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iPad 4 and iPad Mini: Too fast and too late

Last updated on: October 29, 2012 17:40 IST

iPad 4 and iPad Mini: Too fast and too late

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Bhautik Joshi

Get Ahead reader Bhautik Joshi feels Apple will see tough times ahead in its tablet war against the likes of Google, Amazon and Samsung.

Bhautik, a commerce graduate from Mumbai University, currently works with Barclays Technology Center India, in Pune.

If you are one of those enthusiasts who like to run on the gadget upgrade treadmill, I am sure 2012 has got you sweating profusely with announcements and launch events hitting in quick succession; getting a breather would be a luxury for manufacturers' too.

Apple's October 23 announcement event at California Theater in San Jose marked the launch of the heavily rumoured iPad Mini and the least expected iPad 4. Let's check out if both these gadgets are worthy enough to strengthen and retain Apple's supremacy in the tablet market.

iPad Mini covers and case image leaks were already doing rounds on the Internet post iPhone 5 was announced. With Google tasting success with Nexus 7, everyone wondered what was Apple waiting for to bring a small screen version of the hugely successful iPad.

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iPad Mini has a 7.9-inch screen with a 7.2mm thickness and weighs at 308gm which is lighter than the Google Nexus 7 as well. This form factor could work in iPad Mini's favour because a lot of consumers who seek that little extra screen space on a 7-inch tablet would be pleased as the horizontal bezel has being aptly designed in terms of placement.

Apple would be able to do away with the portability and gaming comfort issues on a 10-inch version of iPad with iPad Mini now.

Apple has claimed that all the apps that work on the iPad would function seamlessly on the iPad Mini as well; you hardly see comparisons drawn to competitor products during any product launch event for Apple, however being late to the small screen tablet party, obvious comparisons were made with Android tablets which also featured Google Nexus 7.

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A dual core A5 chip powers iPad Mini, what remains to be see is if it would have enough GPU power to deliver the other goods for which iPad is well known for?

Currently no details available on how much RAM is available on iPad Mini, however even on the display specs it falls behind Kindle Fire HD and Google's Nexus 7 with a resolution of just 1024 x 768 at 163 pixels per inch. The "Retina" display proposition which pushes sales of the current generation iPhone and iPad 3 is out of question on the Mini.

I am not sure how useful an iPad Mini version would be for existing iPad users who are already relying on their iPhones while on the move.

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iPad 4 came as a little surprise and disappointment for buyers who purchased iPad 3 (the new iPad) this year in March; all that separates iPad 3 from iPad 4 is the new 1.3Ghz A6X dual core processor, a front facing camera configuration upped from 0.3 MP to 1.3 MP and a lightning connector doing away with 30 pin dock connector.

iPad 4 makes a good upgrade purchase for original iPad and iPad 2 owners apart from the new customers.

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Tags: A6X

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One can clearly sense that Apple realises it has to switch to an aggressive mode in pushing across new line of products, similar to the strategy Samsung has been following with Android mobile and tablet launches; the entire Galaxy series has exhaustive range of phones to suit budget requirement across various categories.

While playing a catch up game to Android tablets, Tim Cook's ambition to take on the exploding 7-inch tablet category is going to be an uphill task. All specs and configurations set aside, iPad Mini loses out badly to its main competitors Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7 on pricing which is the deciding factor for consumers abroad to plan their holiday purchases.

That does not mean iPad Mini is not going to sell well, however it would be an option for consumers and not the only go-to tablet on buying list.

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Photographs: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

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At $329, Apple has tried justifying iPad Mini price point to associate the premium quality that ties into the overall brand, that's fine but you can't drop a product that shouts quality and class etc. to compete with cheap Android tablets in the 7-inch category that sell at a price as low as $55.

It's not just the price but also the aging user interface experience on iOS which is already pushing towards a saturation point, one area where Apple would have to seriously consider innovating all over again.

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Tags: Apple

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What Microsoft has done with Windows 8 now has many analysts say it is a big gamble the company has played but that's what is necessary to survive and move ahead beyond a certain stage.

Imposing law suits and grabbing absurd patent rights only helps to some extent in milking extra money and as a company you take away focus from innovating and changing according to market requirements.

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Tags: Microsoft

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Amazon quoted that it saw a record jump in Kindle Fire HD sales the very next day after the Apple announcement event on October 23.

A research report from Strategy Analytics has observed at the end of Q3 2012 Android tablets accounted for 41.3 per cent of all global tablets shipped, going up by 29.2 per cent on tablet market share from last year. And while Apple's iPad saw a drop from 64.5 per cent in Q3 2011 to 56.7 per cent this year, a wordy duel has already begun between Apple and Microsoft executives post Microsoft Surface launch.

Now with Google rumoured to launch 10-inch Nexus manufactured by Samsung along with the 32 GB, and 3G version of existing Nexus 7 supposed to be released soon the stage for 2013 battle has just been set.

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: From Left: Apple CEO Tim Cook; Google CEO Larry Page; Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
Photographs: Robert Galbraith/Reuters; Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images; Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

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