Is This Why Apple Is Making The iPad Mini? Probably Not [Opinion]

Is This Why Apple Is Making The iPad Mini? Probably Not [Opinion]

According to a new report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, one in four adults in the United States owns a tablet of some kind. Two thirds of those adults have purchased them in the last year, according to the study, which was reported by The Economist. Further, the data doesn’t even include the new Google Nexus tablet, nor the new Kindle Fire HD from Amazon.

Is iPad in trouble? Is this a new era for Apple, one in which it must play catch up? The numbers of units do seem to tell that story.

I’m not buying it, though.

While Steve Jobs famously said that a smaller iPad was stupid, we also know Steve Jobs said a lot of things that he didn’t really mean, usually around a product he was tinkering with in the kitchen at Apple that he wasn’t ready to sign off on, yet. It could be that his dismissal of a smaller iPad mini was more about his readiness to bring such a device to market, rather than his actual hatred of the concept.

Secondly, thanks to some Apple v Samsung court documents, we know how much revenue the iPad brought in over the last couple of years. AllThingsD’s Ina Fried sums it up, nicely, saying, “From the fourth quarter of 2010 through the middle of 2012, Samsung sold 1.4 million Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets, generating $644 million in revenue. Over the same time period, Apple sold 29.7 million iPads, generating $14.8 billion.”

Lets take another look at the data.

Is This Why Apple Is Making The iPad Mini? Probably Not [Opinion]

We see the difference in tablet ownership between 2011 and now, with Android tablets taking a good run a the iPad ownership numbers, increasing to 48% of tablet ownership. That seems scary. But is it really?

Apple focuses all of its creativity, marketing and engineering, on one product in each category. It has a smartphone, desktop computers, laptop computers, and now tablets. This is not a large consumer electronics company that creates dozens of categories of devices like TVs and refrigerators and washing machines, each with several models to choose from. The release of a smaller iPad is only occurring because the original device, the iPad, is fully matured. When did Apple release new iPods? When the old ones had already completely taken over the market. MP3 players existed before the original iPod, but now we call all MP3 players iPods.

This is the same Apple road map that has been around for quite some time. The iPad mini is coming out because it meets Apple’s timeline, not that of its competitors.

That it will most likely beat them all if it’s priced and marketed well is a different article, entirely.

Related
  • ramunasbl

    Now more manufacturers are playing the Tablets game. On the 52% piece of pie is the only company – Apple. It would be interesting to see how many and what pieces of the left piece of pie other companies share.

  • Steffen Jobbs

    Why the hell are analysts so obsessed over a company having major market share? It’s been shown many times before that having the most market share doesn’t guarantee having the most successful or wealthiest company. What matters is the whether the company’s financial model works well or not. I also don’t see why they keep comparing dozens of companies putting out Android tablets to Apple which is just one company. I could understand them comparing Samsung to Apple, but this nonsense of all of Android hurting Apple makes no sense at all. Apple as a company is making more money from its tablets than all of Android vendors combined.

  • LTMP

    I’m not sure that I even believe these numbers. Anecdotally, I’d say that I see about a 9:1 ratio of iPad to others.

    I’m not doubting Pew’s integrity, but virtually ever poll I’ve seen, all sales numbers I”ve seen, all satisfaction poll’s I’ve seen, all point to Apple having a similar lead to what it had last year.

    I really can’t explain how this poll could be wrong, but I’d like to dig deeply into the numbers.

    Is it possible that many iPad owners just don’t know what type of tablet they have? Maybe people are lying? (I’d be surprised if it’s a significant number of respondents).

  • tech_goop

    Wow, its so cute looking iPad. I like it because its just 7.85-inch, black case, and supports 3G support. Anxious to get this cute device in my hands. Well, I had a problem though: I’ve been using Microsoft Windows Apps, especially Office for years, and wanted to continue using Office instead of switching to unfamiliar software.And guess what, I Googled it, and found out that there is a very easy way to run Windows on an iPad :)

    http://www.dincloud.com/can-i-run-a-virtual-desktop-on-ipad

    Sharing this informative article, for those who are also looking for ways to use MS windows or Office on their iPad, Android or Macs.

  • Ian Campbell

    I’d love to see the spread of the background data used in this survey, analytics can be extremely skewed by sample size, demographics, spread and the location the data is collected from, you also have to be careful that the analyst collating the data is impartial and not skewing the figures intentionally or un-intentionally to fit a point they want to prove i.e. Hypothesis: MMR vaccination = Autism, reality: nonsense the data was warped to fit the scientists viewpoint. Not saying this is wrong and yes Android tablets seem to be gaining an increase at least from the anecdotal information from friends and colleagues, but I find it unusual that they’ve almost taken a half share of the market.

  • Len Williams

    Why the hell are analysts so obsessed over a company having major market share? It’s been shown many times before that having the most market share doesn’t guarantee having the most successful or wealthiest company. What matters is the whether the company’s financial model works well or not. I also don’t see why they keep comparing dozens of companies putting out Android tablets to Apple which is just one company. I could understand them comparing Samsung to Apple, but this nonsense of all of Android hurting Apple makes no sense at all. Apple as a company is making more money from its tablets than all of Android vendors combined.

    The answer to all this is simple. When Apple was small, analysts delighted in telling everyone how Apple would be dead soon. Whenever Apple gained or lost a new CEO during Steve’s absence, analysts were sure the company was on its last legs. When Steve came back to Apple, analysts were pretty sure it was too late for Steve to save the company. When Apple started to take off with the iPod, then the iPhone and then the iPad and it became one of the richest companies in the world with stratospheric stock prices, analysts predicted it could never keep up the pace and the company would surely lose its innovative streak fall into decline. Then Steve died and analysts had a field day predicting, guess what… Apple would be dead soon. There’s kind of a pattern here. Most analysts are dumb as hell and have no idea what they’re talking about. Apple is simply the favorite whipping boy regardless of the subject or situation. There’s no logic to it.

  • Len Williams

    I’d love to see the spread of the background data used in this survey, analytics can be extremely skewed by sample size, demographics, spread and the location the data is collected from, you also have to be careful that the analyst collating the data is impartial and not skewing the figures intentionally or un-intentionally to fit a point they want to prove i.e. Hypothesis: MMR vaccination = Autism, reality: nonsense the data was warped to fit the scientists viewpoint. Not saying this is wrong and yes Android tablets seem to be gaining an increase at least from the anecdotal information from friends and colleagues, but I find it unusual that they’ve almost taken a half share of the market.

    I was with you right up to the vaccination/autism bit. Go to http://www.mercola.com and do a search for articles on vaccination for a broader picture. The major pharmaceutical companies are making billions from all these vaccinations, and the vaccines contain mercury, which is anitseptic and antifungal but it’s also a deadly poison and highly potent neurotoxin; and aluminum a preservative and another neurotoxin. Think what you like but the big harmaceutical companies are behind it, and I’m opting out. I try to limit my poisonous metal absorbtion only to weekend trips to local mining operations.

  • yankeesusa

    All i know is that the galaxy note was a hitand so will the note 2. I think apple should compete with that. I think if amini did come out it would sell like hot cakes and gain back some market share.

  • chuckmcginley

    Amazon does not post their sales numbers for any Kindles. They just say.. “It’s sold out!!!”

    How can you believe, let alone, post any of this garbage.

    Lies, damn lies, and then statistics…

  • Th3_1d

    I was with you right up to the vaccination/autism bit. Go to http://www.mercola.com and do a search for articles on vaccination for a broader picture. The major pharmaceutical companies are making billions from all these vaccinations, and the vaccines contain mercury, which is anitseptic and antifungal but it’s also a deadly poison and highly potent neurotoxin; and aluminum a preservative and another neurotoxin. Think what you like but the big harmaceutical companies are behind it, and I’m opting out. I try to limit my poisonous metal absorbtion only to weekend trips to local mining operations.

    I know this is off topic and I apologize to COM but I can’t just ignore something like that. Please, do some objective research on this. The article that sparked the debate has since been retracted (http://www.ecmaj.ca/content/182/4/E199.short) and the current scientific opinion is there is no connection (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thiomersal_controversy#cite_note-IOM2004-1). In fact, some scientists have called this misconception “the most damaging medical hoax of the last 100 years” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21917556) . I’m not trying to be a dick, but the more people that opt out of vaccines, the more dangerous it is to opt out.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Games and Tips Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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