An iPad Mini? I’d buy a few. What about you?

I’ve been reading the latest round of rumours-that-might-be-true about a possible iPad Mini.

AppleInsider quotes a Chinese portal that reckons Apple has placed an order for 6 million Mini iPads. Further speculation reckons that this ‘mini’ would run at the same resolution as iPad 1 & 2 (1024×768) so that existing apps would work without any updates.

Yada. Yada. Yada.

We really do have to be careful with these rumours — I found myself teling you that the Mini is rumoured to be 7.85″. But that’s from a completely different speculative report.

However, I wanted to point out that a smaller iPad would be very much welcome around the house and around the office. The ‘big’ one is certainly useful but a smaller one would just be nicer.

The difference between using an iPhone and using an iPad is quite dramatic. I do actually want a mid-sized iPad. Indeed I can see a 7″ iPad becoming more popular and more usable around the office and around the home.

When you consider all the different applications for iPad — from functioning as hotel check-in machines to swipe-brochures-in-store to managing passenger manifests on airplanes — there’s a whole load of possibilities crying out for a smaller device with the same general functions. Something that ISN’T an iPhone.

The iPad is a bit rubbish on the train.

It’s good. But it’s bad too.

You know what I mean if you regularly travel on a crowded commuter train. First, you need to use it sitting down. Standing up just doesn’t work. Second, everyone knows your business. It’s too visible. It’s too easy for folk to see your emails or the latest episode of Homeland playing on the device. It’s just too big. The screen is just too bright and easy to see!

And the iPhone is a weeeee bit small.

We’re splitting hairs here, we really are.

But I can see a market for an iPad Mini.

And when you consider that the price should be dramatically lower, a Mini could certainly fly off the shelves. Imagine a $199 price point? Or a $249? Or $169. Something like that.

I’d have one permanently on the sofa.

We already have an iPad 2 that only ever sits in the kitchen. I could see a Mini for the sofa, the bedside and another permanently in my suitcase/briefcase/’man bag’.

What about you?

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  • http://twitter.com/kstagg Kevin Stagg

    I would never buy an iPad as I see them as overpriced. But an iPad mini – that would definitely make me a convert.

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan

    What price point would work for a “Mini”?

  • Chris Taylor

    Definitely! I agree that iPad is a little too big, whereas my iPhone is a little too small (am suddenly feeling a bit Goldilocks) but something around the 7″ size would be perfect.

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan

    Goldilocks? Love it!

  • darranclem

    Maybe, if it ran windows, had USB support and didn’t use iTunes in any shape or evil form.

  • http://twitter.com/gzost Alexander Gödde

    Not saying that an iPad mini doesn’t make sense, or won’t be released, just two details:

    An iPad mini probably wouldn’t be half-rpice. This would really cut into Apple’s proft margin. Looking at the isupply numbers, a reduced size translates to savings roughly around  $ 70/ 20%.

    Keeping the screen resolution the same as for the ipad 1/2 certainly makes applications run without problem. The much reduced size of the touch targets means, however, that actually using a lot of them will be problematic. For a company like Apple, which focusses so much on user experience, this may not be accetable.

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan

    That’s a very good point

  • AndersOlesen

    Edit: wrote a long comment, with exactly the same points as Alexander :)

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan

    I wonder if the assets could be scaled elegantly?

  • http://www.i2SMS.com/ Giff Gfroerer, i2SMS

    I think I’m good with the Kindle Fire.  Have the ‘New’ iPad, have a Kindle Fire.  I like having both operating systems.  To be honest, the Kindle Fire is very comparable to the iPad.  I wouldn’t put one over the other.  The one nice part about the iPad is the camera.  Outside of that, both pretty equal…

    Now, that being said, the size of the Kindle Fire is wonderful and makes it quite easy to carry around, open up, and work on.  Smaller size is  nice.  Makes it much more portable…

    Giff

  • http://twitter.com/gzost Alexander Gödde

    If you’ve planned the UI to be scaleable, then I don’t think the scaling itself would look unacceptable.

    Unfortunately, UIs scale much better upwards than downwards, i.e. when you design from the smaller side, you can plan for whitespace to appear between the elements at the screen size increases.

    Existing iPad applications were laid out for exactly this screen size, and a scaling up of individual elements could lead to some nasty layout issues, most of all overlapping elements.

    The entire iPad screen discussion, as well as the possibility of a larger iPhone/two differently sized iPhone models really makes me wonder how much Apple are willing to limit themselves regarding hardware differentiation to preserve the unity of the platform and the simplicity this brings for developers when compared with Android.

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan

    I wonder if the reality is that developers would simply do the redesign themselves anyway?

  • http://twitter.com/gzost Alexander Gödde

    Definetely if the market is big enough (and my guess is that it would be for something like an iPad mini).
    The thing is that Apple like simplicity: one size fits all, and one size is all that developers need to target. Just look at the test devices an Apple developer needs (3GS & 4S, ipad1 & 3, maybe an ipod touch – covers everything important) vs. those of an Android developer (an order of magnitude larger to get decent test coverage, maybe?).

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