Would you buy an iPad Mini?
As September draws ever closer, consumers, tech enthusiasts and Apple fanboys and girls eagerly await the announcement of the new iPhone, but for the first time in as long as I can remember, there is another Apple device receiving just as much interest at exactly the same time: The mythical iPad Mini.
Normally most Apple rumours take a sideline during iPhone season, but countless leaks, mumblings from ‘sources close to the matter’ and other blogosphere hyperbole have dragged iPad Mini rumours kicking and screaming into the public consciousness. I hear just as many people chatting about the mini iPad as I do Apple’s next mobile handset, which shows just how high the level of public interest the device really is.
With virtually every possible source, bar Apple themselves, leaking information about the iPad Mini, it seems the device is almost certainly being manufactured somewhere in China ahead of a holiday season launch. So this begs the question: Will you be buying one?
Is 7 to 8 inches too small for a tablet? Will you be willing to spend upwards of £300 on a device that does little more than your smartphone? At the end of the day, why go just a little bigger when you could get a 10 inch iPad 2? These are all important questions to ask, so let’s turn to the Android ecosystem, where mid-sized tablets have been available for some time now.
Despite several 7 inch Android tablets from the likes of Samsung and HTC stumbling at the first hurdle (see Samsung Galaxy Tab, HTC Flyer), the 5 inch Samsung Galaxy Note has been an unexpected success in recent months, with over 10 million units sold since its launch last October. Admittedly this is a smaller device, but it shows a definite interest in hardware larger than most smartphones, but smaller than the iPad. A device that you can still use on the go without needing to sit down to operate effectively.
Now let’s add the Google Nexus 7 to the mix. Google’s new flagship tablet has seen overwhelmingly positive reviews over the past couple of months. Even diehard Apple fans are praising it, thanks to the highly polished Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system. Sales of the Nexus 7 have been brisk and sales figures for the tablets first quarter are expected to impress.
With the recent success of the mid-sized Android tablet, it’s no wonder Apple are looking to join the party with a similarly sized iPad. Apple will still sell millions of units regardless of market trends simply because there are millions of developers, tech enthusiasts and Apple fans who’ll want one for themselves, so it might take a couple of hardware generations before we see its more accurate market interest.
Perhaps 7 to 8 inches will be the sweet spot for the tablet form factor. As less and less phone calls are made in favour of instant messages, we may find ourselves carrying tablets instead of smartphones by the end of the decade. I personally use a 4.65 inch Android smartphone and could easily see myself moving to something larger, like a Nexus 7, if I continue to make fewer phone calls. Whether I’m alone in feeling this way or not, only time will tell, but every year devices are getting gradually bigger whilst hardware sales continue to skyrocket.
Will you be throwing your money at an iPad Mini if it materialises, or do you think 10 inches is the way to go? Is a smartphone/laptop combo your preferred solution going forward?, or do you still rock a Nokia and have nothing to do with all that touch screen mumbo jumbo?
Let me know in the comments below…Tagged in: apple, ipad, iPad Mini, iphone, tablet, technology
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