After successful launch of iPhone 5, it was almost certain that rumor mills about Apple’s mini iPad will get the momentum. And true to its tradition, many stories about probable launch of mini iPad have started surfacing.
According to Fortune magazine, a major Apple investor has heard from multiple sources that Apple will unveil the smaller iPad with a 7.85″ inch screen on October 17, 2012. The source also indicated that invitations would be sent out by October 10, 2012. The iPad mini (or iPad air) would be expected to go on sale on November 2, 2012, which would give it plenty of time to capture the holiday sales.
The iPad mini is expected to have a slightly bigger screen than those of its competitors, the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD and the Nexus 7. The iPad Mini is believed to have a 7.85″ inch screen and is expected to be considerably cheaper than the 9.7″ inch iPad. It’s also expected to resemble the iPhone more than the iPad, with bezel frame on top and bottom but not on all four sides.
Although Apple still dominates the global tablet market, but rivals are closing in. Google unveiled the Nexus 7 in July to strong reviews. And Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet, with a price tag about half the iPad’s, has encroached on Apple’s market share. Analysts say smaller, cheaper tablets entice cost-conscious buyers unwilling to spend $500 or more for an iPad.
Steve Jobs had once criticized the 7″ inch tablet size, saying that it was too small for a pleasant touchscreen experience. “7” inch tablets are tweeners, too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with the iPad,” said Jobs, adding “they are going to be DOA – dead on arrival”.
But had he been alive today, he would have changed his perception about mini iPad keeping in view of current trend of competition and dynamics of market forces. Apple’s mini iPad will give tough competition to its rivals in 7 inch category and will make life difficult if the price range is almost same or little higher.