Though the late Steve Jobs openly criticised the idea of a mini tablet, it seems that Apple is pushing ahead with the idea of a mini tablet with the launch of their long-teased iPad Mini. It seems that Apple have realised that they are being undercut by a range of smaller tablet computers, such as the Kindle Fire, because of their cheaper prices. While Steve Jobs might have openly criticised these smaller tablets, it is easy to see why students at college are opting for the smaller tablets over Apple’s larger iPad.
Apple has recently sent an invite out sporting the date of October 23rd, teasing the reveal of the iPad Mini, but whether this is an actual release date or the beginning of the products unveiling remains to be seen. The price tag that will be attached to the iPad Mini is a bit easier to determine and will probably be the piece of information that students at college want the most. In order to compete with Amazon and Samsung’s mini tablet computers, Apple will have to price their smaller tablet carefully, somewhere between $200 and $250.
Whether students at college see this as a necessary purchase remains to be seen. Recent rumours that have circulated have suggested that the iPad Mini may be WiFi only, and will not include 3G. If this is true, then students at college may have a hard time seeing to worth of the iPad Mini, especially when the main benefit of the device over a laptop is its portability. Portability without a sustainable internet connection will be a definite negative for students. However, this is only a rumour, and other rumours have suggested that there will be a large number of customisable options that include 3G.
Other rumours suggest that the iPad Mini may not come with the usual double-sided camera that iPad users will be familiar with. Whether this is considered an essential aspect of the iPad Mini is difficult to determine, though if students are using the iPad Mini mainly for browsing and reading purposes, then perhaps the absence of the camera will not impact upon sales too badly. The iPad’s main rival, the Kindle, doesn’t have a camera, so its impact of its absence on the sales of a smaller tablet may not be too detrimental.
One good rumour for students at college is that the iPad Mini may sport a battery that is three times bigger than its larger counterpart, meaning that it will last longer when fully charged compared to the bigger iPad models. This will be perfect for students who wish to take their iPad Mini around campus who do not have regular chances throughout the day where they can charge their device.
Overall, while a lot of the iPad Mini or iPad Nano specifications are still up in the air, there is really no doubt that a cheaper iPad will be popular, allowing people access to the same technology and aesthetic design as the iPad for a cheaper price. Whether this reaches out to students at college is difficult to determine, especially with the Kindle and its various forms dominating the budget tablet market at this moment in time.
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