iPad mini: I was only mostly right

From July 15: First public prediction: The 7(.85) inch iPad will happen

Over the last 3 months, the coming of the iPad mini became such conventional wisdom that it hardly qualified as a prediction. But there were plenty of doubters back in July.

7.85 got rounded to 7.9, so I got that right.

Pricing: not so much. They took a bite out of the pricing umbrella, but plenty remains.

Some theories on this:

1. They see the iPad as a fundamentally different class of device than the army of 7″ Android tablets. They’re right, of course. Even if you don’t care about Jony Ive build quality, the app ecosystems just don’t compare. But if all you’re going to do is watch media and surf the web…. Wait. More than 90% of tablet web surfing is done on iPads. Okay, I’ll just stick with “different class of device”

2. They can’t make enough. With the iPad 2 at $399, the $329 iPad mini (entry level) price is about as high as they could set it. Apple is a smart very-much-for-profit company and if you can’t make enough you charge a high price to dampen demand and maximize profits.

You can’t gain additional share if you can’t make the actual units.

I read a comment from the Android world that the form factor was the only reason to buy the iPad mini. I think it was meant as a criticism. But that is exactly Apple’s point.

And that’s why I only score myself as “mostly” right. Because the point of the iPad mini wasn’t to lower the price. The point was that for some users/use cases, smaller is better. This also may be good for the platform. A full sized iPad doesn’t carry a big premium, so we won’t find a swath of users with full sized needs cramming themselves into smaller screens because the prices are so different.

I also think of those web surfing statistics and wonder if the iPad has any  real competition. Maybe those really big Samsung phones? And I believe they still make netbooks.



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