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Rumors are swirling that a smaller, cheaper version of the iPad is in the works. With Google’s Nexus 7 tablet and the Microsoft Surface aiming to take over some of Apple’s market, this wouldn’t be a surprising move – and it would likely cement Apple’s status as king of the market for years to come!
According to research firm IDC, Apple will continue to dominate the world’s tablet market through 2016 if it launches a smaller iPad this year. IDC said that the addition of a so-called “iPad Mini” into its line-up will keep Apple’s share above the 60 percent bar for the foreseeable future. Apple’s tablet line overall would account for 60.8 percent of the tablet market in 2016.That’s a huge turnaround from earlier IDC projections just two months ago that predicted the iPad would slip under 50 percent as early as 2014 and fall to 47.8 percent by 2016. In May, IDC estimated that Android tablets would soon start to chew into Apple’s lead and by 2015 would account for the majority of devices.
Sources who wish to remain anonymous given the super-secret nature of the news have suggested the iPad Mini will be announced in October alongside the new iPhone 5. It will supposedly have a similar form factor to the new Nexus 7, and everyone in the market is incredibly excited by the prospect.
If this is true, it would be pretty cool, but in 2010 Steve Jobs said that Apple wouldn’t make a smaller iPad, and here’s why:
“The reason we won’t make a seven-inch tablet isn’t because we don’t want to hit a lower price point, it’s because we think the screen is too small to express the software,” he claimed. If you’re interested, you’ll find the full Jobs interview at Engadget.
It’s unlikely that Apple really needs to change its strategy to compete with devices such as the Nexus 7, but it’s possible new CEO Tim Cook has different opinions on the benefits of the iPad Mini than Jobs had.
According to an article in Digital Trends, a smaller iPad makes sense for several reasons. First, consumers are increasingly demanding smaller devices because they’re more portable so it makes sense for Apple to give the people what they want. Second, Apple is engaged in an all-out war with Android on various fronts, including in the courts, and might have a little fun denting the competitor’s attempts to get into the tablet market (okay, maybe this guess is a little extreme, but who knows!).
In any case, expect the rumors to continue to fly until we get some sort of confirmation or denial from Apple. Personally, I’d love the option of a cheaper iPad in time for next Christmas, so here’s hoping!
What do you think: is the iPad Mini fact or fiction?