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iPad Mini set for success

iPad Mini will open the elite tablet up to a younger audience
iPad Mini will open the elite tablet up to a younger audience

 

With the iPad Mini Apple may have once again created desire for a product people didn't even know they needed, says Dan Calladine.

Apple is expected to unveil the iPad Mini tomorrow, a smaller, cheaper version of the incredibly popular iPad. 

While opinion varies about the expected size, specs and price of the new device, a few things are very clear.

Apple really wants to exploit the success of the iPad and bring it to a new audience that can’t afford the £400 or so that the current model costs.  

ABI estimates that nearly 70% of all tablets shipped in Q2 this year were iPads. iPad users are far more active than users of other tablets. A Rich Relevance study from June claims that iPad users spend nearly 90% of all mobile revenue.

Apple really wants to exploit the success of the iPad over the iPhone for some tasks.  This includes mCommerce, as above, but it also attracts far higher CPMs for its ads, according to Opera, and generates three times more revenues than the iPhone in Apple’s newsstand, where you can subscribe to magazines and newspapers.  

More iPad users will generate more money for Apple.

So what is likely to happen?  The most obvious comparison is the iPod Mini, later the Nano, which was launched as a sister to the ‘full’ iPod in 2004, and quickly took off among people with smaller record collections, who wanted a very reliable music player with the Apple name.  

This suggests that the iPad Mini will also be very successful, and its buyers won’t really mind the lower specifications – they want something that’s called an iPad.

Another useful comparison is with the iPod Touch, an iPod that can surf the web on wifi, but not make phone calls, which was launched at the same time as the iPhone in 2007. This rapidly became a favourite with younger users. Currently in the UK nearly 50% of owners are younger than 25, according to comScore.  

This suggests that the Mini will be very popular among the young, and the lower price will cut parental resistance.  The Mini may cannibalise sales of the ‘full’ iPad, but it’s also likely that parents will get them for their kids at the lower price, and keep their own iPads for themselves.

So why would people buy an iPad Mini when it is still likely to be more expensive than the main competitors, including the Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7?  

It’s all about the Apple brand, the reputation and the advertising.  

Apple has a reputation for products that work very well straight out of the box. It will be comparable with other Apple technology, so any user can easily transfer their music, their pictures and so on. It will have the same apps as the iPad & the iPhone, including the games.  

It will have Instagram, assuming the Mini will have a camera. Instagram is the fastest growing app at the moment. 

Apple will spend heavily in media to generate as much awareness and desire before Christmas – The Cult of Mac estimates that Apple have so far spent over $1 billion in 5 years promoting both the iPhone and the iPad.

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