The latest buzz in the world of tablets is the impending release Apple’s iPad Mini. The rumour mill has well and truly ramped into gear, but how likely is it really? Various respected sources have pitched in to say that a smaller version of iPad is indeed coming later this year. Perhaps the idea is to compete against the 7-inch devices – especially Google’s Nexus - which is available now and running the latest version of the Android operating system, Jelly Bean.
Here is a collection of sources that summarise the top 5 rumours and historical context of the iPad Mini:
- Citing two anonymous people with knowledge of the iPad Mini project, Bloomberg reported the dimensions of the device to be 7-8 inches diagonally. The device, which is likely to be announced in October, will not have iPad 3’s retina display feature and it is going to bear a cheaper price-tag. “The tablet’s screen will likely be smaller than eight inches,” reported the Wall Street Journal.
- “The iPad Mini is a bad idea”, says a Mashable report. When compared with the 10-inch iPads, a 7-inch tablet serves literally no better purpose other than being portable. In a 7-inch screen, the experience of browsing the internet, reading and writing emails, viewing photos and watching videos would definitely be inferior. That said, the second most popular tablet device right now is the Amazon Fire, though the use cases are perhaps different to an iPad.
- It will be a big hassle for developers to redesign their iOS apps for the new screen size. “Apps custom-coded with Objective C and the Apple SDKs (software development kits) will need to be recompiled and rewritten,” MacNewsWorld quoted George Adams, cofounder and CEO of ViziApps, as saying. Others say that if you consider the iPad Mini as an iPod Mega instead, scaling up the graphics and interface would work just fine.
- According to Peter Pachal of Mashable, “The release of iPad Mini will split the tablet market in two, and it makes a mockery of the 10-inch iPad’s retina display by suggesting to tablet-customers they can get along without one.” Apple has been known to develop prototype models and branded itself as a tablet market leader. Releasing the 7-inch iPad delivers the leadership role to Amazon and Google.
- The legendary Steve Jobs hated the idea of a mini iPad. “There are clear limits of how close you can physically place elements on a touch screen before users cannot reliably tap, flick or pinch them,” Mr. Jobs said. “This is one of the key reasons we think the 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps.” In addition to quoting Mr.Job’s comments about the iPad Mini, the New York Times underlines the fact that Steve Jobs, who died last year, was known to flip-flop his opinions and reviews, in order to keep competitors away from a juicy opportunity. So this could have just been a deliberate ploy to throw off the competition (which didn’t really work , in hindsight) . You can read more of Steve Job’s comments about the smaller versions of tablets – More Steve Jobs iPad mini attacks from beyond the grave.
Considering the above opinions and facts, one can conclude that if Apple decides to release iPad Mini, it will not be a smarter move, as it is more like cheapening its brand name.