iPad Mini Enters the Fray
Since the iPAD was launched in April 2010 we have seen various models of it being released. After the launch of iPAD 2 in March of 2011 and iPAD (3rd Generation) in March 2012, we could have safely presumed that for Apple the iPAD family was complete for now. As recent news shows, that was not the case and with the release of iPAD (4th Generation) in November 2012 and an all new iPAD (Mini) now closing in fast we can clearly see that Apple is sharpening to sink its teeth in a new market segment.
The iPad Mini competes with an already established Google Nexus and the Smaller Galaxy Tablet Models and to a certain extent with Kindle Fire HD. The Kindle fire is mainly a consumer media device therefore its usability as a business device is moot.
In order to understand why an iPad Mini was required we need to first look at what it is offering to users. To start off with the iPad mini has a reduced screen size of 7.9 Inches allowing the user to hold the device in one hand. A display of 1024×768 — which is actually equivalent to what was available on the iPad 2 — but Apple says that it will give much clearer results due to a smaller screen. The iPad mini utilizes a relatively older chip (A5) than the iPad 4 which is now being shipped packed with A6X chip.
While comparing the iPad mini with its intended competitors we can overlook the similarities and focus on some key differences that position the iPAD mini far apart from its competitors. First, the iPad mini supports EVDO, D-HSPA+, LTE which automatically puts it at an advantage over Kindle Fire HD 7 and Nexus 7. This is also the case with the rear camera: the iPad Mini has a 5MP rear camera that is lacking in both the Kindle and Nexus. That is probably because both of the latter devices are intended to be primarily media consumption devices rather than being a communication + media device. The result is that they are missing a lot of features that the iPad mini has actually capitalized on, comfortably placing itself as a complete (Media + Communications) device rather than just being media or data based device.
The launch of iPad mini and its price range ($ 329 up to $ 659) is a statement by Apple that its foray into the seven-inch tablet market would come at a price — making it clear that Apple is not willing to sacrifice its healthy margins just to gain additional market share. In fact, Apple as a brand is more concerned in retaining its brand image as an all niche high price, high quality product developer/provider while competing in all the market segments. Thus we can conclude that the launch of the iPad mini is an important step indicating Apple’s willingness to infiltrate into new market segments while maintaining their brand value.
Contribution by Gabriel Buck CEO of Click Point Lead Management Software Company