Apple aims to stay atop tablet mountain
Even priced at $329, the iPad Mini will be a success
Computerworld - When I suggested earlier this week that Apple was playing hardball by scheduling Tuesday's iPad Mini announcement so close to Microsoft's Windows 8/RT and Surface tablet launch, I didn't think Apple would play as hard as it did. The big reveal, the first Apple event streamed live over the Internet in two years and the first to be streamed directly into living rooms via Apple TV, showed Apple is still the dominant player in the tablet market.
And it obviously plans to keep it that way.
Apple CEO Tim Cook seemed delighted to announce that Apple has already sold more than 100 million iPads, ticking off all the reasons people love them and pointing out that 94% of Fortune 500 companies are now testing or deploying iPads. It was a clear message to Microsoft, Google, Samsung, Amazon, and pretty much everyone else that Apple still leads the product category it defined nearly three years ago.
The unveiling of the iPad Mini was almost a forgone conclusion -- Phil Schiller even joked about that when introducing an updated Apple's Mac mini. What had been seen as a possible, but unlikely, announcement was a refresh to the existing 10-inch iPad, which arrived only last March. But Schiller did, indeed, announce such update, touting the iPad's new A6X processor and the move to a Lightening connector like that used in the new iPhone 5.
The new fourth-generation iPad is definitely a step up from its predecessor. Its A6X processor delivers up to twice the CPU and graphics performance of the model it replaces. And, like the iPhone 5 and the new iPad Mini, it also supports a broader range of LTE networks -- a key addition for users outside North America. Even with the arrival of this unexpected newcomer, Apple still sells the older iPad 2 as a $399 entry-level, full sized iPad -- albeit one without a retina display.
While the announcement of a new full-sized iPad was a surprise -- one greeted with decidedly mixed emotions by those who had already invested in a new iPad in recent months -- it was the iPad Mini that was the main event.
The diminutive form factor of the iPad Mini places it in competition with a range of Android-based devices, including Amazon's Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD; Barnes & Noble's Nook tablets; Google's Nexus 7; and Samsung's Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Tab 2 tablets.
Most of those tablets sell for $199 or less, which makes the $329 price for basic iPad Mini stick out like a sore thumb. Samsung Galaxy Tab models can even be found for free when paired with a two-year contract with a mobile carrier.
The pricing reflects Apple's standard approach to many products -- framing it as a premium device that comes with best-in-class hardware. Apple is not a company that competes at the entry level of any product it sells, and it looks like the company isn't about to change its approach anytime soon.
- iPad sales skew even more toward Mini
- Apple's Mac ends up in tablet cannibal pot, too
- The case for an iPad Pro
- Is Apple's 13-in. iPad a desktop for kids?
- Balky browsers tick off tablet owners
- The PC's fate hinges on tablets, but it's 2014 or bust
- iPhone, iPad dwarf mobile rivals in small- and mid-sized firms
- iPad grabs top spot in tablet purchase poll
- Tablets remain tops in American gift-buying plans
- iOS 7 now powers 3 out of 4 Apple devices
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Mobile Policy Checklist Here's what to consider when putting together a mobile policy designed to support a highly productive workforce.
- Mobile Applications Case Study: 8 Billion Transactions a Day The story documents how the online brokerage company tradeMONSTER created a custom mobile app and the success gleaned from this initiative. Also covered...
- Securing BYOD Mobile computing is becoming so ubiquitous that people no longer bat an eye seeing someone working two devices simultaneously. Individuals and organizations are...
- The Case for Mobile Apps Today's mobile apps turn handheld devices into e-book readers, portable navigation systems, digital wallets and more. And for organizations with mobile workers, they...
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Mobile Apps and Devices Slash Customer Cycle Time Consolidated Engineering Laboratories' field employees used to collect data on triplicate forms that were sometimes hard to read and difficult to manage. After...
- CDW Integrates with Google Apps for Cloud Collaboration Through a partnership with Google and Esna Technologies, CDW has rolled out native access to the CDW Cloud Collaboration suite within Google Apps. All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts