iPad Mini Is Changing the Tablet Market in 10 Basic Ways

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-11-06 Print this article Print

5. LTE is a must-have

Apple has set a new standard with the iPad Mini by bundling 4G LTE service in a version of the device. Prior to that, all the vendors in the low end of the tablet space were offering WiFi-only devices. Looking ahead, expect 3G, Evolved High Speed Packet Access (HSPA+), and Long Term Evolution (LTE) to make an appearance in their products.

6. The storage battle is on

The issue with smaller tablets has always been that they come with little storage. The Nexus 7, for example, only has 8GB and 16GB options. Apple’s iPad Mini, however, comes with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models. Once again, competitors will have to catch up, initiating what could be a real storage battle between Apple and other vendors.

7. Searching for the pricing sweet spot

The iPad Mini could have a profound impact on pricing in the tablet space. Exactly how it will impact the market, however, remains to be seen. On one hand, because it starts at $329, it could prompt other vendors currently selling tablets at $149 or $199 to raise prices. On the other hand, those vendors might maintain their pricing, forcing Apple to rethink its own models. In either case, expect pricing to be a going concern in the low-end tablet market.

8. Design is all about mobility

Apple’s new iPad Mini comes with a design that focuses solely on mobility. The device is extremely thin, lightweight and aesthetically pleasing. Not all tablets competing against the iPad Mini can say the same. But if the smartphone market is anyone’s guide—where companies quickly discovered that Apple was winning because of its fine balance between innovative and mobility—expect better tablet designs to enter the marketplace next year.

9. The leaders aren’t leaders anymore

There was a time when Amazon and Google were dominating the low-end tablet market. But nearly all analysts and research firms agree that all of that will change when iPad Mini sales are tallied over the next couple of quarters. Then Apple will be in charge in the low end of the market and will outpace competitor’s shipments for the foreseeable future. That’s bad news for Google and Amazon.

10. Apple’s competition is expanded

By entering the low-end tablet market, Apple has decided to take on a whole new slate of competitors. Prior to the iPad Mini’s launch, Apple wasn’t competing against Amazon, Google or Barnes & Noble. Now, it is. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is up for debate and largely depends on which company you support. But with more competition comes more business risk. Even Apple is affected by it.

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