back to article iPad Mini: Why is Apple SO SCARED of the Kindle?

It's a small, cheap plastic device that people use to download Jane Austen and spanking porn. Why would Apple be scared of it? If we wanted to, we could see the iPad Mini as a product that Apple always wanted to make, a revolutionary resolutionary device, a magic original product that will change the world. "Boom! Boom!", as …

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  1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Education? More like car aftermarket...

    7 in is exactly the size of an average headrest back... So any competition and price reduction in that range is very very welcome by all of us who have kids in the back seats.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Education? More like car aftermarket...

      And most jacket pockets, handbags, car glove-boxes...

    2. Psyx

      Re: Education? More like car aftermarket...

      You really think it'll be cheaper than competitors?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Education? More like car aftermarket...

      If you're talking about headrest backs, then presumably you want to have the kids watching movies? Considering Apple's premium pricing policy, I'd guess I can easily pick up a twin pack of portable DVD players for less than half the price of one mini iPad.

      Personally I find getting the kids reading books, colouring or looking at the world outside the car windows much better than getting them staring at some pointless drivel on a screen,

      1. Mike Taylor

        Re: Education? More like car aftermarket...

        Amen to that. Or - god help us all - having conversation with the rest of the family. Something I look forward to with every long drive.

    4. Ye Gads
      FAIL

      Re: Education? More like car aftermarket...

      Yes, because we'd all prefer to pay £300 for a device that plays movies and might get mauled by the kids when there is a £129 alternative that does the same thing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Education? More like car aftermarket...

        >Yes, because we'd all prefer to pay £300 for a device that plays movies and might get mauled by the kids when there is a £129 alternative that does the same thing.

        Original Poster didn't say they were intending to get a (new) New iPad, but rather they'd welcome price reductions in that segment due to increased competition (who wouldn't?). i.e, they're not ruling out the possibility that the release of this rumoured iPad will cause rivals to drop in price. Whether that happens remains to be seen. Seems they are hoping that maybe the £129 device becomes a £99 device.

        1. Psyx

          Re: Education? More like car aftermarket...

          "Original Poster didn't say they were intending to get a (new) New iPad, but rather they'd welcome price reductions in that segment due to increased competition (who wouldn't?)."

          New Ferraris don't make Honda drop their prices.

          I'm pretty sure Apple aren't going to go for anything other than the top-of-the-line market.

          1. JEDIDIAH
            Linux

            Re: Education? More like car aftermarket...

            Apple is no Ferrari.

            Apple isn't even Honda.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Education? More like car aftermarket...

        @Ye Gads

        Yes they might do the same thing, just like your girlfriend/wife/partner.

        BUT

        Some girlfriends/wives/partners look better and perform better.

        The difference between boredom and satisfaction. I just like mine to look better and perform better, but hey I'm shallow.

    5. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Education? More like car aftermarket...

      So any competition and price reduction in that range is very very welcome by all of us who have kids in the back seats.

      Not all. By no means all.

  2. Lusty Silver badge

    eh?

    This entire article is about an unanounced product, and assumes that the unanounced product will be significantly cheaper than the existing product portfolio. It also assumes that Apple feel compelled to compete with the Kindle, a device at the absolute opposite end of the spectrum to their own products. I may be proved wrong later but I don't see why they would make this cheap.

    1. Paul M 1

      Re: eh?

      If it isn't intended to compete with the Kindle(s), what *is* it designed to compete with? The only other big seller is Apple.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Call me crazy

        ...but for now I am skeptical - and will happily admit I am wrong when the time comes - that the iPad Mini will compete *on price* with the likes of the Kindle Fires or Google Nexus 7 - which by most accounts are both products that at least border on being sold at cost.

        Of course, Apple's supply chain could likely make for a lower @cost equation than Amazon or Google - I am not arguing otherwise - but to compete *on price* would likely mean an un-Apple margin on the device (please note, this is not to say that "[Apple is overpriced crap]", but instead simply that Apple maintains a respectable/healthy margin on every piece of hardware they sell and to say otherwise is daft).

        My point: competing *on price* would require Apple to adopt, to a greater extent than they do today, the Amazon/Google revenue model of little, no, or even negative (when R&D is factored in) margin on the front end, and concentrate on the back end (majority ad revenue for Google, product sales for Amazon, iTunes for Apple).

        I find it much more likely that Apple will choose to compete on category (i.e. form factor), with normal Apple pricing (read: not the cheapest, bottom of the barrel price in a given category)... so likely more expensive than the Kindle and Nexus 7. Throwing SJ's limited portfolio approach out the window is one thing... but throwing a pricing/revenue approach that has driven Apple to the top - and not just by a bit - of the tech industry is something else all together.

        I invoke the Sagan Standard to the assertion that the iPad Mini will compete with the Kindle and Nexus 7 on price: "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence", and I have yet to see any extraordinary evidence that Apple is planning to throw their hat into the race to the bottom in the hardware market.

      2. a_been

        Re: eh?

        "If it isn't intended to compete with the Kindle(s), what *is* it designed to compete with? The only other big seller is Apple."

        It designed to complement the iPad range. This is the same play Apple has done with the iPods, over half of the ones sold are iPod touch,s but Apple still makes lower priced nano's and shuffles's. You may have noticed people saying that the iPad is to big and how they want a smaller tablet, here's Apple saying "fine, here's the iPad mini".

        I'm assuming the event is about a smaller iPad.

    2. Ted Treen
      Boffin

      Re: eh?

      @Lusty

      I suspect that at some time in the future, much of the highly esteemed Ms Leach's output will be viewed in the same light as Michael Dell's "Liquidate Apple & give the cash to the shareholders" pronouncement.

      No doubt Ms Leach is far more attuned to running a high-tech company than Apple's management is:- it must be all that time spent scribbling for the Grauniad - who, I must admit deserve a prize for their offshore-centred tax avoidance, and their sheer chutzpah in slating anyone else for it.

      From such a school's ethos, we judge its graduates

    3. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: eh?

      Before the Kindle Fire and Google Nexus came out, the only real competition in the slab market was the Galaxy Tab, which was the same price as the iPad, and the Asus Transformer.

      There's two possibilities, either it is a magical new revolutionary iGadget that will create a completely new market. Alternatively it is to compete with the Kindle Fire and Google Nexus.

      Of course at the time of writing this, we don't actually know that it is an iPad mini, it could be something completely different. We will find out in just over an hour. If it is an iPad mini, I can't think of anything magical and revolutionary they could do with it, but that's why I'm not earning millions of dollars working for their product design team.

      1. M Gale

        Re: eh?

        "which was the same price as the wifi-only iPad, and the less-well-equipped Asus Transformer."

        Fixed it for you. Don't forget when the original 3G-equipped Tab 7 came out.. quite a while ago now. Like, back when the iPad 1 was new.

        But yes, pricey compared with other 7-inchers.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "iPad mini starts with 16GB of memory, and the WiFi version is $329"

          Yes, that is a quote.

  3. Dave 126 Silver badge

    double eh?

    >"TV is another example of this: people want to watch Homeland on whatever screen they have to hand, he said, not to have to buy it on one piece of hardware and find that the content is only accessible on that device."

    ...is used as an argument against Apple's iTunes / iDevice infrastructure working out in the long term, whilst the article highlights the gains Amazon has made in tying people to their content by means of a device.

    So what is the article's argument again? That Amazon don't care about margins on their hardware, but that Apple do? Or that iTunes once had DRM but now doesn't? Or that many people have several audio and video devices, but only one e-reader?

    1. Tom 35 Silver badge

      iTunes once had DRM but now doesn't?

      True for Music, but how about everything else?

      1. Andrew Baines Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: iTunes once had DRM but now doesn't?

        They don't need DRM on music any more - they have so much of the market, they might as well let you play it elsewhere. There's such a Apple focussed infrastructure in so many houses now, people will continue to buy apple.

        Must admit though, 7" seems a far more sensible screen size. My PlayBook fits nicely in a Barbour pocket. iPad's are just too big to carry around, though lots of people seem to manage.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. pewpie
          Boffin

          Re: iTunes once had DRM but now doesn't?

          "Apple-focused infrastructure" (feel the epic grandure)

          Is that what one gets when Apple's proprietary plugs stop you from using anything that they don't have a cut of?

          Apple-focused infrastructure... ahh thats a classic.. thanks for the chuckle.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: iTunes once had DRM but now doesn't?

        You think DRM was their idea? it was forced on them by the media giants and that's why it's still on video and other content.

        Even the BBC won't let you download their programmes even though they are largely funded by the TV licence.

        What other sites will sell you DRM free films? erm, none it seems.

        Apple won't support Blu-ray due to all the stupid hoops you have to jump through to be allowed to use it.

    2. John Deeb
      Boffin

      Re: double eh?

      While Amazon might appear to lock the content in eReader world to their own Kindle reader, the AZW files can be read on Windows, Mac, almost all tablets and smartphones with apps! Or through any web browser. The point is that the software needs to be registered on the device for DRM reasons. If other eReaders will support installable apps, then any reader might work. But then they might be called tablets :)

      iTunes however is tight to the iTunes application and only Apple mobile devices. It's clear you missed something here.

    3. CCCP
      Devil

      Re: double eh?

      I won't defend the article, but I think there's a difference in how the companies are seen and see themselves. Amazon is arguably more open and more about e-commerce. Apple is more about the hardware.

      Amazon's reader works across devices, including the iPad, remembering where you left off. iTunes is quite iDevice centric by contrast.

      Amazon is using the loss leading Kindle to assimilate you into their content ecosystem. Apple just want you to join the collective and be done with it.

      I believe the article is sort of pointing out that an ecosystem content model is more flexible and resistant to challenges than a hardware strategy.

      Now, they're both evil. Just chose your poison.

  4. Ian 62

    >"TV is another example of this: people want to watch Homeland on whatever screen they have to hand, he said, not to have to buy it on one piece of hardware and find that the content is only accessible on that device

    That could be said for just about any video media. Theyre still lagging behind the Music biz. Most MP3 are DRM free, but I've yet to find much video that is truely cross platform.

    Region coding

    No transcoding

    No time shifting

    Netflix on one device not on another, LoveFILM on the others, AppleTV video elsewhere, some flash based, some HTML5 based. Ultraviolet?

    If I buy the 'licence to view' a video file. I want to view that video file on whatever device I have.

    Its not as if Apple is the only bad boy!

    1. A J Stiles
      Stop

      DVD

      You can get fully Open Source software to read DVDs (even with the ineffective, broken DRM) and convert it to other formats. As long as you own the original DVD, this falls within your Fair Dealing rights.

      1. M Gale

        Re: DVD

        The open source (usually libdvdcss2-based) solutions usually fail spectacularly when the DVD publisher has included some arsey extra copy protection measure that makes the movie appear to be 99 titles, or makes it so open source players break unless you skip the first megabyte or so of the disk.

        There are however, paid solutions that are regularly updated to get around publishers being dicks. Just saying that since I'm a lifetime-updates owner of a certain couple of Slysoft products. It works rather well!

        Means I can play my DVDs in proper quality on any device I like. All good.

        1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: DVD

          The open source (usually libdvdcss2-based) solutions usually fail spectacularly when the DVD publisher has included some arsey extra copy protection measure that makes the movie appear to be 99 titles, or makes it so open source players break unless you skip the first megabyte or so of the disk.

          Agreed. I could never figure out why the default players/libs on Linux don't disregard the TOC info if it disagrees with the physical information on the disk. I had a look at the source code myself and figured out what would need to be changed in order to defeat any of the standard copy protection schemes from among DVDs that I own, so that I can transcode them and have them available on my DLNA server. I think there are probably two reasons. First, these bits of software are generally written so that they comply with the standards and they don't deal very well with the copy protection schemes, which deliberately throw in junk. This often leads to disks that work fine in a DVD player but won't play on a computer. Second, I suspect that there might not be the collective will to get around the "copy protection" (in quotes because almost all of these schemes are laughable in how they operate--essentially, as I said, adding junk so that that faithful implementations of the specs, as on computers, won't be able to read/play the disk) because of fear of litigation. Even though it's trivial to get around the copy protection schemes I've seen (and I'm not even an expert), I'm sure the big media companies have patents on exactly how they fuck with the standards (and break them--I don't think they should get away with using the DVD mark on these) so I'm sure any open source distro would get slapped with a patent infringement suit if they implemented the changes needed to ignore the copy protection mechanisms.

          It's all a bit sad really, especially considering how technically stupid DVD copy protection is...

  5. Dana W

    Maybe its just sense?

    I've never been interested in iPad before because its just too BIG. If I can't jam it into my "rather large" purse, it is NOT portable. Seriously, If it needs a separate bag I'll bring my laptop.

    I'm still not sure I need one, but if it can fit in the spot my Kindle rides in, it has my attention, and I'm willing it give it a second look. I had my doubts about this at first, but there is method to their madness.

  6. Andy 115

    If you think this only started bring cooked up after Steve Jobs passed…

    You must be smoking crack!

    Just like the screen size "evolution" on the iPhone 5, SJ almost certainly knew about and had input to this decision.

  7. Rob Daglish

    I will laugh so much...

    ...if Apple actually don't launch a small iPad later, but go completely left field instead and bring out a synthesizer or something. (I don't think they will, it would just be funny to see all the experts on the back foot)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I will laugh so much...

      Yes, if they announced a properly licensed and lovingly recreated iTB-303, I would snort tea out of my nose. Would never happen, but it's a beautiful thought.

      1. Matt Bradley

        Re: I will laugh so much...

        Umm. That's already been done.

        http://www.rebirthapp.com/rebirth-for-ipad/

        1. Eddie Edwards
          Happy

          Re: I will laugh so much...

          ReBirth is sounded pretty dated now, though. There's far more convincing virtual analog synths around; although ReBirth ran nicely on a 60MHz processor and was amazing for its day. Which was 16 years ago. I would expect some future TB-303 clone to be running a SPICE simulation of the actual circuitboard* :)

          And that user interface? What were they thinking? Yes to emulating the TB-303 sound, no to emulating the TB-303 pattern editor :)

          * OK, admission time, I tried this. You have to run the simulation at 1MHz in SPICE to capture the oscillator triggers, and there are enough non-linear components that you have to use something like conjugate gradient to solve it, and that puts it out of the 1MHz sample rate even on a 3GHz machine. You could possibly run the filters at a lower sample rate and analytically create the input waveforms though - the SPICE waveforms, even with non-perfect components, are pretty much mathematically perfect. But I digress.

    2. jonathanb Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: I will laugh so much...

      I have it on good authority that they have finally sorted out the trademark issues with the British TV Station and are going to launch their long rumoured iTV product. Jeremy Kyle will be the guest of honour to launch it.

  8. Alan Denman

    7" Kindle = last years chippery

    The new HD Kindle surely should retail at near $99 to be competitive with the GPS enabled and high tech Nexus tablet.

    But maybe the Mini will not be as feeble as some expect

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 7" Kindle = last years chippery

      Word to the wise, avoid the Kindle HD, it's a rather bad, glitchy thing. If you're in the market for a small Android tablet, the Nexus 7 is still the best option- and Kindle Reader looks pretty decent on it, if you like that sort of thing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Word to the wise

        ignore anonymous google shills.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Word to the wise

          I've seen my US-based uncle with a Kindle Fire, the only example I've seen of it here in Blighty. He said it had been given to him (not a good sign), and that he didn't really get on with it either.

          But I'm sure any product finds its way to at least a few people who don't get on with it.

  9. DrXym Silver badge

    This article is all wrong

    Apple only invented the small tablet form factor today. What other tablets are they even speaking about?

  10. Steve Todd
    Stop

    The usual rabid anti-Apple click bait from Ms Leach

    Apple have a long history of adding devices to their product range to cover the market. iPod nano, Mini, Classic and Touch anyone? When SJ took control back of the company the reason he killed the number of devices he did was because the range was confusing, with many overlapping products, and the company was bleeding red ink.

    Apple and Amazon have different approaches, but both are aiming to pull users into their proprietary ecosystem. Kindle books are DRM'ed lest we forget. Amazon wants to sell media content and uses the Kindle devices as loss leader. Apple wants to sell iDevices and sells much iTunes content for free as a loss leader for that.

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: The usual rabid anti-Apple click bait from Ms Leach

      Seems to have worked....

    2. Psyx

      Re: The usual rabid anti-Apple click bait from Ms Leach

      " iPod nano, Mini, Classic and Touch anyone?"

      Huh? Are those seriously 'different' products that 'cover' the market?

      Any MP3 player fits in the palm of a hand. The form factor and a few functions and a case are not differentiators. It's really just a styling choice (as far as I'm aware: My little Sansa is a great piece of kit for a fraction of the price, so I never saw the point in buying mugger-bait).

      Whereas an iPad that actually fits into a pocket or a purse *is* aimed at a different gap in the market. That size differentiator alone makes it quite a different product in many ways.

      Still: I think it's a bit of a donkey. Apple die-hards and brand-lovers will want one, but I don't think it's going to be able to compete with the alternatives on price, and most of those with a wad of readies will have already purchased the larger version and an iPhone.

      1. Steve Todd
        Stop

        @Phyx - have you actually looked at them?

        The nano is designed to be clipped to your lapel, much smaller than hand sized. It and the Mini are aimed at the fitness crowd, were small and light is important.

        The Classic is hand sized and high capacity (160GB IIRC)

        The Touch is a cut down iPhone, able to play most of the iPhone games, browse the web and display video at a decent size and resolution. You'd need to be a complete numpty to think they were all targeted at the same buyer and price point.

        1. Psyx
          Go

          Re: @Phyx - have you actually looked at them?

          "...the Mini are aimed at the fitness crowd, were small and light is important."

          That's hilarious: "I'm so fit and into my workouts, that an extra 10g in my pocket will lead to cardiac arrest."

          Do joggers also buy smaller versions of their iPhones, because the usual ones slow them down too much?

          It just illustrates my point that the differences aren't *really* major differences which redefine the product at all. They are primarily self-image, aesthetic and style elements (qv: "I'm a fitness guy, so I need this lightweight model") that simply appeal to slightly different segments of the same market. None of them is an inherently different product.

          The step between 'pocket' and 'not pocket' (and hence 'sofa or separate bag' and 'handy travel-mate') is a larger one is somewhat more about practicality than self-actualisation. It changes the way that the device is used, to a degree. Whether it's large *enough* of a product difference is yet to be seen.

          1. Steve Todd
            FAIL

            Re: @Phyx - have you actually looked at them?

            You are indeed a numpty of the highest order.

            There's obviously no difference between the £40 2GB, screen-less entry level device and a 64GB pocket Internet and game playing machine for £329. The hard disk based Classic is obviously ideal for jogging and use in the gym, where the drive has no problems with bumps and knocks. The lack of Bluetooth and Nike+ support are patently non issues to dedicated fitness fanatics who don't need that kind of thing. /s

            1. Psyx
              Boffin

              Re: @Phyx - have you actually looked at them?

              The iTouch is perhaps worthy of being a noticeably different product, due to gaming capabilities, I'll grant you.

              The idea that the Classic skips songs when jogging just because it's HDD-based seems to be an odd one, given that it has a 32MB cache (and that my ex used to use one during work-outs, and never had a problem). I don't know any *actual* dedicated fitness fanatic that uses Nike+, either: Just joggers and people who love to tell me how far they've run via Failbook. You're getting self-actualisation and identity-defining functionality mixed up with defining functions, I think.

              Adding minor functionality that caters to a corner of a market but is not a *crucial* practical factor is not making a new device: It's good marketing strategy. You seem to have got the two mixed up. Which is right where Apple and other companies which sell aspirational products want you to be.

              Is it worth calling me names over though, Steve? [And look: I spelled your name correctly...]

              1. sabroni Silver badge
                Thumb Up

                Re: @Phyx - have you actually looked at them?

                Upvoted for civility!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple is a corperation

    and there is money to be made. Do you need another reason?

  12. Thomas Gray

    Maybe it's for people like me

    I have a MacBook Air for "larger screen" things, and content creation. I have an iPhone for when I don't want to fire up the MBA, but the screen is a bit too small for reading books, watching videos. A 7" iPad would fit nicely in between the two.

    Also interesting is that this presentation is being streamed live on Apple.com - a first?

  13. toadwarrior

    This is a dumb article. It bases an argument on assumed specs and claims that lock-in isn't the way to go ignoring the fact that amazon locks you in on everything except music because you can't compete with drm audio files these days.

    Itunes isn't just for the mac even though apple are a hardware company and want to shift hardware. You can use it on windows too. It doesn't support android but hey, amazon barely serves me as a linux user. I get music and that's about it. There is no guarantee they'll continue to support all the platforms they do. A real open format is the real solution.

    The reg needs to stop paying school children to write articles for them.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How long will it take Microsoft

    to figure out that a 7" Windows 8 RT tablet might fill be a popular option too.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: How long will it take Microsoft

      If MS can give it a good keyboard, possibly even the option of a full size keyboard that folds out in a cunning manner, like some of those once available for Palm devices did... they might be on to something.

      Jacket-pocket word-processor.

  15. Tim 11
    FAIL

    strategy schmategy

    All these big companies have one corporate strategy - make as much money from your customers as possible. The technology (whether hardware, software or services) is just a side-effect of that.

    They may have slightly different ideas about how to do it but most of them employ similarly talented people educated in the same universities coming up with the same ideas and all just trying to think of ways to lock users in and differentiate themselves from the competition.

    If apple's or google's or microsoft's business model was naturally superior to the others, everyone would have adopted the same model; the plain fact is that there's just a big pile of luck involved, not some kind of mastermind visionary strategy that only Jobs or Zuckerberg could possibly have come up with

    1. fandom Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: strategy schmategy

      Making money isn't a strategy but an objective

  16. JeffyPooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Depending on the price...

    I might buy an iPad Mini to add to my growing (cross-ecosystem / fanboi brainstem-exploding) collection of gadgets.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Use case

    The use case I have for a tablet is mostly portable and convenient web browsing, social media, email and maps, with a display size somewhat larger than you get with a smartphone (so I don't need a magnifying glass).

    None of those require either a keyboard or a high resolution display.

    Seems to me that the Nexus 7 is a perfect fit, at an attractive price.

    I can't see a huge future for expensive 18 cm* tablets, but then I am constantly amazed by the behaviour of other humans.

    *In conformance with the El Reg adoption of SI units.

    1. Psyx

      Re: Use case

      "I can't see a huge future for expensive 18 cm* tablets, but then I am constantly amazed by the behaviour of other humans."

      It's a sofa-friendly format, is the best I can say on the subject.

    2. M Gale

      Re: Use case

      "...None of those require either a keyboard..."

      I'm sure you can write War and Peace on a slab of glass, but some of us like to know what letters we're hitting and not take half an hour to write a 200 character email to someone.

      Not required perhaps, but very very much desired, especially for email and "social" (yuck) media.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Use case

        <quote>I'm sure you can write War and Peace on a slab of glass</quote>

        There is no need to, mate. They all copy and paste now.

  18. Big_Ted
    FAIL

    Well the mini has been announced

    And guess what the screen is 35% bigger

    And the price @ $329 is more than 50% higher then the price of the Nexus 16GB

    If Google bring out the 32GB at the same price and drop the price of the 16GB then it will be twice the price.

    For me its a no brainer, no thanks Apple.....

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Well the mini has been announced

      However - it does invalidate the point of this article - so can I be the first to post

      "Anna you muppet!!!!"

  19. Ian Johnston Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Fanboiz

    The funniest thing about this is the way all the fanboiz who until yesterday were arguing until they were blue in the face that 7" tablets were an abomination are now explain just why they are wonderful, how Steve Jobs must have approved of them (even though yesterday they quoted Jobs against them) and so on. The same thing happened with the iPhone 5; suddenly all those explanations that it was impossible to have more than one screen size just melted away.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: Fanboiz

      care to quote some of those fanbois? I think most of them viewed the mini as inevitable a long time ago.

      1. chr0m4t1c

        Re: Fanboiz

        Yes, I'm pretty sure the "iPad Mini" was a regular rumour about every six months after the original iPad was announced.

        I think Jobs said the 7" form factor made the screen feel cramped, but that may well have been down to the limitations of the screen technology available at the time (i.e. when they were developing, 5+ years ago).

        I guess it's the same as using an old laptop with a 15" screen that can only manage 800x600 in comparison to something modern that does 1440x900 or even 1920x1200.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    ... and now we know ...

    it's a smaller iPad 2.

    At $329 - well, waiting for the UK price to be revealed and expecting £299 - there's no way it's going to be the same or cheaper than an iPod touch.

    A direct exchange rate is £209 - once you've added all the taxes onto it... well, if it's not £299 the cheapest it'll be is £279.

    It's a no-brainer - Android tablet all the way this Xmas, probably a Nexus 7.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, iPad Mini: $329 (16GB), $429, $529.

    That is not competitive, since the extra cost does not give me anything that I actually need that the much cheaper Nexus 7 doesn't have.

    Also, rumour has it the 32GB Nexus 7 will now sell for $249. That's $180 cheaper.

    Looks like the intended market is fashion conscious people with a weak attachment to money.

    1. Thomas Gray

      Yep, $70 too expensive. If it had been $249, it would have been an easy purchase, but it's too expensive for me.

  22. Big_Ted
    FAIL

    Apple store shows mini @ £269, thats a near 10% higher price than the $329 plus VAT.....

    Typical gouging by tech companies when pricing, at least Google price compares much better to US price.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So, come Christmas, when the Nexus 7 32Gb is available for £199, the equivalent iPad mini will be £349 (16Gb £159? to £269). You'd have to really really want an iPad to pay that kind of premium. Anyone thinking of a 7" tablet and having no allegiance to Android or Apple will need some convincing to go with Apple, and I can't see any potential Nexus customers thinking twice about getting one. (Does not apply to rabid Apple fanbois who will buy one anyway, to sit next to their iPad and iPhone).

      Couple of other things... 1024 x 768? Really? and no GPS on wi-fi only model?

  23. Jason Hindle

    Publishing...... Publishing

    Well, I have an iPad and a Nexus 7. If I want to fire up the kindle app and read for a couple of hours, it's not the iPad I go for. Publishing is Apple's end game with this device. They were never going to maximize the number of books the could sell when the only tablets to read them on were the existing iPads.

    In case you haven't noticed, Apple has big ambitions in publishing, complete with a free ebook authoring tool and a very democratic model that allows anyone to publish and sell. The Mini is going to get people reading books on the iPad and drive both readers and would-be authors to Apple's iBook store.

    Will device agnostic me be buying an iPad Mini? Probably not right away, if ever. I like my Nexus 7.

  24. Hillman_Hunter
    Gimp

    Can't be ruled by a ghost smartphone

    Its new territory for Apple normally they just create a market then simply own it, like with the "premium" PC or the ipod, or for a short time the smartphone. Now there are some other bigboys who want to play in the same park who also have a nice football, (the metaphor rather runs out there).

    The real battle is for content provision, The good news for Apple is nobody has really "won" at movies or periodicals, but Amazon are winning at books an literature, the Kindle is a great product my Mum has one and she loves it. Google are all over the place and nowhere, with an Army of followers who love Android because its not iOS (even though they are so similar).

    Anyway the point of the post Apple have to scrap it our from here on it, in IT years the tablet computer is heading for middle age and there is everything to play for, If Apple sit in an ivory tower and dont react as well as lead they will loose.

  25. Spanners Silver badge
    Pirate

    Can someone Sue Apple for this?

    They have blatantly copied the idea if a 7" tablet from Android. I suggest that it was a copy of the Nexus7. Take a leaf out of their lawyers books and Photoshop it and Google could give them a taste of their own medicine!

  26. JaitcH
    FAIL

    Tim Cook can't run a company second-guessing specifications Apple's dead leader might prefer

    I thought Cook went down to the bone-yard and held a weekly seance?

    As for the education market, it has little spare budget, so cheaper, smaller is only part of the equation. Apples jail environment with a 30% gate fee is simply to restrictive and to expensive for the education app developers and schools to pay,

    Which s another reason not to buy this Apple product.

  27. Rick Damiani
    FAIL

    It's not Apple that closed the garden

    " Apple's closed garden only-on-our-device biz model is starting to work against it."

    You could replace 'Apple' with 'Amazon' or 'B&N' in that sentence and it's still accurate. It's not Apple that requires DRM, and DRM isn't something that only Apple does. The Amazon content market is every bit as closed as Apple's is.

    In fact, when talking about tablets as e-readers, iPads are actually more open than a Kindle or Nook. I can (and do have) Kindle and Nook e-reader apps on my iPad. I can't get Nook for my Kindle, Kindle for my Nook, or iBooks for any of them.

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