At Apple’s press event today we were treated to a number of new iPad models. Among them, was a new version of the iPad Mini, a device first debuted last year. While this is no doubt a very good piece of technology, with great, specs, a crystal clear display, and an obvious attention to design and aesthetics, a larger question hangs over the device…
Who is it even for, and why does it need to exist?
Currently, the iPad mini, with its 7.9-inch screen occupies a rather odd position in the product line up of Apple. It sits now between the 5.5 inch iPhone 6 Plus, and the new 9.7 inch iPad Air 2. While other high end (and presumably high-cost) devices are either phablets (from 5 to 6 inches) or larger screened tablets (9 inches plus), the iPad Mini is going to be occupying a space held by much cheaper devices.
The reason for this is quite simple. While smaller screened devices are popular, they are mostly used for media viewing and aimless web browsing. For this kind of use, high-end specs are simply not necessary, and a user would be much more willing to purchase a cheaper Android device in this areas. The iPad Mini, with its premium specs and accompanying price, would probably not make sense to a user who already owns an iPad or a larger screened iPhone 6 Plus.
Indeed, it is likely for this reason that Microsoft cancelled its long-rumoured Surface Mini, given such a device had little chance for success. Apple would be better off concentrating its talents on improving the larger and more profitable iPad Air, as well as beginning to blur the lines between its MacBook and iPad platforms.
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