iPad Mini release “question of when, not if” rumor is nothing new

You may have noticed iPad Mini rumors have started to reappear with some vigor over the past few weeks and months. Even before the new iPad was launched, there was speculation that we would see a revamped “iPad 3″ in March followed by a smaller iPad launch later on the year. So far, all sources, rumor spillers and analysts are in agreement – oddly.

The latest comes from an analyst, Shaw Wu, who states that the smaller iPad launch would make strategic sense. His analysis – goes along with what we’ve already heard – that Apple has been testing various sizes. Steve Jobs said as much back in 2010 when the first generation iPad was launched. More recently, we have heard that Apple has put an order in for 7.85″ display equipped devices to be manufactured. The speculated production timescale would fit in with a Q3 launch, a similar timeframe to the iPhone 5. Do we really think an iPhone and iPad launch would occur at the same time? No chance.

If I’m honest – however much I’d love to see a smaller iPad (like the one mocked up by Ciccarese) I don’t agree with the analyst’s rationale or reasoning. To me, it just seems like he’s going along with what has already been rumored without adding anything new or interesting to the argument. And he’s forgotten one really major fact: we’re dealing with Apple.

In business terms, yes, it makes sense to release a smaller, sub-$300 tablet to compete with the cheaper Kindle Fire and other Android tablets. But, since when does Apple go with what makes business sense? Look at the iPhone. Around this time last year, speculation was rampant that Cupertino were planning and designing a cheaper iPhone to be released alongside the new iPhone. There were a few “sources” and “analysts” with fine-sounding arguments who whole-heartedly promoted and drove the rumors forward. Did it happen? Nope.

It’s too easy to forget that Apple isn’t in the business of making cheap products to corner the market. Apple is in the business of making really great, beautiful products that work flawlessly. Art, design and experience come first. If there’s a chance that a customer won’t like using something, they won’t make it. Sure, they’ve got a few things wrong in the past, but they don’t do cheap. I sincerely hope Apple does make a smaller iPad, but not because I want them to dominate the market, but so that there’s actually a really great tablet for under $300 that customers will love. And more importantly, because I feel sorry for the guys who’ll buy a $200 Kindle Fire and eventually grow sick of the poor performance and cost-efficient hardware. We need something better on the market that more people can afford.

Via: Apple Insider,

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