New ‘iPad mini’ could be another right move from Apple

“According to Rene Ritchie from iMore, Apple is working on a 7 inch version of the IPad to be launched in October during the presentation of the new iPhone,” Andrés Cardenal writes for The Motley Fool. “The most interesting part of the rumor is that the product is said to be priced in the $200 to $250 price range. That would be a very smart move from Apple, and it could deliver a nasty punch in the mouth to competitors like Amazon, Samsung, and Research in Motion.”

Cardenal writes, “There is one main reason why someone would buy a tablet from another company instead of an iPad: pricing. Products like Kindle Fire sell at $200 and that´s a big difference versus $500 for the cheapest new iPad model.”

MacDailyNews Take: The most inexpensive iPad is the iPad 2 for $399 and it’s already killing the Kindle Fire. See: Why have Amazon’s tiny screen Kindle Fire shipments dropped off a cliff? – May 9, 2012

Cardenal writes, “If this rumor is confirmed, and Ritchie has been spot on with Apple related rumors in the past, Apple could destroy Kindle with this new version of iPad. From a business point of view, the best reason for Apple to do such a thing would be asphyxiating the competition, at least in the short term.”

“The new product could have a negative impact on Apple´s margins, cannibalizing sales of the existing iPad models and also probably hurting sales of iPod Touch. The decision would probably be polemic among financial analysts,” Cardenal writes. “But Apple is not the kind of company that worries too much about such things like cannibalization; Steve Jobs has always been focused on developing the best products and allowing the process of creative destruction to follow its own course, even among Apple´s own products. It looks like the cultural legacy of Jobs is alive and healthy in Tim Cook and the rest of the management team.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related article:
7.85-inch iPad on track for October 2012 release; to cost $199-$249, says source – May 10, 2012

41 Comments

    1. SJ’s ability to control the direction of the company has been greatly diminished as of late. TC may have other ideas, and he has the fortune of being in a more actively corporeal form.

    2. Jobs was not against smaller size per se, he was against smaller size only because it would require users to use a file to make their fingers fitting small UI controls.

      However, couple of years ago, Apple had specific patent that described dynamic scaling up UI in the place to which a finger approaches — before it actually touches the screen. With this UI problem could be solved and iPad mini possible.

      However, this latest rumours are most probably ignorant nonsense, which much of claimed characteristics and prices being totally ridiculous.

      1. The game changer for size I think is Retina Display. Jobs only said a 10″ tablet is optimal for a tablet but 3.5″ phone screens and higher are obviously useful too. I bought iPad 1 & 3 and I’d buy the near 8″ tablet for those situations I’d like to carry something smaller. Probably something my wife would prefer too carrying back and forth to work even though she now has the iPad 1.

      2. I’m content with the iPad’s current screen size.

        Regarding filing your fingers down. I’m not a fan of the iPhone size, but most people seem to manage just fine without the need to file their fingers down.

        1. ONE device is geared for Telephone communications and the OTHER is more geared to Portable computing for the masses.

          Thought there is a much overlap regarding functionality, both devices do much the same yet the screen size and weight do manage to classify (the device on its own) – as to what it is best used for.

          And so shall a gaming unit or IPod touch new.

      1. The day that it is announced, a program tucked-away in each install of iOS will make a small but significant modification to a Siri configuration file.

    3. Oh good grief. Times change. Circumstances change.

      This could kill the tablet competition for years to come. If apple thinks this is the way to go then let them, seeing as how they have done almost everything else right for the last decade.

    4. I’ll just point out that Steve never saw a 7.85″ iPod touch prototype with a RETINA DISPLAY. If he had, I think he’d have changed his tune. If you have an iPhone and an iPad with a retina display, you’d agree that a 7.85″ iPod touch will work. Better yet, a 7.85″ iPod touch with 1024×768 display size is a retina display. No screen fragmentation, as the original iPad had the same number of pixels. This is going to happen.

      1. BINGO – iPod touch Biggie.
        This ain’t no mini iPad but easy to confuse as the products have blurred the product line. And hold no other relevance for differentiate UNLESS this new device is set more for Gaming or TV entertainment.

        GAMING is a logical and natural transition for iPod touch for screen size gains.

    5. And who are you Macman to say differently…
      the Gods in heaven have already convinced Jobs for the go ahead on the 7.85″ screen. Its’ been approved, but do not believe on rumours as for this device is more then a Mini but a BIggie… iPodTouch Biggie.

  1. If another year goes by without this stupid idea of an “iPad mini” happening can we all just move on and not bring this up again please? It’s ridiculous

  2. It wont happen. The current iPad is dominating the market. There is no real competition to speak of and the iPad continues to cannibalize the PC market in general.

    Why would Apple bring a lower priced, lower margin product into the mix when it does th no good? Certainly not to appease the basement-dwelling tech bloggers who have nothing better to do than to tell Apple what to do.

    1. Apple likes to compete with Apple. If they see a need..and the product doesn’t suck..they will give it a shot.

      Where do you think the iPod nano came from..this exact scenario.

  3. I don’t see a 7″ iPad costing that much less to manufacture. And I doubt Apple would be willing to take a loss like Amazon does on the Kindle Fire. Does Apple even need to hurt its competitors at this point? I thought Apple has a near monopoly.

  4. Whether or not there is a 7.85 inch iPad the net effect of this speculation is to discourage companies from jumping into this market until they know what exactly Apple will do. The question is raised, who benefits more from these rumors, Apple or the current players in the 7 inch market?

  5. Bring on the iPad Mini.

    I ordered the New iPad with 64Gb on launch and I’m very happy with it. However, a smaller iPad would be a brilliant move.

    Perhaps Apple could limit certain features and it would be more of a large iPod Touch and e-reader. Even exclusively as a gaming device it would be huge. Make it a controller and input device for Apple tv and future iTV and you have another huge market.

    Bottom line – Apple would be smart to sell an entry-level device to bring users into Apple’s ecosystem early. From there, they will upgrade to other Apple products.

  6. Isn’t the iPad Mini already called “iPod Touch”?

    It seems that this supposed product will have some other use, perhaps related to the fabled TV product.

  7. My son has an iPod Touch that he received for Christmas and he uses it 95% of the time to play games. He has a Nintendo 3DS that he loves for his Mario games, but iOS games are so much more affordable. From a purely gaming standpoint, Apple should make a iPad Mini.
    Also, schools would love such a device as a e-textbook. Currently, our elementary school has carts of iPod Touches that they bring to classes loaded with math games and such. They could do so much more with a 7.85″ iPad aimed at children with smaller fingers.
    And before people start complaining about the size, we all use apps on our iPhones, don’t we? Hopefully, the iPhone 5 will have a 4″ display. Not too big but slightly larger than we have now.

  8. Am I confused in thinking that none of the current apps would/could work on a 7″ iPad without being significantly remade? If that’s the case I really doubt Apple would do this. It’d launch with no apps? Market fragmentation? I always figured the retina display move worked because it could still display all current apps, while they were written to take advantage of the high resolution, but how does smaller iPad do this? Is a 7″ inch iPad exactly 1/2 the size of the current iPad? That doesn’t sound right.

  9. Great. I was wondering what the analysts and tech bloggers would use to shun the iPad mini announcement and now I can see it: the price tag. When Apple unveils the thing at $299, they’ll howl that it’s too expensive, it can’t “compete” with the Kindle Fire and the stock will drop, attributable on CNBC to “disappointment” on Wall Street. This bullshit $199 rumor was probably put out there to raise expectations and foster disappointment in the actual price.

  10. With speculations that Kindle Fire sales has dropped precipitously since its launch I don’t see what Apple has to be worried about.

    As mentioned before, Apple competes with Itself. What advantage will a tween iOS device bring to consumers? Portability? We have the iPhone and iPod touch for that.

  11. If Apple comes out with a mini-iPad then that is the beginning of the end of Apple. It doesn’t take a lot of brains to understand what size factor is appropriate for an iPad.

  12. If Apple really wants to go this route, I hope they’re smart enough to call it a big iPod (touch maxi, stroke, or whatever name they want to use for it). This accomplishes a few things:
    1) It preserves Steve Jobs’ statement that they don’t think a 7-8 inch size is appropriate for a tablet, and that they aren’t interested in making one.
    2) It fills the niche that has touch users looking for a bigger gaming screen, and has some enterprise users looking for a smaller one (one that’s more portable and pocketable, as in a doctor or engineer’s lab coat or a purse).
    3) Gives them a little more freedom with pricing.
    4) Causes less cannibalization of the iPad market, while bolstering and revitalizing the iPod device market (sure, there’s an iPod in every iPhone and touch, but those don’t produce additional device revenue).
    5) By marketing along its gaming and touch-like uses (while still letting it have larger-device apps and capabilities), it helps define all of the competition at the same size as ‘toys’ as well, and illegitimizes their aspirations to be iPad competitors at cheaper prices.

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