iPad Mini rumors have been going crazy recently, and they show no sign of slowing up. The most recent (yesterday) came from the hitty-missy DigiTimes, but today, iMore has heard from one of its sources that the iPad range will be expanded this year. Rumor has it that a 7.85″ iPad will be touching down at the same time as the next iPhone in September/October time, and will cost an unbelievable $200.
In the past I have been skeptical about any smaller iPad rumors, possibly wrongly basing my assumptions on the way that Apple conducts its iPhone business. With the iPhone, Apple has only ever launched one new device every year, and lowering the price of previous generation models instead of designing a brand new, cheaper handset. However, with the iPod, Cupertino did the opposite.
The iPod range is so varied, that after only a few years on the market, it’s completely dominated the world of MP3 players. Almost 90% of people with portable media players has an iPod thanks to its array of different sizes, features and capacities. It’s so popular, that the design team hasn’t even bothered coming up with anything new for over 18 months. Could it be that they plan on approaching the tablet market in the same way? By releasing a $200 iPad with a smaller display, the Kindle Fire would have absolutely no chance. It wouldn’t take long for the Apple branded slate to completely control the tablet market. Rene Ritchie states:
“According to our source, which has proven reliable in the past, the reason for such aggressive pricing is to do to the tablet market what Apple did to the MP3 market in 2004 with the expansion of the iPod product line — leave absolutely no space for competitors.”
The $200 price tag does seem a little far-fetched, but, according to the article, to achieve such a low price Apple will be installing a much lower storage capacity: 8GB. But, that still doesn’t address the most expensive part: the display. $200 would currently only get you an iPod touch, so it’ll be interesting to see if Cupertino can bring out the smaller tablet at that super-low price, and keep its profit margins at around 40-45%. I’d still say that $300 is the absolute minimum, due to the size, but, components get cheaper all the time. I could be wrong, and on this occasion I’d be happy to be. I’d love to see a smaller iPad.
What do you think? Should Apple make a smaller iPad? Comment below, or tweet: @TiP_Cam.