Telecom Lead America: Responding to tablet market demands, Apple has launched iPad Mini. The starting price is $329 (around Rs 17,000).
The much sought after small tablet will compete with Google Nexus 7, Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HD.
“In the year 2012 saw Apple increase its new smartphone, the iPhone 5 and launched a new tablet of smaller size to meet market demands. With these and other postings made during the year, the company has strengthened its ability to stay ahead of the competition and maintain the prestige of their loyal consumers,” said Izabela Gennaro, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan.
Apple’s iPad Mini, which was unveiled in America on Tuesday, runs on dual-core A5 processor and features FaceTime HD camera and 5MP iSight camera (with1080p recording).
Adam Leach, principal analyst at Ovum, said: “The smaller, cheaper iPad marks a significant shift in Apple’s strategy.”
The device major is responding to market pressures from its competitors – Google and Amazon – in bringing a smaller tablet to market.
Apple in the past has defined new products with form factors and waited for the market to follow. Steve Jobs’ absence is felt as Apple, for the first time in its history, is following the market trend towards smaller cheaper tablet form-factors.
Ovum said this reflects a fundamental change in the way Apple operates. Apple is assuming that a lower cost iPad will allow them to sell sufficiently more units to offset the dilution in ASP that a cheaper device is likely to cause.
Global shipments of smart tablets and other portable smart devices (PSDs) are expected to exceed 130 million units in calendar year 2012, rising to 349 million units in calendar year 2017. This equates to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22 percent across the period 2012-17 making this the fastest growing category of consumer electronics ever.
Ovum said the bulk of growth in shipments for smart tablets and other PSDs continues to arise from a combination of three main drivers. The first driver is as additional device sales on top of those for smartphones and PCs as third devices in high-penetration PC markets.
The second driver is the use of tablets and other PSDs as primary computing devices in low-penetration PC markets, an opportunity that plays well to lower-cost tablet form factor devices. The third driver is smart tablets and PSDs as substitutes for segments of the PC market, primarily notebooks and netbooks, an opportunity that plays well to convergent devices based on Microsoft’s Windows RT.
Apple iPad is likely to have 54 percent of the market in 2012. The great majority of other tablet and PSD shipments in 2012 – 35 percent – will be of devices running variants of Google’s Android OS. These two platforms will be increasingly challenged by Windows RT through the forecast period.
The series launches on 23 October began with the new iBooks, now with integration with social networks and iCloud, followed by Mack Book Pro Retina 13”. The unit had its thickness reduced by 20 percent, 1.59 kg and altissima resolution – 2560 x 1600, the base model will come with 8GB memory and will cost $1,699. Other updates were made to the Mac Mini and the iMac, which had its thickness reduced by almost 80 percent, from 5mm to have; models will be marketed by 21.5 and 27 inches.
Meanwhile, both Softbank Corp and KDDI Corp will offer Apple Inc’s 7.9-inch version of the iPad in Japan, competing with one another as well as with Google Inc’s Nexus 7 and Rakuten Inc’s Kobo e-reader here.