Analyst: iPad mini a Nightmare for Tablet Competitors

| Apple Stock Watch

Apple hasn’t released a smaller form factor iPad, but rumors claim one is in the works — or at least in Apple’s labs. Should the company decide to release a smaller iPad model, it would turn into a nightmare for Apple’s competition, according to Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu.

“From a competitive standpoint, we believe an iPad mini with a lower price point would be the competition’s worst nightmare,” Mr. Wu said. “Most of them already have a tough enough time competing against the iPad 2, as well as the new iPad with their $399 and $499 starting price points.”

A smaller iPad could strike fear in the hearts of Apple's competitionA smaller iPad could strike fear in the hearts of Apple’s competition

He added that Amazon’s Kindle is the only tablet that’s had any level success in competing with the iPad.

According to Mr. Wu’s checks, a smaller iPad model has been in development for some time, but isn’t expecting to see anything from Apple for now.

“We have picked up evidence since 2009 of Apple working with smaller, as well as larger screens ranging from 4-inches to 12-inches that could be used in a future iPad, iPod touch, and/or iPhone or even MacBook,” he said. “We do not sense that the release of an iPad mini is imminent and quite frankly, exact timing is difficult to predict. However, we do believe it makes both fundamental and strategic sense for Apple to address at some point.”

Assuming Apple does release a smaller screen iPad, Mr. Wu expects it to support a 1024x768 resolution, which would save developers from having to code their apps for yet another screen size since that’s the same resolution found on the iPad and iPad 2. Cutting down on the screen sizes to support would be yet another selling point for developers who already deal with a growing list of screen sizes, shapes and resolutions.

Mr. Wu is maintaining his “Buy” rating and US$750 target price for Apple’s stock. Apple is currently trading at $588.75, up 8.62 (1.49%).

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6 Comments Leave Your Own

James

Assuming Apple does release a smaller screen iPad, Mr. Wu expects it to support a 1024x768 resolution, which would save developers from having to code their apps for yet another screen size since that?s the same resolution found on the iPad and iPad 2. Cutting down on the screen sizes to support would be yet another selling point for developers who already deal with a growing list of screen sizes, shapes and resolutions.

But the picture you show is not 1024x768 at the same resolution. The icons are the same size on both the larger and smaller iPad. That is the problem. Users are going to expect the same size on screen targets which you won’t get if you just scale down the 1024x768 UI. Apple is not very likely to do such a thing because it would be a bad user experience. Mr. Wu loses a lot of credibility with such simplistic arguments.

MOSiX Man

James, people seem to be OK with the difference in the size for the icons from the iPhone/iPod Touch an those on the iPad. Do you really think that icons sized somewhere in between will be such a problem for most customers? Besides, I think that a significant portion of the target market for the iPad Mini would be children. Specifically, I think schools would be a lot more likely to buy these for their students, since they are considerably less expensive.

CudaBoy

Yes, and if ifs and ands were Pots and Pans, Mars would be the Hardware man.

Bill S.

The narrow left-right bezel of the mockup would force users to hold the tablet in one hand and would preclude thumb typing, as there is no longer any way to secure the tablet in two hands without inadvertent touches at the edge of the screen.

The mockup shown is also grossly out of scale (both screens are the same width in your image) and sports the wrong aspect ratio. If you wish to give a visual example, I would suggest it have at least a passing resemblance to reality.

iJack

Here’s a mockup I did during last years’ round of 7” iPad rumors.  I did make it 7” diagonal rather than 7.85” (the former was then, the latter, now), but its probably closer than the mockup above, as the bezel and screens are proportional.

http://i898.photobucket.com/albums/ac189/iJack33/iPadCompare.jpg

zewazir

OTOH, a smaller bezel - if doable - would be advantageous by resulting in an iPad even smaller and lighter than the competitors of the same screen size.

I have to admit that, after a lot of thought, a 7” iPad would be a real temptation to me.  I really do like my wife’s Kindle and have been thinking about getting another.

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