an iPad Mini could really hit the market and shake things up for everybody, some speculations state that 10 million devices has been ordered to manufacture. (UPDATE: New Image added with a filtered price list in Euros)
1 – Segment: The iPad Mini comes to fit a segment were Apple was a bit skeptical, the late Steve Jobs was not in favour of this type of devices because “they would be too little to use with fingers”, he said (you can listen his position this audio). But things changed, and the market is asking for a 7 inch tablet from Apple, Google Nexus has been selling as hot bread and is estimated they will have sold around 6 million devices at the end of 2012. Other Android tablets are also competing on this segment (like the Amazon Fire) but Google seems to be the leader on the ones that allow people to use Google Play Store. The main reasons this worked very good for the Nexus 7 are: price & functionality.
People were able to get a full working tablet device at a fair price (USD 199). This is the gap Apple will (I think) successfully fill if they decide to launch the product at a competitive price (USD 250 or so) the market will really feel its arrival. Apple has showed the great quality of the iPad on 3 versions already with amazing results.
2 – Perfect season: The release date of the iPad Mini would be just in time for testing, word spreading and mass production to supply the high demand this device will get for Christmas. At this new hypothetical price range it will be affordable enough to be given as a present.
3 – Education: Apple is pushing hard the use of tablets at schools. With the new iPad mini parents and schools will probably find the Mini´s affordable and useful enough to be given to kids and will also become their main entertainment device. In the end, this could also result into a sales drop of the iPod.
4 – Usability & experience: A lot of people really like Apple devices for their design, others because it just works. I personally bought an iPad 3rd generation some months ago and since then I can’t stop using it. It allows me to do almost everything I would do on a laptop; but on almost any place. Even writing doesn’t feel as awkward as I thought (although I know writing long texts would be more comfortable on a physical keyboard).
I am an IT guy; I love to research, fix things and test, but let me tell you, after having a Samsung Galaxy S mobile as my Android 2.3 experience, the iPad and the iPhone are just working powerful devices running on a stable OS. I know 4.1 Jellybean (Android´s latest OS version) works very nice with new devices which are also more powerful, but what people loves about Apple devices is that the learning curve is very low, almost in existent because of their simplicity and maybe because of their walled garden policy (which I sometimes don’t like either).
5 – Market share: Apple iPad brand has been positioning for the last years as on of the biggest technology companies in the world. And their iPad device has been such a success that the market share is estimated on 65% estimating around 85 million devices sold in the product history. Tablets are changing how we all are doing things; PC sales are dropping like never before because of this kind of devices and smartphones. Now you can do most of the things you used to do on a computer on a more flexible and carry-on device. That’s why when a successful company as Apple releases a new product on a market that they lead, the result is inevitable.
What do you think? Will the iPad Mini succeed? Feel free to share your opinion below.