For those who follow the tech industry closely, the announcement of the iPad mini from Apple came as no surprise. Since its release over three years ago, iPad has become ubiquitous with tablet computing and the device of choice for 70% of the market. So where lies that additional 30%? Not from competing devices from Android and Amazon it seems. At least not in a straight forward manner. As part of its strategy, Apple had chosen to stay out of the smaller screen market for tablets, believing that the 9.7-inch iPad was sufficient for most out there. By and large, their bet has been correct and if we factor the 9-inch plus tablet market, the iPad holds 90% or greater market share. However, those are not the only tablets that exist in the market with devices like the Google Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire from Amazon which have been stuck in the 7-inch form factor. This of course did not take place because of their belief that 7-inch was the best form factor but because no one has been able to challenge Apple at the larger screen size.
With competitors offering cheaper tablets with a 7-inch display, thus came to be the remaining 30% of the marketshare; and so the iPad mini was introduced. One thing to note: unlike the devices mentioned above, the iPad mini carries a slightly larger screen at 7.9-inches. So what is the iPad mini and what does it have to offer? The most important part of the iPad mini is that, despite its smaller size and lower weight at 0.68lb, it’s still an iPad in every way. Not to get too technical, but the 7.9-inch screen size was also very deliberate in order for the iPad mini to offer 1024-by-768 resolution. This is important because that is the resolution of the original iPad and iPad 2 which you can still buy today. This means that the iPad mini can run all the same apps as the full-sized iPad and, consequently, any apps designed for the iPad mini will run on the larger iPad.
Why is this important to you? Because unlike the Kindle Fire and other Android tablets, the iPad has over 275,000 apps designed specifically for it, and not just stretched out smartphone apps. This ensures the most optimal usage of the app which takes into consideration your bigger screen. Besides the smaller screen size, the iPad mini also carries a lower price point, though carrying the same traditional price point increase as the iPad:
- $329 – 16GB
- $429 – 32GB
- $529 – 64GB
Apple offers the above sizes in both black and white and for an additional $130, you can buy any variation of the iPad mini with cellular support (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint) which allows you to buy a data plan for your iPad and connect to the web without Wi-Fi. So with the technical jargon out of the way, the questions still stands: is the iPad mini right for you? The iPad mini is the perfect solution for those wanting an iPad but who are unable to afford the $499 entry price. With a much lower entry price, the iPad mini still offers every app available on the bigger iPad and includes many of the great hardware components like 5-megapixel camera and HD video recording.
Even more compelling than a lower price is the portability of the iPad mini. With the ability to be held in one hand and weighing in at half the weight of the iPad, the iPad mini is an extremely robust and easy tablet to carry around. Its perfect for women who carry a purse around with them while men in their business bags will equally not feel weighed down by another device. Even casual use around the house like surfing the web, getting on Facebook and checking email is an extremely wonderful experience that the smaller tablet can offer. Bookworms should especially take note as it’s much easier to hold the iPad mini for long periods of time, be it in bed, on a train and/or on an airplane.
Those are all places that the iPad mini again shines. Cramped areas while on the go which can prove a little more challenging with the larger screen iPad. With the iPad mini offering also a near book-sized screen, education is expected to be another hot area for the iPad mini. Many high schools and colleges are already offering their books and course materials for iPad. The iPad mini can take this to the next level in an easier and lighter package, perfect to be placed in a bag. Of course, with Christmas around the corner, the iPad mini is one of the most requested gifts!
With the iPad and iPad mini, Apple now offers a tablet for just about anyone. Still not sure which one suits you or do you have questions about how a iPad can fit in your home or business? Contact one of our Apple Certified Consultants to have these questions and more answered. In case you’re going to us regarding the meaning of life, rest assured that the answer is 42.