Small iPad for 2012?
Apple are under threat from cut price tablets from the likes of the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Barnes and Noble Nook, with the likelihood that this trend will only continue.
So what will Apple do to keep their premium iPad competitive when close equivalents can be obtained for more than half price?
A report in digitimes seem to suggest that they will fight back by offering a cut price, reduced size iPad, and the rumor is that it will be a 7.85 inch model.
With the size rumoured to be just that touch bigger then the Kindle Fire and Nook, Apple will possibly look to differentiate their own mini iPad from their competitors on desirability, design and that little bit extra screen real estate, and guys we all know how important that extra half inch is and so does a certain Mr Cruise.
Production of mini iPad to begin at the end of Q2 2012?
Apple are rumored to have been sourcing displays from LG, and panels from AU Optronics, with manufacturers looking likely to start the actual production of the new tablet at the end of the second quarter of 2012.
Would Steve Jobs turn in his grave?
We have already mentioned that Steve Jobs was famed for disliking the idea of a mini iPad tablet saying:
“10-inches is the minimum tablet size”
“7-inch tablets are tweeners; too big to compete against a smartphone, and too small to compete with the iPad”.
So would the old Apple CEO be concerned that a part of the iPad’s appeal was going to potentially be missing? Perhaps, but Apple do need to keep their lead, and if that means tailoring a new iPad model to market demands, then this seems sensible.
With the release date of the iPad 3 expected to be sometime in early 2012, I thoroughly expect to see a new mini version of the iPad to follow suit some time in late 2012.
And with 60 million tablet PC’s being sold by the end of 2011, the market has certainly caught many by surprise in terms of the voracious appetite that people have for this new type of portable PC, so it is lucky for Apple that the 60 million figure is still currently made up of 70% iPad sales.
Will the iPod touch be reinvented?
I wonder if it would make more sense to reinvent the iPod touch to offer a bigger, more e-reader styled version, with the same functionality as what it already has but to include extras, with that additional screen size and a little more of an iPad feel.
Having said that, if I was to brand a new model and base it on a similar predecessor, I would opt to tell buyers that they were getting a small iPad rather than a larger iPod touch, wouldn’t you?Anthony Munns