I was surprised to see the cost of the iPad Mini. When it was announced, I admit, I didn't do much research on it or pay too much attention to it, but thought for sure it would be a sub-$200 tablet. As the article states, isn't this supposed to compete with the Kindle Fire or the Google Nexus 7? Am I missing something here?
I have a Kindle Fire and am quite impressed with it. My first-generation iPad - not so much. I can only assume/hope the iPad is leaps and bounds above where it was when it came out.
Jennifer, I agree with you. This device will compete with much less expensive devices. Frankly, the processor that everyone talks about is just an ARM processor. There are lots of ARM products out there that are comparable. To me, Apple talking about the Apple processor is mostly marketing. Any chip vendor will design you precisely the ARM based system you need for the volumes that Apple can commit to.
I know someone who had a Kindle (the last one with a keyboard) and an iPad 2. The iPad was given to him by his university. He sold the iPad. It had lots of glitz, but he really needed something to read his books on. He can read PDFs and can get most, if not all, of his textbooks for the device. It also fits in the back pocket of his jeans. And he is skinny. With the e-ink he can see it anywhere and the battery lasts a long time. With Wi-Fi he can even check his e-mail. To compete, Apple needs to be in this space.
What I also see is that the market is fragmenting. The dream in the industry for at least the last ten years, or so, has been convergence. It is not happening. I saw a guy the other day who had a laptop, a tablet, and a smart phone. I just had to go up to him and ask, "...what happened to convergence?" The Samgung Galaxy Note II has a 5.5" display. This is the space in which convergence will take place.
I've been looking at the Samsung line of smartphones and tablets lately, and think that might be the way to go. It seems to me, as cool as Apple is in my opinion, they seem to be getting a bit too big for their britches. My friend recently pulled out her iPhone 5 and said how great it is. I'm mostly annoyed by the fact that if I go that route, I'll have to find yet another plug for the new charger and also have to get a new case. Is it worth it? I think the Apple Execs are laughing all the way to the bank - at our expense.
I will say, however, that I do my daily work on a MacBook Pro and I wouldn't trade it for the world. My one complaint - I wish it ran Flash!
In the famous Eddy Cue email, it showed Steve Jobs was ok with the 7" tablet behind the curtain.
"Having used a Samsung Galaxy [Tab], I tend to agree with many of the comments below... I believe there will be a 7-inch market and we should do one. I expressed this to Steve several times since Thanksgiving and he seemed very receptive the last time."
That said, I think Apple is trying to say "The 7 inch Android tablet is a good idea, glad we thought of it with the iPad mini." The small form factor is great for casual and on the go usage. However, the iOS is starting to look and operate in a very dated way. No offense to Apple, but their OS works just like my Palm Pilot IIIc with a capacitive screen.
James, I think Apple was too late to introduce the 7 mini version in market. Other competitors Samsung, Amazon, BB etc have both versions of 10 & 7 inches. So they already have a good momentum in sales for 7. From my personal perspective, I feel very much comfortable with my Samsung 7 tablet.
I have serious problems with the way Apple designs their portable projects as non-repairable throw away devices at sky high prices! A heat gun needed to open the case? Seriously? What are the chances you could open it up, replace the battery, and put it back together in reasonable condition?
Apple is obsessed with double sided sticky tape and adhesives. AND to get more storage space, instead of buying a $10 SD card, you must pony up the extra $100+ for the next higher model. Why anyone would pay that much more to get something inferior to its competitors is beyond me!
To quote a favorite movie:
"Mugatu is so hot right now he could take a crap, wrap it in tinfoil, put a couple fish hooks on it and sell it to Queen Elizabeth as earrings. -Maury Ballstein" -Zoolander
As an engineer, that is how I feel about apple products!
I guess what I'm saying is that I expect something at the high end of the price spectrum to not be disposable. I would expect competing off brand products with similar specs that cost ~$99 to be disposable.
I share your opinion about Apple packaging and have said the same thing ever since I saw my first iPhone-1 tear down, circa 2004. Double-side adhesives and (20+) #0 screws, they are a nightmare. Plus, they don't design for even one hard drop on concrete. One slip, and its cracked.
On the contrary, I do admire Apple's ability to keep their secrets. Historically, they do not un-veil new products until the day of availability; a dramatic contrast to other electronics OEMs who think early announcements help test marketability. That backfired on Motorola literally dozens of times.
That reminds me of a recent sales encounter at a cell phone retailer where my wife got her new Iphone. The salesman said, 'you will drop this at some point and it will break, because they always do, so get the insurance'. My wife then asked about insuring my droid phone, he said, 'Those never break, insurance is a rip off for them.'
Edge to edge glass? Yes it looks pretty and passes the asthetics test, but if you ever drop it...
Old Man, thanks for the details. So far I didnt know that Apple products are coming in a sealed condition and we cannot open it. Am using Samsung tab and it can be open with a little effort, I mean they are not taped each other.
As I said before, we are headed for a personal "DoBox" so we need to carry just one thing. It is a phone, camera, computer, GPS, watch, reader, and the hundreds of personal customized apps and software available.
With the high resolution displays, your guess at convergence size is about right. Small can easily become too small and bigger is only so much better and then it becomes cumbersome.
Allan, in information technology week I had read an article about IPad mini. They had peeled the device and had analyzed each part by part with quality and cost wise. So finally they made a remark that the actual cot to cost of IPad mini comes less than $250. Have you come across such cost to cost calculations.
While the larger iPad could boast of a sharper display than its competitors, the smaller one has much stiffer competition with clearer displays and 60% of the cost. And Steve Jobs "vision" is correct in that many phones have screen sizes that are close enough to the mini so that having one is redundant.
Sadly, few people really research before spending their hard-earned money. Both the iPad mini and iPhone are well behind, technology-wise, yet command much higher profit margins than their competitors. Mercedes was in the same position, many years ago, before Lexus came to be.
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