Although Apples new iPad has only been on store shelves for weeks, the company is reportedly planning to launch a new slate later this year, called the iPad Mini. As its name might suggest, the device will reportedly come with a smaller screen size and a far more affordable price tag, and compete against Amazons Kindle Fire and the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet. If and when the device launches, it could be a sales juggernaut.
That said, nothing in the technology space is guaranteed, even if it is an Apple product. For the iPad Mini to succeed, itll need to include perks that would convince consumers to ditch plans to buy the Kindle Fire or Nook and pick up Apples alternative. Chances are, many people will do just that just because the new device has an Apple logo on it. But like anything else in the technology space, no products success can be assured.
In an effort to maximize the iPad Minis chances of success, however, Apple should offer several specific features that could make the iPad Mini the most sought-after small tablet this year.
Read on to learn more.
1. Retina Display
Apples new iPad was the first slate model from the company to come with the firms Retina display. The Retina display provides outstanding resolution and is quite widely believed to be the benchmark by which all other mobile devices should be judged. Lets hope it makes its way to the iPad Mini.
2. Give it at least 3G connectivity
Although the new iPad launched with 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) connectivity, if Apple wants its iPad Mini to compete against the Kindle Fire at the same price-feature point, the ultra-high-speed service wont be coming to the smaller tablet. Still, Apple can bundle 3G in the device to differentiate it from the WiFi-only Kindle Fire.
3. A dramatically reduced price
Apple is well-known as a company that will charge customers a significant premium just to get their hands on its products. But if the iPad Mini is going to go up against the $199 Kindle Fire, itll need to be much cheaper than the lowest-priced new iPad, which comes in at $499. A $250 price tag would be ideal.
4. Ship it with iOS 6
Apple is expected to launch the iPad Mini at some point toward the end of 2012. When that happens, the last thing Apple should do is bring iOS 5 to the device. Apple will likely launch iOS 6 over the summer, making it a near-necessity for the company to bundle its latest software in the device.
Give iPad Mini a New Sleek Design
5. A button-less design
OK, so this might be a bit of a stretch, but it would be nice if Apple ditched the home button in the iPad Mini. The physical button works fine on the big iPad, but as the Kindle Fire proves too elegantly, its not really necessary on a smaller device that wont handle all of the same tasks as the larger counterparts.
6. A fresh look
Next, it would be nice if Apple brought in a fresh new design to the iPad Mini. Sure, the new iPad comes with a neat look, but its getting a little old and outdated. Maybe Apple can try something new with its smaller slate.
7. An 8-inch screen
One of the biggest mistakes Apple can make with its iPad Mini is to deliver a 7-inch screen. The Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet might come with 7-inch displays, but that doesnt mean Apple must follow suit. By offering an 8-inch option, Apple can differentiate its slate and perhaps overtake Amazon in the smaller-tablet market.
8. Full Siri support
Apple made the curious decision with the new iPad to only include voice dictation, rather than the full Siri support. In the iPad Mini, the company should consider offering full Siri integration.
9. Out-of-the-box reliability
One of the biggest factors in determining a products success is its reliability. If a device is reliable and works as advertised, great. If it doesnt, itll fail. Although the new iPad works as advertised, it came under the gun recently for heating up and because users reported WiFi connection problems. Although those issues werent deal breakers, they were enough to make it more likely that potential iPad Mini buyers will want to find out first if the device will be reliable out of the box.
10. An ultra-thin body
Earlier on, we mentioned how important it would be for the iPad Mini to come with a unique, new design. However, its also important for the device to be extremely mobile. Small tablets need to be easy to slip into a travel bag to take along on a road trip. That means that the iPad Mini should be about as thin as Apple can make it.