3 Products Will Be Crushed by the iPad Mini

3 Products Will Be Crushed by the iPad Mini

It’s beginning to look a lot like an iPad Mini Christmas. Credible reports say over-worked factory employees in China are already churning out small iTablets in large iQuantities, and that Apple will summon fawning journalists Wednesday to participate in an October 17 iPad Mini infomercial — I mean product launch.

I predict that the iPad Mini will dominate holiday sales, take over the education market and destroy three current products on the market. 

That the iPad Mini will dominate holiday sales this year is a no-brainer.

It’s the perfect gift. If rumors hold, and it’s priced at $250 or less, it will be cheap enough to be given to kids, parents, grandparents, siblings and spouses. The iPad Maxi is on the high side for a gift; the iPhone isn’t a great gift because of wireless carrier contract complications.

Ah, but the iPad Mini is a no-strings-attached, crowd-pleasing, they’re-guaranteed-to-love-it kind of holiday gift. It’s both brand new and also familiar.

Apple stores appear in some of America’s most heavily trafficked downtown and mall holiday shopping meccas. It’s the perfect early gift. It’s the perfect last-minute gift (if they don’t run out). It’s the perfect gift to buy for yourself.

So the iPad Mini will dominate holiday sales. And when the reindeer dust has settled, Hanukkah dreidels have stopped spinning and New Year’s Eve hangovers have subsided, Apple will really get serious about the iPad Mini.

I believe Apple will spend the first half of the new year on a full-court press to convince school boards, school districts, teachers and textbook publishers to embrace the iPad Mini as the all-purpose education appliance that every student needs.

By this time next year, I predict, the iPad Mini will be by far the biggest selling tablet in the world, bigger even than the regular iPad.

The iPad Mini will be great news for Apple investors, and bad news for the competition.

As I detailed in this space way back in February, there’s a gaping competitive hole in the mid-size “phablet” range. Every single non-Apple device that’s significantly profitable is a phone or tablet larger than the iPhone and smaller than the iPad.

Nothing the same size or smaller than the iPhone is making money; nothing the same size or larger than the iPad is making money.

The devices that are succeeding are doing so where Apple doesn’t dwell: giant phones and tiny tablets. But the iPad Mini will change all that.

I think Google and Android and Samsung fandom will save Samsung’s big phones and small tablets and Google Nexi.

But three devices won’t be so lucky:

1. The Amazon Kindle Fire HD

The Kindle Fire HD is a $200 tablet slightly smaller than the likely size of the iPad Mini. Kindle benefits from the marketing advantage of being advertised on Amazon’s home page. But it does not benefit from more powerful enthusiasms.

Obviously, Apple fanboys won’t buy it. And even though it runs Android, the Android and Google fanboys aren’t keen on it, either. The reason is that Amazon uses Android but cuts Google out of all the revenue. It uses Amazon’s own browser, and directs all content purchases not to Google Play, but to Amazon.

People buy Amazon Kindle Fire HDs because they’re cheap and easy to buy. But when an Apple iPad is also cheap and easy to buy, Kindle Fire HD sales will evaporate.

2. The Apple iPod Touch

The Apple iPod Touch is a cool device, taking advantage of iPhone apps. It’s tiny, thin and cheap. But let’s face it. It’s for kids. Children old enough to play iOS games but too young for a cell phone get iPod Touches.

But the cheapest iPod Touch is $200. The cheapest iPad will probably be only slightly more than that. Kids are going to demand, and get, iPad Minis instead of iPod Touches.

3. The RIM BlackBerry PlayBook

The answer to your question is: Yes, the BlackBerry PlayBook still exists.

The company claims to have sold 130,000 PlayBooks in the second quarter of 2012 (Apple sold 17 million iPads during the same time period — 130 times as many units.)

RIM has upgraded the OS recently, and emphasizes corporate security. But there’s little RIM can do to compete against the iPad Mini.

It’s apps and interface, not security, that sells tablets — even in the enterprise market.

The BlackBerry PlayBook is toast, and has zero chance against the iPad Mini.

I know, I know, you naysaying, Android-loving, contrarian cynical skeptics — how can I talk about the competitive performance of a device nobody has ever seen?

And it’s a fair point. I should know. I raved with some certainty about the gloriousness and perfection of the iPhone 4S before it shipped, only to be somewhat disappointed.

However, the overwhelming probability is that the iPad Mini will offer few surprises it will probably look and work like the current iPad.

It will probably support current iPad apps. And it will probably feature top-shelf Apple-quality fit-and-finish and high-grade materials.

And most importantly it will probably be about half the price of the current iPad.

And if it does all that, I’m predicting it will dominate holiday sales, take over the school market and crush the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, the Apple iPod Touch and the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook.

  • dcj001

    An iPad Mini will be priced at no less than $299.

    I also expect the iPad 2 to disappear from Apple’s lineup soon.

  • bking2911

    Think 299 is the price point. But I think there will be price cuts to the iPod touch and no more iPad 2 will be available.

  • Oiche_Shamhna

    I think the one thing people forget is as a school device we do not recommend the iPad. Reason being is that as a rule many sites like mathXL require flash and the play book is the only tablet that still has people working on flash for it. Priced at 169.00 I think it still is the best choice in school environment. It runs well makes a good reader and you an side load android apps not bad for the $. I have an iPad and sometimes have to borrow my daughters play book to get at some flash content.

  • TylerHoj

    The Blackberry Playbook has been a dead product for quite some time now. It retails for less than $150 these days. It’s not even in the same court as the iPad mini, hell…it’s not even in the same galaxy.

  • Tallest_Skill

    iPad Maxi?

    Like MaxiPad? You so silly, Mike.

  • Lane Jasper

    SWEET!! It’s my B-Day present Lol. I sold my Nexus 7 to get one of the minis because I just have too many damn apps already purchased to justify the switch and I only use the tablets for email/web and movies etc. so this will be perfect for my necessity. Awesome.

  • cm477

    The Blackberry Playbook has been a dead product for quite some time now. It retails for less than $150 these days. It’s not even in the same court as the iPad mini, hell…it’s not even in the same galaxy.

    Still picking on the Playbook… Now that’s just plain mean!

  • csman

    I have the feeling the ipad mini won’t be a smash success as the original ipad has been. Of course it will sell in the millions, but not at the expense of other tablets. I believe the target market are mostly Apple fans.
    As for the BlackBerry PlayBook, after a year and a half it’s still there hanging, selling in the few thousands. The PlayBook is so cheap and yet so powerful that it was a no brainer to purchase a handful to give as presents. IOS has now an aged interface, its app market already saturated. The introduction of the PlayBook brought a new interface design that has been polished and it will soon be introduced as BB10. Besides the update you mentioned, the PlayBook will be updated to BB10. That is a lot value for my money.

  • philbert81

    I thought the playbook already failed. Does anyone buy them?

  • dcj001

    I think the one thing people forget is as a school device we do not recommend the iPad. Reason being is that as a rule many sites like mathXL require flash and the play book is the only tablet that still has people working on flash for it. Priced at 169.00 I think it still is the best choice in school environment. It runs well makes a good reader and you an side load android apps not bad for the $. I have an iPad and sometimes have to borrow my daughters play book to get at some flash content.

    The Puffin Free browser might help to solve your concerns.

  • Shane Whitehouse

    Great article Mike, couldn’t agree more. Love the Maxi comment lol.

  • Rory Blans

    If the ipad mini comes with a hybrid e-ink/lcd screen, it will utterly smash the e-reader market and bridge the gap between e-readers and tablets. although the patent exists within apples portfolio i try not to get my hopes up…

    lots of patents tend to stay undeveloped… :/ If it does come with a e-ink/lcd screen though, it would be auto-buy for me.

  • Zod Buster

    Hahahahahahha
    How are things in the land of OZ

    this product has not be announced.. so does not exist as of now…

    you should start a religion .. people will follow you and you will become rich

  • ericschultheiss

    Don’t be a dick “But let’s face it. It’s for kids. Children old enough to play iOS games but too young for a cell phone get iPod Touches.” I’m 30 and have an iPod touch. I prefer keeping my cellphone and music player separate. For people like me, having an iPod touch is a good alternative. Saying it’s for kids is disrespectful to every adult that owns one.

    Also, for someone that writes about Apple products, you don’t seen to know that you do NOT capitalize the “T” in touch. It’s stylized as iPod touch, not iPod Touch.

  • bondr006

    It won’t kill the Nexus 7 because the Nexus 7 is cheaper, faster, and runs a more advanced, powerful and flexible operating system.

    Time will tell, but I have a feeling that the author is right and you are wrong. Normal Joe Shmoe doesn’t want or need a more advanced, powerful and flexible operating system. He just wants an easy to use, intuitive OS that has easy access to hundreds of thousands of apps from a safe and trustworthy app store. iOS pounds Android into the dirt on this. Plus everything else runs second hat compared to the iOS ecosystem.

  • Gary R McCray

    Also The Google Nexus and New Nook.

    But only if the price is right and that is Less than $300.00 for a strong showing and Less than $250.00 for a 7″ tablet market takeover.

    The IPod Touch is an Apple fan boy relic in any case.

  • just a guest

    Don’t be a dick “But let’s face it. It’s for kids. Children old enough to play iOS games but too young for a cell phone get iPod Touches.” I’m 30 and have an iPod touch. I prefer keeping my cellphone and music player separate. For people like me, having an iPod touch is a good alternative. Saying it’s for kids is disrespectful to every adult that owns one.

    Also, for someone that writes about Apple products, you don’t seen to know that you do NOT capitalize the “T” in touch. It’s stylized as iPod touch, not iPod Touch.

    I guess 30 is the new 16

  • Robert X

    IOS has now an aged interface, its app market already saturated.

    What world are you living in?

    The introduction of the PlayBook brought a new interface design that has been polished and it will soon be introduced as BB10. Besides the update you mentioned, the PlayBook will be updated to BB10. That is a lot value for my money.

    Anyone buying anything RIM is being foolish with there money. RIM is struggling to even remain relevant today. I certainly wouldn’t purchase a table “selling in the thousands” and I certainly wouldn’t give it to friends.

  • ericschultheiss

    I guess 30 is the new 16

    Don’t be an asshole. How dare you call me a 16 year old. Just because I have enough sense to keep my music player and cellphone separate. Just like when I bought a Google TV box and the girl at the Sony store said “Wouldn’t you rather have the integrated TV” and I said “No, I want to keep my devices separate.” She understood that I do this so when the next generation of product comes out, I don’t have to replace my entire TV. Yet a jackass like you can’t understand that I prefer to keep my cellphone and music player separate for the same reason.

  • rlowe

    Although iPad Mini would rip off BB Playbook like a piece of cake, I don’t think it would be that easy with Amazon Kindle Fire HD.

  • technochick

    You know if this were anyone else I would believe that the writer was attempting to be witty and sarcastic about a product that is very possibly vaporware.

    But it’s Mike and this is his typical tripe. He fails at being miserable, makes statements with no numbers to back them up, leaps without looking etc. My favorite is not even waiting for an invite to an announcement before declaring the product real, ‘confirming’ the release date etc.

    If the 17th rolls around and no iPad Mini turns up I personally think that Mike, and this whole site, should cease and desist all discussion of any rumors about anything Apple for all time. They really are just embarrassing themselves with this nonsense. Leander should be ashamed that he’s lead the way for this one respectable site becoming just another tripe filled hit whoring garbage fest of a blog with the occasional decent article

  • iPod_Touch

    As long as there’s pockets there will be a need for an a pocket-sized electronics. If the iPhone hasn’t killed the touch an iPad mini won’t.

    I also think you’re underselling the market for the Touch. I’m buying one, & my first computer was an Apple II+.

  • technochick

    Normal Joe Shmoe doesn’t want or need a more advanced, powerful and flexible operating system. He just wants an easy to use, intuitive OS that has easy access to hundreds of thousands of apps from a safe and trustworthy app store

    You could say that about any product from cell phone to computer and it’s a valid comment. I know it peeves the “Pros” who tend to think that they saved Apple and thus Apple should kiss their collective butts and cater to their needs above all others, but the money is in Joe Q Public and his and his wife Jane are basically computer morons. They don’t know how computers work, they don’t know code. Hell they tend to mix up 3G and GB etc. They can turn on the computer, read their email, play solitaire and are happy. They don’t need to be able to tweak and modify anything. So that Android, Linux or whatever is fully customizable is a huge ‘so what?’ to them. They want something they can use, they can more or less trust and they can get help when something goes bonk. That they can take that iPad over to the mall to the Apple store versus having to call someone on the phone, then wait for a shipping label to send it in and get something back in a week or two, is a huge selling point to Joe and Jane.

  • technochick

    Don’t be an asshole. How dare you call me a 16 year old. . . . Yet a jackass like you

    So true. Calling you a 16 year old is an insult. To 16 year olds. Between this and your other dickish comments you come off more like a 6 year old in need of a major time out.

  • technochick

    As long as there’s pockets there will be a need for an a pocket-sized electronics. If the iPhone hasn’t killed the touch an iPad mini won’t.

    It’s Apple being Apple. They killed the Floppy, the Zip, and now the optical drive well before all the others. History recorded it as them leading the way in the elimination of ‘dying tech’

    They ushered in the smart phone market, the touch screen tablet market etc. And now they are going to give birth to a new market. the giant pocket market. Apple isn’t diversifying by making cars, cameras, printers, tv. No they are getting into the clothing business. They are going to patent this whole big pockets for your big electronics thing and license it out to everyone. And it will be a huge success. Apple pants, Apple jackets, Apple shirts. Apple ‘retro’ vests for the hipsters.

  • ericschultheiss

    So true. Calling you a 16 year old is an insult. To 16 year olds. Between this and your other dickish comments you come off more like a 6 year old in need of a major time out.

    My apologizes if I offended you. I found his comment to be rude and I suppose I snapped. Most sorry for how I reacted.

    How are you?

  • editgk1966

    Hi Mike. Man how I love your articles. You have a unique, catchy, solid, concise way of writing. My respects! It seems that some of the readers are too high maintenance; is it, really, worth to spit one’s guts for the sake of arguing on gadgets? Well, back to the ever (expected) new “precious”: the iPad mini. I wish it preserves all iPad features at a small size. I believe that like ANY other “iP-roduct” it will be suitable for whoever gets his kicks, for whatever purpose, regardless the age factor. Truly, is there out there, anyone, I mean ANYONE, Apple friend (foe too) who at least does not deduce that the Apple concept has one target group, only and that is EVERYONE. The interaction of modern Man with the web, the cloud, the media, the news, the fun and MOST IMPORTANTLY, the ways people, ALL PEOPLE, find to exploit this magnificent range of products (the i-Ones above all), actually defines the path and the versatility. Every i-Product is unique. the latter is defined by its owner. One thing I now: I just can’t wait for an announcement for the “mini”. Whether I will buy it or not I do not know yet. But I expect it eagerly and then some. Take care. George Kolovos / from Athens – Greece (we call our country Hellas; most proud of our country, despite the ill feelings from some of our European “partners [yeah-yeah, partners my @ss]).

  • kevinkee

    I love my iPad 2. It’s been through a lot, scratches on its back, dirts on its front cover, yet it’s been with me for 2 years almost inseparable. Just the other day I need to find an information on how to fix my garage door, I don’t need to bring my laptop over, just an iPad, search online, fixed. Easy. Or when I need a recipe for a particular dish, or when I need to read the latest CoM when waiting for the bus, or when I just want to chat with a friend.

    An iPad mini can do all those too, with a smaller size, which I assume makes it lighter too. Can’t wait to get one as soon as possible.

    And yes, I skip the new iPad, because unlike some, I don’t think it’s necessary to get a new gadget every time it comes out while the older one still in perfect condition.

    Sadly my iPad 2 is near its end life. Time to upgrade.

  • Steven Quan

    I would be surprised if iPad Mini sold for $299. That price seems low to me. I will go on a limb and predict a price closer to $349.

  • MC Pearl

    Since Steve Jobs Passed, Apple has been losing it. Still got good products but that could be ending soon.

  • Jbstation

    Great Analysis … There is no doubt the iPad Mini will be a hit

About the author

Mike ElganMike Elgan writes about technology and culture for a wide variety of publications. Follow Mike on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

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