Why an iPad mini would make sense for Apple

Article first published as Why an iPad mini would make sense for Apple on Technorati.

There was a rumor this week that aside from the second generation iPad, Apple may be releasing an iPad mini later this year. Now, before you go writing this off as just another crazy Apple rumor, let's consider why a mini would fit right into Apple's master plan.

Size does matter
Similar to how the Kindle added a larger (9.7 inch) reader (the Kindle DX) to their collection, Apple could just as well go the other way and introduce a smaller version of their now iconic iPad. As much as I love my 10-inch tablet, the device is a bit unwieldy to pull out on a crowded bus and a bit heavy to hold up while reading in bed. A lighter, more compact 7-inch iPad mini would address both scenarios.

Remember when there was just the iPod?
When Apple introduced the iPod, I remember how there were concerns about running with a device that contained moving parts. Within a few years, the iPod mini followed by the iPod nano were introduced and well received. Doesn't it just fit Apple's modus operandi to release a new product line to keep consumer interest at a high level?

How does a $199 iPad sound to you?
Surely, an iPad mini would come with a smaller price, so Apple would be in a great position to reach more consumers and sell even more devices to fans (including this writer) who would surely find a use for a second tablet in their household.

Perhaps, the timing isn't quite right with the iPad still basking in its trendsetting glory and a follow-up of the same size certainly in the pipeline. However, despite Mr. Job's distaste for the smaller size, I wouldn't bet against the possibility of seeing an iPad mini at some point in the future.

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John R. Sowash said…
I'm not convinced, David. The brilliance of the iPad is that it doesn't replace any of Apple's other devices. I still need an iPod/iphone for portable music playing, and I still need a Macbook/iMac for complex computing tasks. Now I have three Apple devices.

A small iPad could be used as an ipod replacement, which would negatively impact Apples sales figures. Also, a $199 price point is too low. the iPod touch costs $299.

That's my opinion (which is worth exactly what you paid for it!).

Let's all remember-- we're talking about Apple therefore all bets are off!
chanatown said…
Hi John,

Thanks for writing, and good points all around.

To respond, I'd argue that many people have either an iPod Touch or a Nano, and some have both. Thus, there seems to be room for multiple music devices, so there might be a possible market for multiple tablets as well.

I hear a lot about people saying that an iPad mini is just an iPod Touch, but there is a big difference between the 3.5" screen and the 9.7" screen. Surely, there is room in there for a middle size?

I will admit to being too generous with the price point. Perhaps, $299 would be a more likely scenario with iPod Touches dropping to $199. I know, still a reach, but as you said, all bets are off with Apple.

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