Why The Need For iPAD Mini

I have written a series of articles on Which Tablet To Buy and given some pretty decent statistics on each of the tablets available in the current market and how each one is different than the other and what one should really consider before deciding what to buy. As I progressed with this series, Apple has come up with the idea of an iPAD Mini which I didn’t consider a serious contender for my article until now.

So, why not devote this entire article to this new “iPAD Mini”, which has drawn the attention of critics worldwide, with numerous reviews and comments on “Do we really need a mini version of the iPAD??”

If you are keen with Apple’s progress as a provider of technical gadgets, you might not have missed that Apple always draws up a price range for all of its products. Apple has its products spread across in varying price ranges with differing features and specs so that it can meet everyone’s budget constraint. The same can be observed with iPod and iPhone as well – Apple released the less-expensive iPod-Nano and iPod-Touch to beat some of it’s stiff competitors from entering the market and offer cheap products. With the iPhone however, Apple is still selling the 3G versions of the phone with Locked/UnLocked versions thus making it available from 99cents to $899!!!! (see the graph below).

Let us take a step back and listen to what Steve Jobs had to say back in 2010 during one of Apples’ quarterly conferences

One naturally thinks that a seven-inch screen would offer 70 percent of the benefits of a 10-inch screen. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. The screen measurements are diagonal, so that a seven-inch screen is only 45 percent as large as iPad’s 10-inch screen. You heard me right: just 45 percent as large.
If you take an iPad and hold it upright in portrait view, and draw an imaginary horizontal line halfway down the screen, the screens on these seven-inch tablets are a bit smaller than the bottom half of the iPad’s display. This size isn’t sufficient to create great tablet apps, in our opinion.
While one could increase the resolution of the display to make up some of the difference, it is meaningless unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one-quarter of their present size.
Apple has done extensive user testing on user interfaces over many years, and we really understand this stuff. There are clear limits of how close you can physically place elements on a touchscreen before users cannot reliably tap, flick or pinch them. This is one of the key reasons we think the 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps.
Third, every tablet user is also a smartphone user. No tablet can compete with the mobility of a smartphone. Its ease of fitting into your pocket or purse. Its unobtrusiveness when used in a crowd. Given that all tablet users will already have a smartphone in their pockets, giving up precious display area to fit a tablet in their pockets is clearly the wrong trade-off.
The seven-inch tablets are tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone, and too small to compete with an iPad.

So what does Tim Cook has to say in defense of releasing a “tweeny iPAD Mini”? All he could come up with was “one thing we’ll make sure is that we don’t leave a price umbrella for people“.

Whatever the big-shot CEO and ex-CEOs have to say, it is upto us consumers who will decide what really works for us and why we would really need 7 inch iPAD.  We are talking about a smaller iPAD and not a bigger iPOD Touch!!!! For one thing, the rumored device has a very specific screen size: 7.85 inches diagonally, 1024?×?768 pixels. In fact, it’s closer to 8 inches than the 9.7-inch iPad-as-we-know-it is to 10 inches — so if you want to round to the nearest integer, it would be more accurate to call it an 8-inch iPad than a 7-inch one. Plus, the aspect ratio matches the iPad, not the iPhone/iPod Touch.

Looking at the above graph (which I happened to stumble upon during my search and thought is a pretty decent one to share here), the lines in red for the iphone indicates the varying price ranges and how Apple has retained it’s brand by still releasing the 3G version of the same. The reason why this is subsidized is mainly due to the fact that it is the first version of the iPhone and still runs on old hardware and comes with no upgrades what-so-ever.

iPod Touch, Nano and Shuffle occupy the iPod price range from highest to lowest accordingly. When it comes to the green lines representing iPAD, there is a clear spot at the bottom where there is every possibility for an iPAD Mini to occupy that price range and complete the “Pricing Umbrella” as Tim Cook has stated. Apple has identified this huge potential and has started working towards filling the gap and thus gaining complete control over the tablet market share.

The iPAD 2 16GB is the least expensive out there at $399 and this price also makes one think twice before deciding whether to buy a cheaper tablet or an iPAD. Apple needs to fill the $199 to $399 price range with it’s so-called ‘MINI” so as to avoid competitors to get a share of the “tablet-market-share”.

4 thoughts on “Why The Need For iPAD Mini

  • July 24, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Nice article…i have become your fan 🙂 …. so the competition will be Nexus vs mini

    • July 25, 2012 at 12:49 am

      If priced less than 300$, Nexus 7 is gone. Anything above 300, it will have its own market like the MacBooks

    • July 25, 2012 at 12:57 am

      Ramkumar – Thanks for your comment and glad you liked the article. As Satish has rightly mentioned, everything now depends on the price-umbrella. Every competitor will now have to re-focus and re-do their pricing strategy to stay in the market.

  • July 24, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Satish – Thanks for publishing my article. Hope your readers will find the information useful.


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