The wait is almost over, the iPad Mini is almost here. The rumored date for the press event is October 23 and this time even The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple is saying “Yep.” But is the iPad Mini a good idea? The naysayers will say no, it’s not. And a few months ago, I would have agreed with them, but not anymore. The more I think about an iPad Mini, the more it makes sense.
Right now, despite the iPad’s enormous sales, Apple is still missing out on a lot of people who cannot afford to shell out $499 or more on an iPad. An iPad Mini with a starting price of $250-$299 will solve that. Not only that, but the iPad Mini will also cater to the people out there who prefer smaller form factor devices. The fact that other companies such as Google and Samsung have tablets around the 7″ size clearly demonstrates there’s a market for them.
And let’s be clear here, despite the fact they aren’t selling a ton of tablets, Google and Samsung aren’t dumb, they’ve done their market research. The 7″ tablet market is real.
Now, at that price point, some people may say that an iPad Mini will cut into iPod Touch sales — it won’t. The purchase intention for an iPod Touch is much different than the purchase intention for an iPad Mini will be. People buy iPod Touch’s for music and mobile gaming, and let’s not forget that the iPod Touch does not have cellular (4G/LTE) connectivity, something I would be shocked if the iPad Mini didn’t have at least on some level. iPad Mini sales will be driven by the bigger (than iPod Touch) screen which will provide a better overall web experience, access to iPad apps, and the lower price tag.
You cannot have the same web experience on an iPod Touch that you can have on an iPad (or iPad Mini). It’s impossible, even with the 4-inch screen. Plus, access to iPad-specific apps will be a big deal. I think a lot of people often forget how important apps are to these devices — one of the major reasons I prefer iOS devices over Android devices is because of apps.
We’ll have to wait and see for certain, but I have a strong feeling that the iPad Mini will be huge for Apple.
Can the 23rd get here any sooner?