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Apple goes for the kill in the tablet market

Although tablets have long existed on the market, it wasn't until Apple introduced the iPad in 2010 that the world stood up and took notice. Apple followed up on the success of the original with the iPad 2 in 2011 and the "New iPad" earlier this year.
While those 9.7" tablets were introduced with price points of $499 and above, Apple today is looking to conquer the budget market with the introduction of the iPad mini. The iPad mini forgoes the bulkier frame of its larger siblings for a more svelte frame and 7.85" display.

Speaking of the display, Apple's competitors can gloat a bit on this aspect of the iPad mini; at least when it comes to screen resolution. Like the original iPad and iPad 2, the iPad mini sports a 1024x768 resolution screen. Compared to the competition from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, the iPad mini comes up short:
Kindle Fire HD 7": 1280x800
Kindle Fire HD 8.9": 1920x1080
Nook HD 7": 1440x900
Nook HD+ 8.9": 1920x1280
Despite the seemingly archaic screen resolution -- which is being retained to maintain compatibility with the existing iPad app library and to reduce power consumption -- Apple points to superb viewing angles and better color reproduction.
The iPad mini uses a dual-core A5 processor, faster WiFi, Lightning connector, and includes a 5MP cameras on the back. The iPad mini is just 7.2mm thin, and weighs just 0.68 pounds. Battery life is rated at 10 hours.

The iPad mini starts at $329 for the 16GB model; add $100 for 32GB and $200 for 64GB. If you want LTE, you can add an additional $130 to each of those prices. The iPad mini will be available for pre-order starting Friday. The WiFi models will ship November 2.
The 9.7" iPad also got an update (now called the fourth generation model), and uses an A6X processor which is twice as fast as the previous A5X. It also has twice the graphics performance. The device has been updated with a FaceTime HD camera, Lightning dock connector, and faster Wi-Fi. It will also be available for pre-order on Friday.

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$299 would have been better
By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 10/23/2012 2:21:37 PM , Rating: 5
Getting an iPad under the 3-handle would have been better IMO.

RE: $299 would have been better
By daveinternets on 10/23/2012 2:26:44 PM , Rating: 5
I was surprised by this as well. Once I heard the 1024x768 and the A5 chip, I thought, wow, they are going for the kill here. $249 or $299 max with those low specs.

Then they come out and said $329 for 16 GB, $459 if you want LTE! Simply amazing. And by that I mean it is simply amazing that they will sell more than 50K of these (because we all know the kool-aid drinkers will be all over this).

RE: $299 would have been better
By voodoobunny on 10/23/2012 2:31:32 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that 299 would have been better - the extra $30 (plus $100 for accessories) will definitely tip the scales for some people - but I think a lot of people will buy this as a "second iPad". If you've already invested in a lot of apps that a little someone really likes, and you want to get control of *your* device back without having to rebuild your app library from scratch, then the Mini makes a lot of sense.

I'm thinking "little fingers, little fingers"....

RE: $299 would have been better
By kmmatney on 10/23/2012 2:46:47 PM , Rating: 1
I have 2 iPads in the house (one mine and other other my sons), and I really don't see the point of the mini. I like about the larger screen of the iPad, but web pages are still quite small, and you have to do a lot of zooming to hit the right button. I'd rather just use my Phone as my "mini". You can get normal iPads at Microncenter for $449, and a new iPad2 is only $359!

RE: $299 would have been better
By Nortel on 10/23/2012 3:18:37 PM , Rating: 2
The point of this is to compete against the iPod touch. If ou have two iPads and an iPhone 5, there would be no point in having one of these mini's. The iPod touch is $299 so anyone thinking the mini would be the same price was out to lunch.

RE: $299 would have been better
By DrChemist on 10/23/2012 3:36:18 PM , Rating: 2
That is the big disappointment in the whole thing. Same tech as the iPad 2 with a smaller screen by almost 2" for just about the same price. You will soon find that the iPad 2 will be either removed from the market or sell what is left and that is it. Because if I had a choice for the iPad 2 or iPad mini you would choose the larger screen any day. Not to mention cheaper accessories.

RE: $299 would have been better
By DJ Brandon on 10/24/2012 11:41:11 PM , Rating: 2
I am usually one of the first to defend apple but this is a little sad. They are overcharging and the specs are not impressive at all. I thought for once they would actually compete at a lower ball game but apparently not.

RE: $299 would have been better
By lightfoot on 10/23/2012 2:27:26 PM , Rating: 3
$249 would have been reasonable. Still underwhelming, but reasonable.

Anything higher is just stupid.

But Apple has a reputation to maintain as the pusher of overpriced electronic toys. The good news is that this price point makes the Microsoft Surface seem far more compelling.

RE: $299 would have been better
By Tony Swash on 10/23/12, Rating: -1
RE: $299 would have been better
By Brandon Hill on 10/23/2012 2:45:21 PM , Rating: 4
This pains me to my very core, but I'm going to have to side with Tony Swash on this one.

With the iPad 4 at $499 (A6X processor which is twice as fast) and the iPad mini at $329, I don't think that Surface will gain much traction.

Add to the fact that Surface doesn't run legacy apps and requires people to embrace all-new Metro apps means that it's an uphill battle.

RE: $299 would have been better
By kmmatney on 10/23/2012 2:48:47 PM , Rating: 2
Microcenter sells the iPad2 for $359 as well...

RE: $299 would have been better
By Kyuu on 10/23/2012 2:53:33 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, that's $499 for the new iPad w/ A6X with only 16GB of storage. To get the same amount as the Surface, you have to go up to $599. Then, in order to use USB or SD cards, you have to get $50 cables (for each).

When you add it all up, the iPad is a much more expensive proposition than the Surface. So unless you are locked into the Apple ecosystem or just aren't paying attention, I don't see the appeal of the iPad over the Surface or other WinRT tablets.

RE: $299 would have been better
By MaulBall789 on 10/23/2012 3:11:14 PM , Rating: 3
While I agree with you that the price on the Mini is absurd, you don't need the cables for USB or SD cards. Any documents or photos that are on the iPad you can sync with your PC wirelessly or even directly to the PC or Mac (that cable is included) and make any docs that were created in apps that have that capability available to you that way. No need to spend $100 or more for cables.

RE: $299 would have been better
By Tony Swash on 10/23/12, Rating: -1
RE: $299 would have been better
By retrospooty on 10/23/2012 9:00:46 PM , Rating: 4
Seriously Tony, not mocking you... What makes you so devout on this company??? I mean really, what can happen in someones life to make them so enamored with a company of all things?

I mean, I get liking a particular company, but to become so enthralled must be an interesting story at least. Why the extreme fanaticism?

RE: $299 would have been better
By maugrimtr on 10/24/2012 9:00:22 AM , Rating: 2
Someone is going to really disappointed because they fail to learn from history. Business can make a fortune revolving around key concepts and people in the short term but still lose large in the long run.

Apple lost its visionary leader. It's now seeing other companies moving rapidly to emulate its other advantages. Samsung has already started to dominate market share for smartphones, and Microsoft have moved into creating, in what most reviewers agree is, a well engineered competing product that runs Windows. Its OEMs just got a shocking wake-up call for 2013.

Apple's advantages are beginning to erode and they've also run out of market segments to revolutionize and dominate. iPods, iPhones and iPads are the full extent of anyone's imagined Sci-Fi future for mobile technology. Eye glasses or brain impants aside ;).

The next step will be share price erosion. Everyone knows that Apple is overpriced against market average and once investors notice the lack of other markets to invade, the growing competition and the strategic shifts in Samsung/Microsoft, that share price will start making people really nervous. Apple is long overdue a market correction once investor hysteria (read: speculation on continued bubble pricing) subsides.

What then for Apple?

Apple's genius has been its marketing and ability to so perfectly match customer expectations (at least when entering a market). That's the core pillar of their success. They have managed to avoid races to the bottom on prices through clever maneuvering and secretive development. That simply can't last - they're out of wriggle space and being forced into real competition. Now we have taller iPhones and smaller iPads - differentiation like that do not occur without something stressing your CEO about your competitiveness.

If they are really lucky, their decline will be fairly shallow - putting them on par with their peers. That might be enough to sustain them (if not their share price) so they can branch out into a stable diversified corporation that is not wholly reliant on a handful of markets under duress.

RE: $299 would have been better
By Tony Swash on 10/24/2012 11:51:43 AM , Rating: 1
Tee hee - here we go again.

Apple is doomed! Again. or at least doomed to get smaller. or make less money or something.

In fact of course the opposite will happen. How pleasing.

RE: $299 would have been better
By Tony Swash on 10/24/12, Rating: -1
RE: $299 would have been better
By Cheesew1z69 on 10/24/2012 12:58:14 PM , Rating: 4
Definition of FANATIC
: marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion <they're fanatic about politics>
— fanatic noun
— fa·nat·i·cal·ly adverb
— fa·nat·i·cal·ness noun
See fanatic defined for kids »

= You

RE: $299 would have been better
By Cheesew1z69 on 10/24/2012 1:00:30 PM , Rating: 2
Also, this "spends minutes" bullshit, you are all over this place all day, Android/MS articles included. You post the same exact shit day in and day out.

You are a loser... nothing more.

RE: $299 would have been better
By retrospooty on 10/24/2012 1:28:14 PM , Rating: 3
If that is how you see it, I dont know what to say... It sounds delusional. "Spends a few minutes a day" and "posting facts" are two phrases that just aren't true. You spend a great deal of time and effort defending Apple, every move they make and every product regardless of any info given as if you are on a mission. You have some facts, mixed with conjecture and spin and you regularly ignore facts to the contrary. In other words when evaluating "The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth", you get a Yes, No No.

You clearly have an agenda here, and I was just trying to get to the root of it. You do not simply "like Apple", that is gross misuse of the word "like" LOL. A lot of people like a particular company, they don't spend time defending every move they make and every single product every single day. What is it?

RE: $299 would have been better
By cyberguyz on 10/24/2012 5:47:25 AM , Rating: 2
My $250 Asus Nexus 7 eats this thing for lunch.

Just sayin..

RE: $299 would have been better
By degobah77 on 10/24/2012 7:36:46 AM , Rating: 1
Are you talking about profits again?

The rest of us are talking about technology.

RE: $299 would have been better
By NellyFromMA on 10/24/2012 3:18:32 PM , Rating: 1
I just want to know how Apple's market and supply dominance translates to consumer benefit, especially if they will never see a discount when compared to other products.

RE: $299 would have been better
By tayb on 10/23/2012 3:33:25 PM , Rating: 2
At the end of the day Surface RT is not running Windows. You don't have access to the gigantic software library that has been built up over the years. In my opinion this moves Surface RT squarely into "toy" territory.

Surface RT comes with more space but Windows RT + Office takes up 12GB of space. iOS 6 takes up just under 1 GB. It's hard to put a value on USB ports or SD card slots but Android tablets have all of those things for cheaper than the iPad and they are still being crushed.

In my humble opinion it all comes down to app availability. People want a device that works well and runs a ton of apps.

RE: $299 would have been better
By TakinYourPoints on 10/23/2012 3:41:05 PM , Rating: 2
With the iPad you're getting a tablet that is significantly faster than any other tablet on the market with a much better screen than the Surface, plus all that developer support.

A Windows RT tablet is not competitive with an iPad at that price, unfortunately. It isn't competitive on specs or app selection in any way.

Surface Pro is what people should be waiting for, and that is more of an alternative to an ultrabook given its cost.

RE: $299 would have been better
By Spuke on 10/23/2012 5:40:54 PM , Rating: 2
Surface Pro is what people should be waiting for, and that is more of an alternative to an ultrabook given its cost.
Quite frankly, I'm disappointed in the Surface RT but it's not totally unexpected. The iPad Mini is disappointing as well but given the iPhone5, that shouldn't surprise either. The Surface Pro IS what I'm interested in and will see how that pans out.

By inperfectdarkness on 10/23/2012 11:04:19 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. MS pushing the underpowered, poor-resolution, untested UI surface at a higher price than existing competition (with a commanding share of the market) makes about as much sense as HP announcing it will kill its PC division.

RE: $299 would have been better
By NellyFromMA on 10/24/2012 3:12:12 PM , Rating: 1
the iPad succeeded with no apps out of the gate. Also, does the iPad have some established killer app that for some reason won't or can't be ported over?

RE: $299 would have been better
By NellyFromMA on 10/25/2012 10:23:35 AM , Rating: 2
Oh I see, downrated, but no legitimate answer to the question? Sorry, thought we were trying to like technology, not brands.

RE: $299 would have been better
By themaster08 on 10/23/2012 3:02:23 PM , Rating: 1
Who gives a shit? That doesn't make the iPad a better device for my use.

RE: $299 would have been better
By DrChemist on 10/23/2012 3:41:49 PM , Rating: 3
No USB connector or ability to do work. I think I'll get the surface. Most people i know have given their iPads to their kids bc all they can do is play angry birds and check email. Maybe get a half ass internet experience. Surface RT Pro is where it's at. My guess is $799 - $899 for the Surface Pro as a laptop will be the deal breaker for buying this over everything. If I wanted a reader I will by the cheapest thing you can get for <$200

RE: $299 would have been better
By 91TTZ on 10/23/2012 4:07:26 PM , Rating: 2
If you want to get work done you're not going to be using a tablet anyway.

For less than $799 you can get a very usable laptop that runs all Windows-compatible applications and has the mouse and keyboard needed to do actual work.

RE: $299 would have been better
By Taft12 on 10/23/2012 4:14:38 PM , Rating: 1
WTF is "ability to do work"?

RE: $299 would have been better
By DrChemist on 10/23/2012 5:41:33 PM , Rating: 2
We are talking about the mobile people who travel and move around that want an ultrabook but want tablet portability and ease. RT Pro will replace the ultrabook, notebook, netbook and tablet. That way I have my desktop for heavy tasks and processing and the surface RT pro for everything else. Ability to do work is when I have a presentation or something I need to do while on the road before a meeting, I can pop it out and fix it faster than a laptop. iPad can't do that. Face it without MS Office and full internet you have just a toy that plays videos and crap games.

RE: $299 would have been better
By tayb on 10/23/2012 6:49:39 PM , Rating: 3
Surface RT and Surface Pro are two different tablets. One is running Windows RT while the other is running Windows 8.

RE: $299 would have been better
By augiem on 10/23/12, Rating: -1
RE: $299 would have been better
By EnzoFX on 10/23/2012 2:33:23 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. $249 would have been too cheap for apple hah. The $49 being a tax for build quality IMO. So considering the Nexus is being sold at no profit for $200... yeah.

Well these should show up at $299 prob for a refurb. I was least excited about the mini going into this, but now I really see it is an aggressive push. It's internals are a iPad 2, but updated cams and connectivity. It's just an argument of portability, which there is a big market for. The 4x3 ratio makes sense, when they showed the Nexus in landscape mode said it all. The fact that you get a huge tablet market app is what seals the deal. I'm tired of stretched out apps on Android.

The newer styling cues are a nice touch as well. The black one, am I right? =P

RE: $299 would have been better
By Shadowself on 10/23/2012 2:38:01 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, it should have been starting at $299 at most. The extra $30 is 100% unwarranted.

Maybe they'll have supply issues like the iPhone5 and they want to make as much as they can because they can't ship them in huge quantities? Make an extra $30 on each of them while supplies are severely constrained?

I can't think of any other reason for such a stupid price point.

RE: $299 would have been better
By augiem on 10/23/2012 3:23:42 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure why everyone thinks this is so high for Apple. You're getting the same guts as an iPad 2 for $70 less. You really think 2.5" of screen space is worth more than $70? Screen size may be the most physically obvious feature, but cost of manufacturing doesn't scale with dimension.

Just because something is 1/2 the size doesn't mean it should be 1/2 the price. Heck, ultrabooks and slim laptops are the opposite -- you pay a premium for the shrinkage.

RE: $299 would have been better
By augiem on 10/23/2012 4:15:36 PM , Rating: 2
Correction: 1.8" of screen space

RE: $299 would have been better
By Shadowself on 10/23/2012 6:26:12 PM , Rating: 2
It's not the "1.8" smaller" that is the issue. It's that it is 65% of the screen real estate of the iPad2 with two generations old technology. AND it has a different class of competitors than the iPad2/3/4 does. Virtually all the competitors are as or more capable and cost less. Simply put, Apple is foolish if it thinks it can command the same margins in the 7" class as it can in the 10" class. At least in the 10" class the hardware is not an "also ran".

RE: $299 would have been better
By marvdmartian on 10/24/2012 9:40:33 AM , Rating: 2
Shoot, the "MAGIC" alone is worth the extra $30!

RE: $299 would have been better
By fishman on 10/23/2012 2:38:13 PM , Rating: 2
Not gonna happen with the ipod touch at $299.

RE: $299 would have been better
By augiem on 10/23/2012 3:15:26 PM , Rating: 2
iPod Touch sales are going to be destroyed by this. I would much rather have a mini tablet I can actually SEE what I'm reading/playing for $30 more. Anyone who owns/wanted an iPod touch for gaming will buy this instead. (No, I'm not one of them. I don't and will never own an iProduct and touchscreen gaming sucks.)

RE: $299 would have been better
By Nortel on 10/23/2012 3:22:31 PM , Rating: 2
iPod touch has its place. It's 16gb larger default size, fits into your pocket, higher resolution and comes with the new earbuds. I'm sure the color options will appeal to many people as well.

RE: $299 would have been better
By augiem on 10/23/2012 3:36:52 PM , Rating: 2
$329 iPad Mini is 16GB, not 8GB.
I do agree the size part might influence some sales for those who want a PMP. But even if iPod Touch does survive, probably many of iPad Mini sales will be diverted from potential Touch purchases.

RE: $299 would have been better
By augiem on 10/23/2012 3:37:45 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, I see Touch comes at 32GB default. Sorry. Didn't realize that.

By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 10/23/2012 4:46:19 PM , Rating: 2
16GB Touch should be $199, 32GB for $249.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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