Should Apple make a mini iPad?
With the Kindle Fire making major inroads in the tablet market, some think Apple would be wise to take on Amazon with a cheaper 7-inch iPad.
Technology analyst Ezra Gottheil told Computerworld that a smaller version of the 9.7-inch iPad has always "been in the plan" for the Cupertino, Calif., company, and could see store shelves as soon as this year. But late founder Steve Jobs was vehemently opposed to a smaller iPad, saying the screen would be too small to "express the software."
All things considered, would producing a smaller, more portable $200 tablet be in Apple's best interest?
No, it makes no sense for Apple to cannibalize its own market share: "It's tough to justify a mini iPad," says Chenda Ngak at CBS News. Sure, there's a demand for 7-inch tablets, as demonstrated by the 6 million Kindle Fire units sold last quarter. But Apple moved well over 15 million iPads in the same period and really has no incentive to launch a smaller tablet for $200, Ngak adds. "Releasing a mini iPad would only pull customers from regular iPads, not necessarily mini-tablets, like the Kindle Fire or Barnes & Noble's Nook." The plan Gottheil outlines "could just be pandering to budget-conscious gadget lovers." But that doesn't sound like Apple.
A mini iPad could work for students, however: We all knew Jobs wasn't interested in a smaller iPad, says E.D. Kain at Forbes. But it "might make sense for [a Tim Cook-led] Apple to release a smaller iPad, especially if they seriously pursue the textbook market." While it'd be a "risky" decision to cut the price, pairing the device with an external keyboard -- like Gottheil predicts Apple will -- would make a 7-inch iPad an attractive purchase for cash-strapped students. Though a 2012 release is probably too soon, "it's almost certain that at some point in the future we'll see an iPad mini (or maybe a larger iPod touch)."
Apple wouldn't play by anyone else's rules: The Kindle Fire is "tearing up the charts," says Joel Evans at ZDNet, and since consumers are still "torn" between 7-inch and 10-inch tablets, now would be as good a time as any for Apple to break form and I wouldn't be surprised if it decided to try its hand. "That said, Apple doesn't conform so the company will probably invent a new category called the 'micro tablet' or something."
More from The Week:
- H.P.'s 'dismal' TouchPad failure: 3 lessons
- Barnes & Noble's Nook tablet: Better than the Kindle Fire?
- Will the Kindle Fire dethrone the iPad?
They should just make a mini pad!!!
They should be boycotted and be financially responsible for the people that are making their" I" stuff. Responsible for deaths and medical issues. As long as Apple sends the production of their
Phones, tablets etc.to China they alone should own up to the sweat shops and insist on better conditions.
Better yet why not bring the jobs back to the USA, they have the cash just sitting around "help Americans" Apple........not of my eyes
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