On Tuesday Apple lit the internet ablaze with the announcement of their long anticipated iPad Mini. Smaller than its older brother – the iPad – and cheaper as well, it set a new spot in Apple’s product lineup. Prior to this, Apple’s late CEO Steve Jobs stated it hadn’t been interested in a 7-inch tablet, but it looks like the slew of budget Android tablets has pressured them into it.
Technically, Apple didn’t go back on Steve Jobs’ word of never making a 7-inch tablet, as the iPad Mini has a 7.9-inch display. Sure, it may be closer to 8-inches, but that’s pretty damn close by my standards. And what does this tell me? Apple is scared. The popularity of budget tablets like the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 scared them, so they needed to launch a product to compete.
Apple may have made a “cheaper” tablet, but at a starting price of $329 for the 16GB model, that’s an extra $80 premium from the Nexus 7 with the same amount of storage. Come the 29th, we’re most likely going to see a Nexus 7 with double the storage, retaining that $250 price point.
Storage is only the beginning, as the Nexus 7 contains an arguably better processor, along with a display that is both higher resolution and sporting a higher PPI. For people who are in the loop with the interior of gadgets they buy, it doesn’t make logical sense to purchase an iPad Mini. And that’s what’s going to save Android tablets.
Looking to the past few years, Apple’s iPad has no doubt been a huge success. Competitors like Samsung and ASUS have tried to sell Android alternatives, prime examples being the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and ASUS’ Transformer line of tablets. Hovering near the price point of the iPad, none haven’t received sales anywhere near Apple’s tablet. Amazon released the Kindle Fire, and we learned that people are willing to try Android for the right price. A budget Nexus device later, and Apple is feeling the heat.
But, Apple stuck to its greedy way, and the iPad Mini is in its own price category. No, it’s not ridiculously expensive, but it’s created its own area in the tablet market. As of now, Android tablets will be able to still sell at their low $200 price points, and there’s one big thing Apple forgot about: brand loyalty.
Android tablets are in the hands of consumers now. Not just a few, but more than enough to make a solid impact on the market. That means that people will come back to what they know and love, with Android still holding a spot in the Android market.
Once that happens, manufacturers can begin marketing higher-end, more expensive tablets. They may not garner iPad sales, though slowly but surely the market will be overtaken. Android’s true domination will begin.
It’s thoughts like these that keep me awake at night, and it’s quite a long shot away. However, we all know that sooner or later the beast known as Apple must be slain.