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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: $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.

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

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