Bloomberg is reporting (via a video report) today that “Apple’s iPad mini goes on sale today, but the reduced size tablet seems to be attracting fewer crowds around the world than previous Apple product launches.”
This follows a Reuters hit piece, “Apple rolls out iPad mini in Asia to shorter lines.”
Agence France-Presse (AFP) is the yellowest of all, burying the fact — fourteen paragraphs into their story! — that only the Wi-Fi-only version launched today and offering merde mots such as:
• Shoppers got their hands on Apple’s new iPad mini Friday, launched with less fanfare than previous incarnations amid talk it might have come too late to the 7-inch tablet computer market.
• The event stirred little of the excitement associated with previous Apple products however, generating only small lines of devoteesat flagship stores around the world.
• In tech-mad Singapore numbers were well down on previous launches, while in Hong Kong around 30 people queued to collect their pre-ordered devices. There was nothing like the days-long queues for the new generation iPhone 5 in Sydney.
• Market analyst Loo Wee Tech, head of Consumers Electronics Research said the new tablets “failed to excite” a sector that has grown accustomed to ever more amazing gadgets over the years.
• Die-hard fans also noted there was less buzz this time around. “It’s not surprising people wait for hours to be the first to get new Apple devices, but now the hype doesn’t seem to be as big as before,” said Kim Tae-Min.
• Mark Ranson, associate analyst at the global technology research firm Ovum, said the iPad mini marked something of a departure because it was an instance of Apple following the crowd, rather than setting the pace. “This reactive nature of the iPad mini launch was largely the cause of the more muted public response,” he said before adding that increasing competition was squeezing Apple.
These pieces of yellow journalism either ignore or attempt to bury the fact that the iPad mini launch is a two-stage launch: Today is the Wi-Fi-only model launch. The iPad mini with 4G LTE cellular capability launches later this month. The launch is split in half, therefore so are the lines. Seing as how the iPad mini is the most portable iPad yet, I expect demand for the 4G LTE models in particular to be high.
And, of course, all models of iPad mini have been available for pre-order online since Friday, October 26, which would also impact queues, obviously.
So, two different models, one with Wi-Fi and one with Wi-Fi+4G LTE, launch on two different days a week after online pre-oreders began. That is why lines are “shorter.”
Advice for certain media outlets: Report the news, don’t attempt to create it lest your credibility end up in tatters.
To close on a positive note, The Wall Street Journal‘s Jessica E. Lessin gets it exactly right:
The iPad’s smaller sibling goes on sale Friday. But die-hard fans need not prepare to camp outside an Apple store.
Analysts are expecting a calmer scene than the launch of a new iPhone or the latest iPad. That’s because the iPad Mini, which starts at $329, is targeted at a subset of potential iPad buyers, says Piper Jaffray Analyst Gene Munster. Moreover, only Wi-Fi versions of the device go on sale Friday. The pricier versions with high-speed cellular data start shipping a few weeks later.
SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, former web designer and multimedia producer and a regular contributor to the MacDailyNews Opinion section.