Attention: The iPad Mini is on the Horizon!

mobile marketingJust last week, Apple dropped another bombshell on consumers; the iPad Mini. Sure, there have been rumors of such a device for quite some time, to the point that it wouldn’t even be worth mentioning this announcement if it did not come from a reputable source. However, this report is straight from the Wall Street Journal, the same publication that seems to be the first to leak important news about what Apple has in the works.

For investors, this information is encouraging because it indicates that Apple does not intend to give up the miniature tablet market and allow their competitors to reap all the benefits while Apple stands on the sidelines. It is also bad news for ASUS, who is currently trying to entice consumers with the Google Nexus 7. It is bad news for ASUS because many consumers may now decide they would rather wait for the release of the iPad mini rather than purchasing the Nexus 7.

Those who wish to debunk rumors for what they are may mention that Steve Jobs himself did not believe a miniature tablet was a good idea, but that does not mean that this is just a rumor. Instead, it is likely that Apple has been secretly developing one for quite some time just in case the idea should gain popularity among consumers, and that Apple is now releasing this information as a way of gauging consumer reaction and testing the miniature tablet waters, so to speak.

Past mini tablets failed to achieve great success, partially due to the expense. For example, RIM mini tablets are 7’’ and cost $500. However, ASUS is changing the face of the market by offering a 7’’ tablet with a much more affordable price point. Perhaps the reason for the new ‘announcement’ is that the Google Nexus 7 is a well-designed mini tablet with a price tag ($199) that consumers are beginning to appreciate. That means that ASUS is tapping into a segment of the tablet market that Apple may not have previously believed to be profitable – something that Apple cannot ignore, especially if they wish to maintain their status as the number one highly respected choice among consumers for tablets.

It remains to be seen whether the iPad mini will come into existence, but it seems like it is more probable than not. Writer George Ou states within his article, Why An iPad Mini Now Makes Sense, that: 

“The logical course of action for Apple is to sell a mini iPad that is slightly larger but sleeker than the Google Nexus 7, and sell it at a slightly higher price justified by Apple’s brand and larger App market. While $299 might leave too much of a “price umbrella” for Google, $249 still leaves Apple with respectable margins.”

Ou makes an excellent point. Apple is in a unique position because of the great success of the iPad. Consumers trust the company and the product, and thus the iPad Mini is sure to be a big hit among consumers, even if it carries a slightly higher price tag than the ASUS Google Nexus 7.

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