“7-inch tablets are tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone, and too small to compete with an iPad. They are going to be DOA [Dead On Arrival].” So said ex-Apple CEO Steve Jobs during an Apple earnings call in October 2010, resolutely shunning any idea that the so-influential tech giant would follow suit of its competitors and opt for a smaller-sized tablet.
That Apple is now seemingly gearing up to unveil the much-discussed ‘iPad Mini’ is a testament to how well the likes of the Google Nexus 7, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 and the Amazon Kindle Fire have performed in the time since the launch of the original iPad. With Microsoft gearing up for the worldwide release of its dedicated Windows 8 tablet ‘Surface’ in the coming weeks, Apple now appears to have finally backed down, admitted defeat with reports the company is planning to reveal the new device within days.
Uncharacteristically so soon after the launch of another massive product (the iPhone 5, since smashing sales records and sparking debate in equal measure), the company is now widely expected to unveil a smaller iPad this time next week, the 17th October. Rumours indicate the device will sport a 7.85-inch display - though not necessarily with the same resolution as its big brother – and the new ‘Lightning’ connector, but will likely arrive without 3G or 4G capability, with the Guardian citing its own industry “sources” who reported the omission would mean “Apple [could] produce it comparatively cheaply…to limit the top price of the product”. It’s not a surprising move if true, since it’ll allow Apple to price the Mini more aggressively and thereby ensure the device is a true like-for-like competitor to the aforementioned 7-inch tablets, and claw back some of the tablet market that by rights could so easily have been theirs in the first place.
The Guardian did however point out that its sources expected Apple to announce a new 4G revision of the latest iPad using the same 1800MHz 4G chip as found in the iPhone 5, which would let the Mini pick up a portion of the 7-inch market without the Cupertino-based company sacrificing any of the pricier and more high-end features that is to be expected from the iPad range as a whole.
Source: The Guardian
Image Credit: Sonny Dickson