Right now, in some parts of the country, Apple fans are already walking out of the store with their iPad minis in hand (one hand, to be precise). Unlike the launch of the iPhone 5, the lineup for the new tablets appears to be less than overwhelming.
According to reports coming in from all over the world to Reuters, people just aren’t lining up for the iPad mini. In Sydney, Australia, only 50 people stood in line ahead of the official store opening. In Tokyo and Seoul, about 100 fans waited in line to be of the first to hold the iPad mini in their hands. According to Reuters, Apple staff members outnumbered customers in Hong Kong.
The reason the iPad mini isn’t bringing out the masses may be due to the fact that so many big-ticket tablet devices recently hit the market. For example, Google’s Nexus 7 launched in August and Microsoft released its Surface tablet, running Windows RT, only a week ago.
The reason Apple isn’t seeing the huge lineup that it normally sees for product launches could also be that consumers tend to be leery of new products. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster predicted that Apple will likely only sell between 1 million and 1.5 million iPad minis in its first weekend. The well-known third-generation iPad doubled that number at 3 million in its launch weekend.
“The reason we expect fewer iPad minis compared to the 3rd Gen is because of the lack of the wireless option and newness of the smaller form factor for consumers,” Munster told investors. “We believe that over time that will change.”
Another reason may be that consumers are waiting for the features that Apple should have included in the first place. Where is the Retina display? Where is the A6 chipset? Early reviews of the iPad mini rave about everything except speed and Retina display. Additionally, some buyers are waiting for the 4G LTE-enabled devices that are scheduled to come out later this November, another odd move on Apple’s part.
Maybe the recent shake-up in Apple Corporate will put the company back on track with the type of quality and reliability we used to see under former CEO Steve Jobs’ watch.