Apple’s anticipated iPad Mini won’t be a blockbuster success, at least according to Trip Chowdhry, senior analyst for Global Equities Research, but then again, it doesn’t really need to be. For the first time since the company’s renaissance about a decade ago, Apple finds itself in the role of follower in the tech market, rather than the leader its become accustomed to being, and many are wondering how the company will respond.
Given the fact that the iPad Mini, expected to be announced on October 23rd, will be entering into an already saturated 7-inch market, analysts are warning Apple investors and aficionados to not expect too much from the new tablet entry, given its expected higher price point and that it is pitted against established competitors like the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Google Nexus 7.
But then again, I don’t see Apple shooting for the moon with the iPad Mini anyways, as to me the smaller tablet seems to be nothing more than the Cupertino company hedging its tablet bet, feeling robbed by consumers turning from its larger iPad series towards smaller, more affordable 7-inch tablets, and wanting at least some piece of that pie.
While there’s no question that Apple and its hysteric fan base are pumping the tires of the impending release of the iPad Mini, with tantalizing invitations that read, “”We’ve got a little more to show you,” (‘little’ a reference to the smaller tablet) I would guess that much of the hype is simply hot air, as what can we realistically expect from Apple’s 7-inch tablet entry?
As Chowdhry explains, there’s good reason not to get our hopes too high regarding the iPad Mini. “It’s going to be a good product, but not groundbreaking. With the current backdrop, with the economy where it is, and the company just releasing the iPhone 5, the consumer has less disposable income to spend on new products. It hasn’t even really had time to digest the iPhone 5.”
To that end, it’s highly unlikely that Apple will in any way revolutionize the 7-inch tablet space, given that such innovation costs time and money, and its doubtful that Apple will want to invest much of either in its iPad Mini, unless Apple was sure it would be able to dominate the market.
In fact, for once in its life Apple isn’t creating a market space and then filling it with its own products as it did with the iPod, iPhone, and original iPad, finding itself entering into a tablet segment already occupied by some very successful products. Knowing the herculean effort required to stand out from this crowd, its likely Apple will be taking the more cost effective approach of supplying a competent but hardly revolutionary device.
In the end, if the iPad Mini should not do well, it certainly won’t break the Apple bank, but it will prove that Apple is clearly at its best when its creates markets, not when it enters them behind its closest rivals.