Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Taking A Stock Of Rumors Around iPad Mini

Nobody likes sour milk; and this motto keeps Apple at an edge over other consumer electronics (CE) makers. During March 2012 Apple’s gross profitability was 47.37%, which nearly dwarfed Dell’s same period gross profitability of around 22%. Except few rough patches, Apple has managed good profitability rolling throughout last three decades.

The key is - as everybody knows – innovation. Apple innovates and redefines consumer experience. Arguably that keeps people ever-wanting Apple products. Whenever Apple hints something new, rumor starts milling. Skeptics, however, call it company fueled marketing blitz. Whatever you say; at least it keeps us busy until the product emerges.

This time rumor-mill is busy around yet-to-come diminutive Apple tablet. Let’s listen what others saying about iPad mini.

1. Display size
 The hottest rumor interest is iPad mini display size. There are many guesses like --7.85 inches, 8.1 inches or 7 inches. The key to rumor is Amazon’s 7 inch Kindle Fire. Everybody is hoping an onslaught on Kindle Fire once iPad mini is out. The latest display rumor came out from a John Gruber podcast published on 5th April. It claimed Apple is toying with a 7.85 inches 1024X768 display. Does that add up to an iPad mini?

 2. Price point
 Next most well-received hearsay topic is, no doubt, the price tag. Kindle Fire sells at $199. A 16 GB RIM Playbook costs around $198. Samsung Galaxy tab with 8GB on-board memory makes you poorer by $237. How Apple will price iPad mini? Right now, we have 3 choices - $200, $249 and $300. The latest rumor (dated 10th May) expects Apple to bring out 8GB mini at $200. What do you say? Don’t you think that will push Apple into a price war with its nearest competitor Samsung? Apple has almost never competed on price points. Remember that!

 3. Release date
 It holds the third position in terms of public interest in rumors. Everybody wants to know when that tiny tablet will hit the stores. Do we have a single answer? The latest rumor on release date has quite formidable origin – Barclays’ analyst report. They pinpointed iPad mini in Apple’s existing supply chain! Does that mean we would get it by second half of this year? May be yes; Japanese security firm Macquarie seconds the rumor. They expect a launch by fourth quarter of 2012 with a shipping of 6 million units! Are you convinced?

 4. Feature list
This is quite a grey area to deal with. Can we expect new features on mini platform? Or, they will just make it a scaled down version? It seems a difficult task for Apple too. A Taiwanese publication claims iPad mini coming with thin-film touch technology. With Retina display around, Apple will, no doubt, offer the technology on mini too. All iDevice is now coming with iCloud as free-to-use service. So, nobody is really expecting any thing more than 8GB on-board memory. What else?

 As far as feature matters these are all peripheral guesses. To triumph over the competition Apple need to - what we said earlier – redefine the segment. Post-Steve Jobs, Apple won’t take any risk. Until they manage to fit in enough punch in the box, iPad mini ain’t seeing day light. We hope Apple carves out a niche, even, with iPad mini. Keep guessing.
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Gautham A S

Gautham A S is a personal tech columnist and blogging expert at TechGau.Org, one of the leading Tech, How-To and Blogging Tips blogs in the world..