Is the iPad Mini going to kill the other small tablets?

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Is the iPad Mini going to kill the other small tablets?
The rumors of a smaller iPad in the works are starting to get more and more intense. The leaked images that we see almost every day are getting more and more trustworthy, and overall, it's beginning to look like Apple is indeed going to launch the iPad Mini this year. But if this really happens, what should we expect from this device? And will its impact on the market be as strong as that of its bigger relative?

The current situation, of course, is very different from what it was about two and a half years ago. Back then, there were practically no tablets, that is consumer-friendly tablets. So when the iPad came out, it was pretty much all the tablet market there was. In late 2012, though, things stand a bit differently. The iPad is still the dominant player, controlling the majority of the market, but the rest is owned by a number of smaller, 7" tablets. It's safe to say that the iPad doesn't have competition in the 10" space, but the 7 inchers have carved a nice little niche for themselves, thanks to affordable products such as the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7. Could the iPad Mini disturb the status quo?

It should be crystal clear that the iPad Mini will not be "an affordable tablet". Apple has never produced cheap products, and there's no reason to think it'll start now. That's why we don't really think a $199 or even $249 price tag is very probable here. $299 also doesn't seem likely to us, but should be closer to the real thing. But as we've learned from the iPhone, the higher price can't really stop users from siding with Apple.

So, why would potential Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HD customers want to side with the iPad Mini? Well, unlike phones, where the Android handsets have pretty much caught up to Apple, Android tablets are still far behind. There are not enough apps, or magazines or other content that could entertain users. Apple's iTunes, on the other hand, is home to a very rich content ecosystem. Because of this, there's much more stuff you can do with an iPad Mini, at least from consumer standpoint, than with an Android tablet, that the idea of getting the more expensive device suddenly starts to make sense.

When you think about it, this is one of the major reasons why the iPad is still so dominant. We're constantly hearing how it's being adopted in various areas like aviation, education, business and so on. That's all thanks to the advanced and easy to use software available for it. Meanwhile, Android tablets are still somewhat restricted to their built-in functionality like a web browser, video player and an e-book reader. Of course, there are a lot of apps and games that can be used on an Android tablet, but many of those apps don't look right on a tablet screen, and the rest of the content is quite limited. That's very important when we're dealing with such a consumer-oriented product like the tablet.

In our opinion, the iPad Mini will not repeat the tremendous success of the big iPad, but it will surely sell pretty well, making life for the other small tablets a whole lot harder. The 7" form-factor is quite different from the 10" one. Of course, many users who have bought a Kindle Fire or a Nexus 7 have done it because of the much lower price, but that's not the only reason. The 7" tablet is a different kind of animal - it's much more compact, lighter and easy to handle. Meanwhile, the user experience remains very good, as the screen isn't too small to make things uncomfortable to work with. All of this means that people will be willing to purchase an iPad Mini both because of its form factor and content.

The timing to launch the iPad Mini also seems spot on. It would be wise for Apple to launch this product before the competitive ecosystems have caught up, and if the rumors are to be believed, that's exactly what it's going to do. Still, the others will probably catch up sooner or later, so we wouldn't say that Google's Nexus line is going to die. Even Amazon's Kindle Fire might live to see another day, given Amazon's great retail reach, but the space left to the non-Apple 7 inchers will dwindle significantly, at least in the short term. With time, as Android continues to mature on the tablet front, the likes of Samsung and LG will surely be able to claim a piece of the pie, though Apple is likely to remain in the lead for a long time.

Related phones

iPad mini
  • Display 7.9" 1024 x 768 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A5, Dual-core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 4440 mAh

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66 Comments

1. good2great

Posts: 1042; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

yep... if its $249

19. doejon

Posts: 411; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

yes if it comes with the same maps as the iphone 5 hahah it will kill itself haha go to hell apple

26. darkkjedii

Posts: 30836; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

That wasn't very smart

34. PhenomFaz

Posts: 1236; Member since: Sep 26, 2012

i think that was pretty smart :)

53. Non_Sequitur

Posts: 1111; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

No, it wasn't. I wish people would grow up on here and stop bashing everything even touched by Apple.

20. SlimSoulja86

Posts: 660; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

I think people who are going to buy these mini iPads are people who already have iPads, or moving from iPad 2 to the mini. I think that's how it works in the Apple land. Cos more than 95% (from my own research) I found out that people Q'ing for the new iPhone, will be holding their iPhones, you won't find someone holding Galaxy S2 w8ing to get a new iPhone 5. Just saying that Apple products are bought by people that already have them. And I doubt that Apple lovers bought Nexus 7 due to its size or the price, like Ray said, price doesn't really matter to Apple fans and to this day, you find people having an iPod touch, iPhone and iPod shuffle , and iPad, and u wonder what do u use an iPod touch for when you have an iPhone. All I'm saying is that people that will buy this tablet are people already using an iPad. I could be wrong

25. darkkjedii

Posts: 30836; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Whole other market bro. People who have iPads will wait for the new one next march. This one will tap the small tablet sector

32. SlimSoulja86

Posts: 660; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

I doubt. Let's just w8 n see.

49. jjjsong

Posts: 75; Member since: Dec 27, 2011

lol I think I can answer (or provide a possible answer) to one of your questions since it came directly from a friend who owns both the iphone and ipod at the same time. Reason for having both: "I would use my ipod to listen to music so I don't have to use up my iphone's battery life".

55. Peter98

Posts: 119; Member since: Aug 01, 2012

People who r holding Apple products like me. If we r going to change to Android (I mean buy 1 more handset) we will certainly get GoogleNexus devices.

21. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

No. Why? Windows 8 and the already-entrenched lower-budget devices. I doubt people want to spend almost $400-500 on a 7" tab when they can get larger sizes for the same (or less). Those that have the means for the larger tablets (9.7"+) would make their own choices but in the smaller platform, budgets take higher predominance

24. Nikolas.Oliver

Posts: 1574; Member since: Jul 01, 2012

whatever price it is, it's still worthy enough to beat the s**t out of bb playbook (it's already failed)

57. Pings

Posts: 304; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

Nope... Sorry iFans I know it's hard to understand what is beign said to you when Apple isn't telling you it. But, a few devices can not compet with an OS. Just the way it is sorry.

2. teerex42

Posts: 221; Member since: Jun 14, 2012

No chance..I'll take my nexus 7 thank you!!! Far superior!!! And wait until the other ones come out..Android all the way!!!

37. AndroidShiz

Posts: 154; Member since: Nov 08, 2011

Word. The only thing I wish is that I had a 32 gb at least version. I've almost filled the 16 and actually had to delete some things. I love downloading videos and apps for travel. Its a consumption device and its stomach should be able to consume like an obese child.

40. Hammerfest

Posts: 384; Member since: May 12, 2012

I may not have a Nexus 7, but ill still +1 to this.. Also I couldnt read past this point: "Android tablets are still far behind. There are not enough apps, or magazines or other content that could entertain users." As someone who has owned an android tablet for quite some time... This speaks HEAVILY of NON-EXPERIANCE, I have over 8GB~ of installed Apps (games, polaris office, email, much much more), and at last $300 of magazines/movies/music (from the Android Market), not to mention a 64GB card full of MY OWN media not from the Android market (most of the 64GB is there, I just already own it, why buy a second time? the beauty of Android)... The ignorance of the post baffles me, expecially since there have been quite a few apps that friends with iPad's have said "man I wish they had that for the iPad" and while a few apps on the iPad might have looked "interesting" to me, none of them where "wish they where on android". Absolutly baffled

66. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

It wont if you count the Note and similar as a tablet. Any phone/tablet.....phablet.... would do just fine vs the iPad mini. Android hardware and software keeps getting better as the months, years go by. Honeycomb, ICS is a good thing for tablets.

3. Hallucinator

Posts: 390; Member since: May 24, 2010

Depends on the price point. If they charge between $199-$249 then they will do very well. Anything over $249 will hurt them. At least that's what I think.

65. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

Knowing Apple, they will price at at least $299

4. PowTheBowl

Posts: 86; Member since: Apr 19, 2012

Well, the iPad mini will have the same iOS layout as the 9.7" iPad, which in fact, will get boring (tbh) when used for a long time because of the lack of customization of iOS, and also it lacks Adobe Flash, which Android tablets have. But I think even if the iPad mini will sell more than $199, people would be willing to buy it. I still prefer the Nexus 7 or the Kindle Fire HD than the iPad mini.

22. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

I agree except for the Flash part. While, yes, ios lacks Flash support, Adobe isn't supporting mobile Flash anymore for any platform, and has conceded that to HTML5

5. Veigald

Posts: 290; Member since: Jan 13, 2012

For the mass market, the iPad mini will likely be a huge hit. It's just a lot more user friendly than Android tablets, and the Apple name is an added attraction for many people. I'm however much more interested in seeing what Windows8 will bring to the market... that's the only potential disruption in the tablet market at this point.

28. maxican16

Posts: 364; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

If by "a lot more user friendly than Android tablets" you mean "a simple app launcher", then I would agree. "Is this the line for the apps?" That said, if this tablet is at a new resolution, all the apps will need to be reoptimized for it.

61. nicholassss

Posts: 368; Member since: May 10, 2012

+one for The Grey Pilgrim, you could say anything I agree or disagree with and I'll +1 for Gandalf.

35. snowgator

Posts: 3614; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Agreed, though price point is more important to Windows RT and Pro then is talked about. Especially RT. They need some good quality low cost options. Then we can see if Windows Tablets can be the hit they are hoping for. iPad mini? Eh. It will be successful. But not a game changer.

6. sats.mine2k4

Posts: 208; Member since: Aug 10, 2012

No not if it comes out with the same crappy ios6....

7. ibap

Posts: 865; Member since: Sep 09, 2009

For those insisting on iOS, it will be a no-brainer. For the rest of the population, not so much.

8. nicholassss

Posts: 368; Member since: May 10, 2012

it'll destroy the small tablet market if its priced at to compete. I'd like to see it for $300 or even less but my guess is they'll advertise it as the first 7in tablet ever and sell it for $350 or $400 to start.

9. nicholassss

Posts: 368; Member since: May 10, 2012

A story on the price point: My boss was talking about how he wanted to get all his route managers ipads but he couldnt afford it, I showed him a few articles on the mini ipad. If its cheap enough he's going to spring for them. The nerd in me got so so excited. but i also told him we could get the same functionality out of nexus 7s or some second hand motorola xooms for even less.

27. ibap

Posts: 865; Member since: Sep 09, 2009

To some people, iPhone is synonymous with smartphone. The use of iPad has the same issue. Did your boss understand that there are tablets other than iPads before you told him about 7s and xooms? :-)

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