Why Apple’s new tablet will affect some Android device makers more than others

“Android-derived brands like the Kindle Fire and the Nook will thrive in an iPad mini world — but devices based on a more pure version of Android will struggle,” Casey Newton writes for CNET.

“Frank Gillett, an analyst at Forrester Research, breaks it down like this. On the low-low end, where devices like the Nook Simple Touch sell for $99, device makers still have room to maneuver. Devices sold at that price are selling at cost or at a loss to the manufacturer, with that manufacturer hoping to eventually make money selling books, movies, music, games, and other services,” Newton writes. “Then there are the tablets that aim to challenge the iPad more directly: the Nexus 7, for example, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0. Both offer premium hardware targeted at the same sort of person who might now choose to purchase an iPad Mini. And it’s these tablets, Gillett argues, that could be in trouble.”

Newton writes, “Someone who buys a Kindle Fire knows she’s getting a lower-cost tablet that functions largely as a store… But in an iPad Mini world, a customer considering a midrange tablet will have higher expectations. And for now they may be expectations that the Googles and Samsungs of the world can’t satisfy.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

23 Comments

    1. More like forever they have needs that the useless iPad wish-they-were’s can never hope to meet.

      Software is the primary reason to buy a tablet. Really the only reason to buy one unless you plan to use it as a book reader (in which case get the cheapest kindle eInk if you don’t mind the risk of Amazon wiping out your kindle.) or a movie player, in which case get a portable DVD player.

      iPad “competition” is really not competition because it has no software and never will.

    1. Don’t forget the broad ecosystem range and apps as these things are important to a majority of tablet users by my best guess.

      I personally see a valid use for an IPad mini alongside my MBPro as it allows independent checks on info that doesn’t require opening up the MBPro or carrying it all the time.

  1. I wish Apple did an e ink reader. I vastly prefer them for reading books for an extended period. I don’t want to buy books from the ibookstore because I couldn’t read them on an e ink reader, and similarly I don’t want to commit to google/kobo/nook/etc because they suck. An Apple ereader would be great because I could buy them from Apple who I trust, browse them on my iOS device if I wanted, but then read them on my ereader. Since that would be basically all it did I wouldn’t not buy an iOS device, but I would buy books.

    1. Apple won’t release a pure e-ink display because videos and color graphics simply would not work. However, I’m sure Apple is working on some type of wonderful e-ink / LCD combo display, combining the best of both.

      1. I wouldn’t want it to do video and colour graphics, I’d want it solely for reading so that I can buy books from Apple and not some other company. I just can’t read an entire book on a colour lcd screen. It’s surely have some value in education as well. Have an e ink screen for a study text, use your iPad to do your work on. I can easily see students using multiple devices. If it only did books then it wouldn’t cannibalise iOS sales because I doubt anyone is buying an iPad just to read books, but it would cannibalise kindle/nook/kobo sales and increase ibooks sales.

  2. It’s gonna be fun to watch Apple compress the competition as they slowly reduce the price points on the mini. Over time the production efficiency goes up and the will price come down. Apple maintains a healthy margin while the competition dies by constriction….like a Boa constricts its prey.

    1. Compress is the correct word. Next year the iPad mini will have an A6X chip and other improvements. It will remain the same price and the current version will drop to $229.00. Apple did this with the iPad and they’ll do it again with the iPad mini.

  3. The biggest competitor to Apple are the prices charged for Nexus 7 and Galaxy devices. Many people will consider the cost rather than the value of these other devices, accepting the poorer user experiences as the “state of the art”, and boldly, but ignorantly, proclaiming that their tablet is “just as good” as an iPad.

  4. There are those that will offer you the best quality and there are those who will offer you the lowest price. Please show me some examples of who exactly offers both?

    1. Apple offers both for those that understand productivity, time, and cost over an extended period. They simply are the most economical computers by far! For those bottom feeders that don’t understand this, enjoy wasting your time and money on the “NEW” Windows 8 that is still built on twenty year old win32 code. I truly feel sorry for you. Not!

  5. I just saw Steve Ballmer state ” I don’t think anyone has done a product that I see customers wanting”. Over 100 million iPads sold! Talk about denial. Although maybe he was listening to Derek Currie. You remember Derek Currie, the troll that said there will be no iPad mini? Yeah, that Derek Currie. Super Troll! He must be Steve Ballmer’s advisor!

  6. Newton writes, “Someone who buys a Kindle Fire knows she’s getting a lower-cost tablet that functions largely as a store…”

    Not quite. Most people who buy a Kindle Fire discover it to their regret. It’s called “buyer’s remorse” or something.

  7. Decisions… Decisions…

    I want to retire my top of the range original iPad which has been a real workhorse in my consulting work. I no longer get a full day of work out of it on account of shortening battery life (anyone else notice that?) and it is now limited to iOS5.

    What (full spec) model should I replace it with: the iPad mini for the smaller form factor or the new iPad G4 for the faster A6X chip?

    Or should I just run with my old one for another six months and upgrade my phone to an iPhone 5?

    Decisions… Decisions…

    p.s., goes without saying that Android is not an option…

  8. The iPad Mini will become the largest portable gaming system due to its perfect size. The iPad 4 is too big and the iPod Touch is too small – kids will be playing these like crazy.

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