Books written by Ray Sullivan

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

What Price the iPad Mini

By the time this is posted the Apple world will be lathering itself up nicely, the rumours will be at fever pitch and my invite to the bash will still be lost in the post.  Never mind, the bus service from this part of north Wales to California is notoriously poor anyway.  And my tux is in the wash.

But no matter, while I catch up on my sleep, Apple will be revealing all to a waiting world, eager to spend what pittance the world-wide recession has left them.  Apparently there will be some guff about a new notebook, which I'm sure will keep the Apple fans excited.  Apple notebooks seem to do that.

However the news that everyone will be waiting to hear is about the iPad mini.  One thing is almost certain - it will have a slightly larger form factor than the current crop of mini tablets, nearly an inch larger in diagonal screen size.  Differentiation from the pack is an Apple skill and although the small increase in screen size is unlikely to that important in real terms it will be seen as a major selling point.

4G connectivity will be on offer, of course.  I have a view that GPRS connectivity will in time be seen to be a transient thing, there will be easier ways to connect to the Internet than via a mobile phone contract, but for now it's the only way when not at home, in the office, in a public place such as McDonalds and so on.  Of course, in the UK,  we're only just in the early stages of 4G - the government is still trying to fleece the operators, who will spend the next ten years recouping the costs from their customers.  Anyway, hopefully 4G will be an option, not a standard because I reckon it'll put £50 (or dollars, Euros, Yen) on the price.  Apple are quite fond of £50 (Dollar, Euro Yen) increments.

Cameras front and back of course, if only because the current raft of mini tablets seem averse to including both, just to keep costs down.  Front facing seems to be a given - this size of tablet is natural for Skype calls - but the device size is also superb for taking snaps.  The full sized iPad is a bit unwieldy, but that hasn't stopped many people wandering around taking snaps on their holidays.  Using a sub 8" screen to frame photos before you take them should make composition easier than squinting at your compact camera (or iPhone as most people call them).

And the price?  Well £249 for the 4G version feels about right, £199 without.  It'll make it a bit more expensive than the Nexus 7 and the Amazon Fire, but it is an Apple and it does have that fantastic IOS infrastructure that Apple have already created.  I mention that last bit just so they remember they've paid already, so it doesn't actually cost them anything to add to it.  Plus an extra camera, if I'm right.  Somewhere between £199 and £249 for the basic version would probably be correct for the market, but Apple have this 49 and 99 thing going on that they just don't seem to be getting over.

Anyway, I'll be in bed, so I'll leave the good folks in Cupertino to make their announcement.  Only wake me if I'm absolutely correct.  You'll have to excuse the state of the tux.


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