Rumors of a small, potentially 7-inch iPad will not go away. In fact, a new slate of reports have emerged, claiming Apple could be getting close to releasing a miniature version of its tablet for those who want to save money but still get a capable product. There is even speculation that the new tablet could boast a camera (or two) to provide even more functionality to consumers.
Some Apple fans are undoubtedly excited at the prospect of Apple releasing a new iPad to complement its current offering. But the reality is that Apple doesn’t need to release a smaller version of its iPad right now. In fact, it’s arguable that it even needs to release a small iPad at all. Its current offering is perfect for what it’s trying to accomplish. It shouldn’t try to waste its time cluttering its market.
Read on to find out why Apple doesn’t need to release a new iPad yet.
1. The current iPad works fine
The current iPad is a fine product that is satisfying almost every desire consumers have. It makes them more productive. It gives them iPhone-like experiences. And perhaps most importantly, it gives them a reliable companion while they’re away from the home or office. Apple doesn’t need to release a new iPad to fill a void in the consumer space. Its current iPad is doing a fine job of filling all those gaps already.
2. There is room for improvement
As nice as the current iPad is, Apple still needs to fix some issues. For one, multitasking, which is arguably one of the most desired iPad features, can’t be coming to the device soon enough. Beyond that, the current 9.7-inch model needs a camera or two. And it would be nice if the company brought the entry-level price down before the holidays to capture some consumers who aren’t willing to spend $500 for a tablet. Simply put, Apple’s current iPad has some room for improvement. It’s a better idea for Apple to focus on the current model rather than getting bogged down with a new model.
3. The competition hasn’t come along
The vast majority of tablets that could actually worry Apple are still months away. Because of that, Apple shouldn’t show its hand right now. It might want to release a 7-inch tablet at some point in the future, but it shouldn’t do it now when the rest of the competition hasn’t delivered their products. Apple is a master at making other devices seem obsolete. It should follow that strategy again in the tablet space; wait for the competition to release their products and then deliver a device that bests them. There is no rush.
4. The time hasn’t come to go small
Some might think that the iPad needs to get smaller to appeal to the market. But at this point, that isn’t true. Considering how well the iPad is selling, it would seem that consumers are just fine buying a 9.7-inch tablet from companies. And given how poorly the 5-inch Dell Streak is selling, it would also seem that those same consumers aren’t too keen on such a small footprint. Customers might want smaller devices eventually, but at least right now, that isn’t the case.
7-Inch iPad the Wrong Product at the Wrong Time
5. The holiday season is around the corner
It wouldn’t make much sense for Apple to release a smaller, cheaper tablet right now. In just a couple short months, the holiday shopping season will be in full swing. And when that happens, Apple will want to capitalize on it as effectively as possible. Perhaps the best way to do that is to continue selling a more expensive option that consumers still desire. By offering a smaller, cheaper tablet now, Apple could be leaving money on the tablet this holiday season.
6. Closing the iPod Touch gap isn’t so smart
The difference between the iPod Touch and the iPad, from a purely feature-based perspective, isn’t all that great. In fact, some say that Apple’s music player is a smaller version of the iPad. By making a smaller screen available on its tablet, Apple could have a real problem on its hands. The rumored 7-inch iPad, which has been compared quite often to the iPod Touch, would be dangerously close in size to the music player. And when that happens, cannibalization of either the small tablet or the iPod could occur.
7. Think of the enterprise
The consumer market might eventually want a smaller iPad, but it’s hard to see the corporate world becoming too happy with a miniature Apple tablet. The enterprise wants a bigger display to ensure workers are as productive as possible. That’s precisely why the iPad is so attractive to CIOs. And it’s why products with small screens haven’t attracted companies so far. That’s something Apple must keep in mind.
8. Sales are still strong
If iPad sales were declining, some could make the argument that Apple would need to release a smaller iPad to get things going again. But according to Apple, iPad sales are strong. With this in mind, it doesn’t seem like the best time to release a small iPad. Why put current sales in jeopardy to give consumers yet another option? It doesn’t make much sense.
9. It makes current competitors relevant
The few tablets currently on store shelves can’t compete with Apple’s iPad. The Dell Streak, for example, boasts a small, 5-inch display and Android 1.6. By offering an iPad with a smaller screen, Apple could potentially make its competition seem more relevant than it currently is. Screen size matters to customers. And those who see the iPad’s big 9.7-inch display will be hard-pressed to opt for Dell’s offering. But if Apple delivers a 7-inch iPad, consumers might view smaller alternatives as more direct competitors than they currently do. That wouldn’t be a good move for Apple.
10. The market is young
The tablet market is still in its infancy. And the last thing Apple will want to do is rush its way into the space with a slew of devices that might or might not appeal to consumers. Apple has time to capitalize on consumers’ desire and turn a sizable profit in the tablet space. It doesn’t need to start selling multiple tablets every year. The company can start doing that when the market matures. But for now, it should focus on a single device and cement its position in the tablet space.