Samsung may have accidentally spilled the beans on Apple’s plans to sell a smaller iPad.
By the end of the year, Apple will release an iPad with a 7.85-inch screen, according to a report from the Korea Times, which cited an unnamed Samsung official.
That’s CNet this afternoon. This morning, another CNet column had a different outlook.
I cannot stress enough how much I disagree that Apple would release an iPad with these specs. While a 7-inch iPad may very likely be in the mix down the road, there is no way Apple would release an inferior product simply to compete for market share in the low end of the tablet market. As it stands, Apple is mopping up in profit share at the high end, a much more valuable metric to consider.
If you are waiting for a smaller, cheaper iPad, your wait will likely be a long one.
Cue the cackling. OK, but what he was correct about was this bit:
First of all, let’s clear the air about Apple’s iPad and the Kindle Fire. Apple couldn’t care less about the Kindle Fire. There is not a single device in the tablet market that requires Apple to create a “competitor” product.
In fact, one could argue that there is not a single device in the smartphone market that Apple is worried about either. The new iPad has reportedly sold out of preorder units, and the iPhone 4S drove Apple to its biggest quarter (and one of the best by any company) ever.
So, to suggest that the Kindle Fire is a catalyst for Apple to develop a new product is a little insulting to Apple.
That’s true. Apple would not be impelled by the appearance of any other devices to create a smaller iPad.
Apple would do it because customers have wanted it.
No, don’t go bringing up the damn Henry Ford “faster horse” quote. This is not the same thing. The iPad has already been established. We’re not talking about Apple creating something brand new. We’re talking about a smaller form factor.
And I suspect it will be in this size range:
7.5”x 5.5? x 0.3? – 10 oz.
Everyone knows I’m thoroughly incompetent in math (there are many blogs posts as proof of that), so I won’t even hazard a guess as to what the PPI of a 1024 x 768 screen will be at a 7.85? size. All I know is that it will look sharper than the iPad 2?s screen. And that will be enough for most people who have been accustomed in the intervening months to the Retina Display of the “new iPad” (aka iPad 3).
If you want some sort of idea what that screen will be like, go hunt down the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 at a Verizon store. And, yes, I think Apple will be able to make that ten ounces weight. Which makes things very interesting.
Because the original Nook from Barnes & Noble weighed a whopping 12.1 ounces, but that didn’t seem to dissuade people. And the first generation and second generation Kindle weighed 10.3 and 10.2 ounces, respectively. And the new Galaxy Tab 7.7 is 11.9 ounces.
This would put the smaller iPad into eBook reader weight territory.
And let’s not forget that most of those eInk devices were usually also placed in covers, adding to their weight. This rumored “confirmation” of a smaller iPad should give many people second thoughts about buying a different, smaller tablet.
Why go invest in hardware that will be obsolete by year’s end? Why pay for apps that you know you won’t use by year’s end? A smaller iPad will also be used to unfairly castigate upcoming Windows 8 tablets. How large, bulky, and heavy will they seem in comparison?
I also wonder now what the prospects for Barnes & Noble spinning off its Nook are after this news? And does anyone now care if there will be a Kindle Fire 2 or a larger Kindle Fire (Kindle Inferno?)?
I have just two words for Apple: Bring it!