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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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RE: The Budget Market?
By augiem on 10/23/2012 3:18:20 PM , Rating: 0
All of Apple's devices are and always have been overpriced. That's become their trademark. They don't HAVE to compete on price like Android makers, and they're doing just fine.

I don't think this tablet will come anywhere close to iPad 10" sales, but I also don't think it's going to flop either. Apple buyers surprise me every single day with what they're willing to spend on things and how often they're willing to re-spend.

RE: The Budget Market?
By TakinYourPoints on 10/23/2012 3:20:58 PM , Rating: 2
In one post they're the value/performance king, in another they're overpriced. Which is it? ;)

RE: The Budget Market?
By augiem on 10/23/2012 3:39:46 PM , Rating: 2
Both actually. That's why I'm surprised.

RE: The Budget Market?
By augiem on 10/23/2012 3:41:55 PM , Rating: 2
But I guess it's more nuanced than that...

For 3D GAMERS, the price/performance is excellent.
For a tablet as a WHOLE, it's not very good compared to Nexus 7.

If you're only concerned with 3D performance, it's the cheapest thing you can get for the price. If you're concerned about everything else, there are much cheaper better alternatives out there.

RE: The Budget Market?
By TakinYourPoints on 10/23/2012 4:11:49 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, got it. :)

I'd say it goes beyond 3D game performance. Game availability (or general app availability since games only make up 20% of the app store) is the important thing for me. Hardware means little without developers. Most of what I play these days on the iPad aren't actually 3D games, they're German style board games or card games like Ascension or MtG. That sort of thing is excellent on a touchscreen, lots of depth but not constrained by the interface like a generic 3D shooter.

That said, I cannot wait for Frozen Synapse to finally drop on the iPad. My favorite PC game of 2011 is coming to the iPad and it actually seems better suited to a touchscreen (rare case like Plants vs Zombies or World Of Goo). FTL needs a port as well. :)

RE: The Budget Market?
By 91TTZ on 10/23/2012 4:41:09 PM , Rating: 2
All of Apple's devices are and always have been overpriced. That's become their trademark. They don't HAVE to compete on price like Android makers, and they're doing just fine.

Apple is terrified of Android. They've known since the original Android phones came along that a free OS with industry backing would seriously erode their profit margins, which is why they're doing everything they can to stifle Android's growth. It isn't working. Android devices are no longer bottom-of-the-barrel junk. They're very competitive in specs and quality and they're sold at a lower price.

Business is always a cat and mouse game. Large companies always want to maintain high profit margins while consumers want everything for the lowest price possible. Eventually the pressure to lower prices wins out and companies scramble to differentiate their products to regain that profit margin. They'll add features and try to tell us that those features justify the higher cost. At first that tactic works but eventually the product and market for that product evolves to the point that it's just a commodity.

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

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