Speculation has been running rampant for months now that Apple would unveil a “mini” version of its popular iPad tablet computer, but nobody seemed to know when the Cupertino company would make the announcement.
Now it looks like October 23 will be the day that Apple will make its announcement and present its offering to the world.
The plan appears to be for Apple to take on competition from Amazon and Google with respect to value-priced tablet computers, a scheme that could undermine the company’s high-end reputation and impact profit margins while opening up new revenue streams.
In fairness, all that appears to be known is that Apple is unveiling a “new product” at the October event. This could be a carrying case or an adapter cord, of course, but sources have been touting the date as iPad Mini territory.
Interestingly, Apple’s new product launch date comes three days before Microsoft’s launch of Windows 8 and their Surface tablet.
One analyst has already admitted to “play with” the iPad Mini offering. “We actually had the opportunity to play with a pilot iPad Mini used by one of the vendors,” Topeka Capital analyst Brian White said. “This 7.85-inch iPad Mini fit our hands like a glove and we were easily able to tuck the device in our sport coat, offering consumers a more mobile iPad experience for certain use cases.”
Apple has to be aiming its iPad Mini at both the Amazon Kindle and Google Nexus tablet, both of which have seven-inch screens and pack a price tag of around $199, depending on the retailer. Apple should be pricing its iPad Mini in the same neighourhood, which will make it an affordable option for consumers looking for a little cachet under the tree this Christmas.
Two days after the new product launch, Apple will drop its quarterly numbers and should once again set some records, what with stock values up some 55 percent this year and company cash soaring through the roof. Apple was recently named the most valuable company in the world, so that should be reflected in the digits.
At the same time, the iPad Mini could be seen as a bit of a risk – or at least a “risk” in Apple’s fantasyland sense of the term – but the product will likely pay off in the end and the company’s dominance will be asserted once more.