Apple throws the guantlet down with new iPad…get ready to rumble!

As many of us are still digesting the new iPhone as well as being bombarded by a deluge of advertisements both for the iPhone and against the iPhone (feels very political!), Apple rolled out a new iPad. The mini iPad.

So what to make of this new iPad…one that I doubt would have ever been rolled out had Jobs still been alive. A couple of observations:

To me the whole strategy for this product was to go after the smaller and less expensive tablet market. Unfortunately the price of the device might have added a level of difficulty. The price, $329, is much higher than I thought it would be. Much more expense than the devices that it is suppose to compete with – the Kindle, Nook, Galaxy and Nexus. These are all priced more than $100 cheaper than the iPad mini. I am not sure if this is going to be sustainable for Apple. At this price point are they really a viable option for that market?

From what I can tell the form factor is just a smaller version of the iPad – no surprise there. So nothing in that makes it more appealing than the other tablets of that size.

The reality is, tablets are great devices because they are really just blank canvasses that allow access to content. They have to be portable, light, durable, have a good UI and have access to content you would want to carry around with you. For most I would argue the deciding factor is a combination of price, size and what content is accessible. If Apple is looking to attract clients of the other smaller tablets to come over to the iPad mini, I think the high price point will be a barrier too high. Is Apple looking to appeal to their install base with another shiny Apple device? Maybe. But that risks cannibalizing sales of the regular iPad.

It feels like Apple is riding two horses at the same time. That is never a good recipe for success. If Apple really wanted to go after the install base of Amazon and Google, then price appropriately. If Apple just wants Apple aficionados to added one more Apple device to their roster, I am not sure that will generate enough revenue.

As Rick Leighman said: “They just think they can slap an Apple logo on anything and people will buy it.”

That might no longer be true…

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