Recently, some news sites ran a story about a possible new entry-level “iPad mini” tablet, that Apple allegedly plans to launch in early 2012 to counter the new low-priced Kindle Fire tablet from Amazon. While most of the rumors concerning Apple turn out to be complete non-sense, this story indeed has some sense.
As with the iPhone (and previously the iPod), it’s not a question of “will Apple do it”, but rather when Apple will considers it necessary to expand the product line, creating a more affordable option. Another question is what will this more affordable option be. The problem with this story lies in semantics and timing:
- - the whole “mini” part is too reminiscent of the device’s smaller size (which is indeed unlikely), even when the story has a remark, that the “mini” moniker not necessarily refers to a smaller screen size of the tablet, but it’s lower price;
- - the “countering Amazon” part also sounds
bullshittoo far-fetched, because releasing the “iPad mini” in early 2012 would require Apple to start it’s development a good year or more early, when there was no sign of Kindle Fire or any other viable competition;
Still, even considering all this, Apple could release a new entry-level iPad device. But, as shown us by the iPhone 4S announcement, Apple most probably would just lower the price of iPad 2 and keep producing it side by side with a new iPad 3, if it’s possible to differentiate the two product enough (e.g. iPad 3 will have a quad-core Apple A6 SoC and the new 2048 x 1536 “Retina” display).