Exactly one year ago today Steve Jobs said this on a conference call when asked about rumors of a smaller 7 inch iPad: “The reason we [won’t] make a 7-inch tablet isn’t because we don’t want to hit that price point, it’s because we think the screen is too small to express the software.” According to a report from the Taiwanese news agency Economic Daily News, Jobs was right, Apple isn’t going to build a 7 inch tablet, they’ll instead build a 7.85 inch tablet. The report goes on to say that LG Display and AU Optronics have already sent Apple samples and that an iPad mini will hit the market as early as next year. It’ll have the same resolution as the current generation iPad, which when you think about makes a lot of sense when you break down Apple’s pricing structure; Apple likes to price their portfolio so that they can reach a wide market. Take the $999 11.6 inch MacBook Air and the $2499 17 inch MacBook Pro for example, the $49 iPod shuffle and the $199 iPod touch, and most importantly the free (with 2 year contract) iPhone 3GS, $99 iPhone 4, and $199 iPhone 4S. What other product in Apple’s lineup doesn’t have a cheaper alternative? The iPad.
If Apple introduces a lower cost iPad, say for $299, that then allows them to offer a premium $499 iPad with a higher resolution screen, faster processor, and other bells and whistles. They’ll probably also make this cheaper iPad available in a single color and without 3G so they can better manage their inventory. Such a product would be put in direct competition with the Amazon Kindle Fire, which goes on sale later this month for $199 and offers users direct access to Amazon’s Kindle services and quite a number of Android apps via the Amazon Appstore for Android.
Would you be interested in an iPad mini or do you think this rumor is complete nonsense?
[Via: Unwired View]