Apple’s iPad Mini Could Do Big Things
Rajesh is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
The tablet market is getting really interesting with lot of hustle and bustle. Recently Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) announced the launch of its Surface. Next, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) declared the release of the Nexus 7 which will be running on the latest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system. While we already have Amazon’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) economically priced Kindle Fire that released last November, the tablet king, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), is yet to answer in public.
However, rumors are already out that Apple is planning to introduce a smaller and reasonable version of iPad called the iPad Mini to maintain its kingship. The California based computer and mobile equipment manufacturer dominates the tablet market since April 2010 when the iPad went for sale, and now boasts a 61 percent market share as per Gartner Inc. Now the question that arises is whether the new entrants will be an ‘iPad-Killer’ or become the iPad-Killed.
Apple is expected to unveil the Mini mystery with the much awaited release of its iPhone 5 come October.
Some light on the handheld device
The screen of the Mini iPad would be between 7 to 8 inches at 7.85 inches, lower than the regular 9.7 inches of the last three versions. The display is thinner and gives a higher contrast ratio along with more brightness, and that too with less power consumption. Not only is it lighter, but it also claims to have an improved battery life with the latest screen technology and a different camera position.
This handheld device shall be manufactured by Sharp, using the latest display technology known as IGZO with a new fabrication technique which offers a 330ppi resolution. The resolution of the iPad remains unchanged at 1024x768 pixels like that of the iPad and iPad 2. However, the product will not have the high-definition screen or the retina display version that the latest iPad possesses.
The King reigns
iPad mini should be coming in a near about range as the Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7 which are both priced at $199. The prime purpose of Apple to come out with mini version is to combat these smaller tablets and continue to lead the market. The current versions of iPads cost in the range of $499 to $829, but Apple is expected to offer the smaller one for $250 and keep the higher-end model of the same at $300.
Microsoft’s Surface comes in two models and the price of neither is disclosed. However, the higher-end version which aims at the laptops and ultrabooks will be costlier. Google’s Nexus comes with really attractive features like the Wifi, Bluetooth, GPS, a front-facing camera, faster processor and a good battery life. In addition, it is priced at an unbelievably low rate of $199 like the Kindle Fire. But do they really stand a chance against Apple’s 225,000 apps, specifically customized for the current iPad? This iPad is built to attack Amazon.com’s, Microsoft’s and Google’s ambition of gaining foothold in the tablet market.
Apple’s rivals are extremely eager to take a bite of its market share, but Apple is keener on crushing their dream from turning into reality. The Mini is slated to be launched in the holiday season which is going to heavily cost the new entrants, Microsoft and Google, as well the existing player Amazon, who’s Fire is exposed to the danger of being put out.
In addition, Apple has over 360 stores to market its iPad compared to Google, which proposes to offer the Nexus 7 from its online store, and Microsoft, which shall sell the tablet online and through its 20 stores.
Even if the price of the iPad Mini is slightly higher, people won’t mind to shed a little extra to grab Apple’s Mini. Also, since Apple is reducing the size of the iPad, there are high chances that it will have a cellular calling facility in it. Even though the 7 inch tablet market is filled with makers like BlackBerry, Samsung and the recent entrant Google, the iPad is going to give them a tough run for their money.
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