iPad Mini will force Amazon and Google back to the drawing board
Google and Amazon should be worried, according to one analyst, as Apple’s latest iPad Mini looks set to redefine the market once again
Apple introduced two new slates last night: the iPad 4, which is essentially a reworked version of the iPad 3, complete with lightening connector, A6X chipset, and wider LTE support. And the iPad Mini – the company’s first 7.9-inch commercial tablet device.
As expected, the iPad Mini is a smaller more cost-effective version of Apple’s traditional 9.7-inch slate. But while it is cheaper it could hardly be described as a budget device, featuring excellent design, high-end build materials, and full support for Apple’s 250,000+ iPad specific applications.
‘This new product from Apple will disrupt the market once again,’ says IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo.
Larger slates, while still accounting for the vast majority of tablets in circulation, are gradually losing ground to smaller more-portable devices. Apple's iPad Mini, in this sense, is a reactive device.
Google’s Nexus 7 is partly responsible for this shift, as is Amazon’s Kindle ereader and its Android-powered Kindle Fire. Apple has clearly noticed this and has adapted accordingly.
‘The iPad Mini is now the new category killer,’ said Jeronimo.
‘Competitors will need to return to their R&D centres and find ways to develop even cheaper versions of their products and figure out how to profit from the content.’
Within the tablet and smartphone space, content is king. And while Microsoft is making some serious in-roads with its Xbox services, Google has yet to find an adequate solution thus far and still relies far too heavily on ad-generated revenues.
Apple’s model, according to Jeronimo, is the perfect balance of the two as it makes profit on both hardware and the content. Apple turns its users into buyers.
Amazon is perhaps Apple’s closest peer in this respect, and with the UK launch of the Kindle Fire HD just around the corner, we can expect to see some big moves and content announcements from the online retail giant very soon.
Apple will begin shipping the iPad Mini on November 2 – just one week after its launch.
We expect to see record numbers of this tablet shifted between now and January.