There have been countless rumours and analytical reports about the possibility of a sized-down version of Apple’s iPad tablet. When it was first introduced in January 2010, Steve Jobs implied that the screen was a perfect size. And he backed up that opinion several times throughout his remaining time, until his death in October 2011. It’s hard to ignore just how many rumours and leaks are hitting the web at the moment – the possibility of an iPad Mini has been floating around for a couple of years now, but it’s got the point where it is almost certainly a reality. So why the change of heart from Apple?
Well, that’s why. The latest statistics available as of writing this shows that Apple hold 68% of the worldwide tablet market share. And I know; you’re thinking that it’s actually pretty good. And I agree, it is. Especially because in the same time period from 2011, it was 62%. However, it’s interesting to note that over half of the 32% is Amazon’s Kindle Fire – the original version from late last year. It’s only $200, and it clearly gained some traction in the market. Furthermore, since June, Google have released the $199 Nexus 7 tablet (which we know has already sold well), and Amazon have recently launched the $199 Kindle Fire HD. It will be interesting to see the latest figures in a few months time.
So it’s clear that the demand for tablets with a smaller screen size is high. It doesn’t mean that less people are buying iPads though – it just means that people on a budget can enter the tablet market. If Apple have learned anything from the iPhone, it’ll be that it’s worthwhile producing a cheaper version of a given device – Android phones come with all different sized price tags, which is probably why Android’s smartphone market share is higher than Apple’s iPhone. Getting people trapped into Apple’s vast ecosystem of apps, music and iCloud is a critical component to how the future of the Cupertino-based company plays out. That’s what will keep them competitive against the likes of Samsung, which is why it is of upmost importance that Apple price the iPad Mini at the sweet spot – any more that $300 could seriously jeopardise their reputation and future – and I guarantee that there market share will gradually decrease over time.
Apple’s iPad Mini will probably be a good device whatever the price – but finding the balance between price and features is something that Apple, in my opinion, still need to get a grasp of. If they can, then the iPad Mini could secure a profitable reputation for a long time yet.
Expect coverage of Apple’s iPad Mini announcements right here on TheMookie!
[Feature Image Source: Twitter User ‘SonnyDickson’]