When it doesn’t yet rain iPad Minis, it doesn’t pour them either, and until Apple switches on the magic iPad Mini spigot, they can only run free in our imaginations – and Apple’s secret-yet-not testing labs.
Those scurrilous rumouristas are nevertheless claiming that a 7-inch iPad is coming this time, for real, except that the size apparently won’t be precisely seven inches as it will instead be between seven and eight inches.
If so, and we get say a 7.7-inch or the expected 7.85-inch iPad mini, or one larger than 7-inches that best matches an expected non-Retina resolution of 1024x768 as with the original 2010 iPad and the iPad 2, Apple can maintain Steve Jobs’ claim that 7-inch tablets were dead on arrival.
Of couse, if Apple wants to deliver an iPad with a precise 7-inch screen size, whether equipped with current style bezel or not, it would certainly do it whatever Steve Jobs said in the past.
After all, Steve Jobs has claimed that videos on small screens wouldn’t be popular on iPods before later introducing iPod nanos that could play video, while trashing the idea of ebook readers as expensive third devices when much later adding such a feature to the iPad with iBooks, so this was instantly seen as a tactic to throw competitors off the scent.
Samsung launched its original Android 2.x-enabled 7-inch Galaxy Tab anyway, following it up with a slimmer Honeycomb-enabled Galaxy Tab 7.0 plus that was never launched in Australia – instead Samsung released a 7.7-inch model locally, but despite the handy size of these otherwise capable Android tablets they haven’t captured the imagination anywhere near as completely as has the iPad.
Google’s Nexus 7 tablet is intended to change all of that.
Now that its existence, pricing, imminent arrival and widespread Australian availability (alongside that in the US, the UK and Canada before other countries follow) has been confirmed, and given the fact Google’s pricing indicates little if any profit it being earned by Google per unit it sells, an inexpensive Nexus 7 tablet is just what Google needs to finally put a real rocket up Android tablet sales.
It’s also a way for Google to put up rocket up the backsides of developers to seriously develop great tablet apps for Android, and to take advantage of what is supposed to be a massively growing Nexus 7 market.
However, despite the Kindle Fire, Nook and Kobo Vox, massive strides into the 7-inch tablet space haven’t truly been made, and Google’s Nexus 7 lead might be no more than four months should an October iPad Mini surprise emerge, as two anonymous, unnamable people “with knowledge of the plans” told a likely surprised Bloombergian.
At this time, it’s impossible to know whether the amazing anonymous Apple-secret spilling duo are telling the whole truth, part of the truth, whatever they were told was the truth, or potentially even complete misinformation to again vie at the throwing of scents in different misdirections.
The claim is that we “may” see the iPad Mini announced “by October”, although without Retina-class displays, with a screen size of 7 to 8 inches and a price “closer” to that of the US $199 Google Nexus 7 tablet or Amazon Kindle.
Apple is expected to be able to charge a higher price for an iPad Mini than Google or Amazon can charge for their tablets, but Apple is also expected to make a profit on its iPads, unlike Google and Amazon who are either making very little to no profit, or are even subsidising the device with the hope to make up the difference in digital content and app sales.
Even if Apple has a model that matches the Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire, it’s still expected to make money where the others can’t, and to certainly have a lot more success in selling content and apps to keep the profit machine nicely ticking over.
After all, there are now 225,000 iPad specific apps, according to Apple, and they’ll all work with a screen res of 1024x768 inches.
And, as with the MacBook Pro that has Retina and non-Retina models, also mirrored in the still on sale iPhone 3GS and 4/4S iPhones and new iPad with ongoing iPad 2 sales, Apple could easily have a cheaper non-Retina 7.x-class iPad Mini alongside a more expensive Retina-enabled iPad Mini.
After all, Apple can do what it wants, and as Apple likes to say, “only Apple” can do this – in today’s economic climate no less.
Famous analyst Shaw Wu gave Bloomberg a quote, suggesting an iPad Mini would be a “competitors’ worst nightmare”, and as long as the iPad Mini experience is as smooth as every other iExperience… it’s certainly a logical prediction to make.
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