So let’s pretend for a moment that Apple has announced that they have created a mini version of the iPad with a 7-inch screen and that it’s a whole bunch cheaper than the current version of their tablet (for the sake of argument we will imagine it is around that USD $250 price-point). Would you buy one? Would lots and lots of people buy one?
Brian White, an analyst with Topeka Capital Markets, thinks the market for a smaller iPad would grow to eclipse that of the current 10-inch iPad.
If White is right, and I think he is, a smaller iPad would succeed in the educational market especially. He says that a smaller device is more suitable for young children and that’s absolutely true. While I have no difficulty managing the current iPad in my grip, my nearly four year old daughter needs to rest it on her lap or table in order to use it. If Apple wants school children to carry iPads in lieu of textbooks, they are going to need to address this size and weight issue (at least in my humble opinion).
The other clever thing White says is that “we would not be surprised if certain customers end up owning both a regular-sized iPad and an ‘iPad Mini,’ swapping between the two devices for different occasions.” Count me in.
Don’t mistake what I am saying (or what I believe White is saying). It isn’t that the current iPad is too big or difficult to use, it’s that a smaller iPad might just be easier for particular situations and circumstances. You will also never find me saying that Apple released a smaller iPad in order to compete with the new Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire tablets –I think the choice to release another iPad would be completely independent of those other devices.
I think the more important question is whether we still need an iPod touch? If the iPod Nano evolved just one step further, the iPod Touch could be abandoned and replaced with some semblance of this ‘mini iPad’. It’s just a thought…
Most rumors suggest that a mini iPad is headed for a September release and fortunately we don’t have too long to wait to find out if that proves true.