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Is iPad Mini Too Late to the Seven-Inch Tablet Party?
Is iPad Mini Too Late to the Seven-Inch Tablet Party?

By Jennifer LeClaire
October 2, 2012 8:04PM

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Regarding news of an iPad Mini materializing soon, analyst Rob Enderle says, "I don't see Apple's angle here, which I think is a problem." Apple could cannibalize its larger iPad sales, plus an iPad Mini would face competition from the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7. On the other hand, when was the last time we saw an iAnything from Apple fail?

Although the dust hasn't yet settled on the iPhone 5, word on the street is that Apple is getting ready to announce an iPad Mini tablet to compete for holiday shopping season dollars. The rumor mill says Apple will unveil a 7-inch tablet on Oct. 17, but Apple remains mum on the subject.

Leaked reports suggest that the iPad Mini will have a 7.85-inch screen. That's about 2 inches smaller than the original iPad and almost an inch bigger than the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7. Rumors also suggest the iPad Mini will sell for about $250, which is more than the competitors' low-end devices in the 7-inch category.

Some have described the iPad Mini as similar in looks to a large iPod touch. Other news reports suggest Apple will have 6 million iPad Minis available at launch. But beyond the rumors, nothing solid is known. Apple's success in the 7-inch category isn't even a given, according to some analysts.

Apple Too Late?

We turned to Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, to get his take on the rumored iPad Mini. He told us something that you normally couldn't say about Apple: The company is a little late to market with its product.

"The Kindle Fire was the tablet that really got people looking at the sevens to begin with, followed by the Nexus 7," Enderle said. "Any way you look at it, Apple is either months or almost a year late to the market with this."

Not only is Apple late, an iPad Mini would likely cost much more than an Android, Nook, or Nexus 7, which are all subsidized by their makers. The Kindle and Nexus 7 are sold at or close to cost, and Apple doesn't take that approach with its product line. Enderle said that differential could put Apple at the wrong side of the cost curve.

What Could Go Wrong

"The 7-inch tablets are all about content -- books and movies," Enderle said. "Unlike the 10-inch class of tablets, where people expect to do productivity tasks on the device, the 7-inch is just for consumption. The killer apps are pretty much already on the Kindle and the Nexus 7, which is going to make it much tougher for Apple to break in."

But what about iTunes? Apple's iTunes doesn't have a market advantage on the movies or books front, and most people don't buy tablets to play music. Music lovers are more likely to listen to music on an iPod or iPhone.

"I don't see Apple's angle here, which I think is a problem. They have to maintain margins so they can't beat them on price. The screen on both the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire are very good, so they can't really beat them on screens," Enderle said.

"Apple could cannibalize its larger iPad sales with what is a smaller revenue product and that doesn't work out for them, either. There are a lot of ways this could go wrong."

With the rumored launch date just two weeks away, and the holidays right around the corner, it will be interesting to see what materializes with the Mini.

Tell Us What You Think


TKO Naija:

Posted: 2012-10-04 @ 11:14pm PT
Rob, over the years, can't ever see Apple's angle. He's in the Microsoft camp. Balmer too never saw it coming. Look where he is now.


Posted: 2012-10-04 @ 12:03pm PT
The other tablets, smaller ones don't have 3G, don't have cameras. Apple minis should. Also, as an iPad user, I would find that putting an Apple mini in my pocketbook would be a "to go" computer, as long as I had the speed, HD, camera and 3G at least. I would buy one for travel and being out, keeping iPad for in-home use as extra "computer" or tv.

yet another steve:

Posted: 2012-10-04 @ 12:37am PT
Don't see Apple's angle?

Maybe "only for consuming content" is because that's all you can do on Android tablets. That extra inch is actually a lot of space, and those who have done the math see plenty of room for apps.

Then angle is simply the best ecosystem on the planet.


Posted: 2012-10-03 @ 8:53pm PT
...or people could just want a higher quality product with more Apps. Just saying, you can speculate endlessly about ways this could go wrong for either camp. Since Enderle is a longtime Microsoft consultant who gets paid to offer anti-Apple information to the media. Why do reporters keep trotting out this discredited shill?

Objective Observer:

Posted: 2012-10-03 @ 5:38pm PT
LOL! I see the Apple fan boys are out in force insulting anyone who dares to question the great wisdom of the Almighty Apple.

His Shadow:

Posted: 2012-10-03 @ 4:50pm PT
"We turned to Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, to get his take on the rumored iPad Mini."

And that's where everyone with an IQ about room temperature stops reading...


Posted: 2012-10-03 @ 4:28pm PT
@ JC-Cali:

Good luck with that...


Posted: 2012-10-03 @ 3:09pm PT
Thank heaven for Rob Enderle, the principal (translation:only) analyst at The Enderle Group. Apple was unable to break into a market they knew nothing about and was dominated by others (Nokia, RIM), so why would they be able to have any success in the mature 7-inch tablet market? Thanks for making this clear, Rob!


Posted: 2012-10-03 @ 2:19pm PT
I remember the one where he said the iMac was so dangerous than an Earthquake will make it fall. Then the fall will shatter the glass which presumably will fly off and hit someone, somewhere on their body part... LOL!

Mike Kaylor:

Posted: 2012-10-03 @ 1:08pm PT
Turning to Rob Enderle on anything about Apple is really stupid. If you look at his prognostications over the years about Apple, you will see he is always wrong, really wrong. Why is this man considered an expert on anything?

jim bowers:

Posted: 2012-10-03 @ 8:50am PT
Yep - whenever Enderle says something about apple bank on the opposite - he is that consistently wrong. The Ipad mini is going to be the hot gaming device this x-mas.


Posted: 2012-10-03 @ 1:55am PT
Enderle has consistently said that every Apple product in the past would fail.


Posted: 2012-10-03 @ 12:19am PT
The "Tablet Wars" are heating up -- I just bought another Android tablet that launched last week that's worth a look called the Novo 7 Flame by Ainol Electronics, priced at $189 at a site called TabletSprint - it really gives Kindle and Nexus a run for the money with a high resolution screen, a 5 megapixel Rear Camera and 2 MP webcam, Full 1080p HDMI, a Micro SD card storage slot & an option for 3G Wireless - definately worth checking out and comparing - especially for the price of $189 -- Ainol is the company that won "Runner Up" as the "Best Tablet of the Year" at CNET / CES 2012 -- Price is by far the biggest advantage of Android devices - I'm sure the anticipated Mini iPad is going to be at least a $100 more - and for such a small screen device, I'd rather pocket the savings and go with an Android --

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