For months now, rumors have suggested that Apple is planning to launch a smaller tablet, called the iPad Mini. The device could reportedly have a 7-inch screen and come in at a price that would compete head-on with Amazons Kindle Fire and the Google Nexus 7. More importantly, the tablet wouldnt be designed to replace Apples new iPad, but rather to complement it on store shelves.
Assuming Apple decides to launch the iPad Mini in the coming months, what should it come with in order to be successful? Consumers and enterprise users would disagree on that, of course, but there might be several core components that could make it a success. Apples Retina display is an essential feature for the smaller tablet. It should also have Siri support and a host of other features that would make it a standout in its market segment.
Read on to find out what Apples iPad Mini should ship with and why its sure to be a real success if it does have these features.
1. The Retina display
Apples Retina display made a splash when it debuted on the iPhone and is now available on both the new iPad and the MacBook Pro. It appears that Apple is trying to bring the high-quality screen to as many of its products as possible. Why not deliver it to the iPad Mini and separate its device from the crowd?
2. A $200 price tag (to start)
If Apple wants to get into the 7-inch tablet market and try to compete with the likes of Amazons Kindle Fire and the Google Nexus 7, the company will need to start the iPad Minis price at $200. By doing so, theres a solid chance that the iPad Mini will not only perform well at retail, but will also grab market share from its chief competitors. Thats exactly the scenario that Apple would like to see play out.
3. Full Siri support
Apples Siri is a key ingredient in the companys iPhone 4S, and will be coming to the new iPad later this year. Considering Apple will likely launch the iPad Mini right around the time that Siri comes to the new iPad, it should definitely bundle it with its smaller slate. To not do so would annoy many customers.
4. iOS 6
Theres an exceedingly strong chance that Apple will bundle iOS 6 in the iPad Mini, since the operating system will reportedly launch around the time of Apples smaller tablet. However, because Apple hasnt offered up a less-powerful version of its mobile products so far (it has only kept older models on store shelves), theres no telling if it might ship the device with iOS 5. Lets hope not.
iPad Mini Should Have at Least 3G Connectivity
5. The same iPad design
Apples iPad design is second to none. The device comes with a nicely proportioned bezel and a display that impresses consumers. Plus, it utilizes the available space quite nicely. Apple shouldnt change that basic design with the iPad Mini in the least. Why change a design that works so well?
6. 3G connectivity
In the world of cheap tablets, there is one feature conspicuously missing: mobile connectivity. Devices like Amazons Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7 come with WiFi support. Its about time Apple launches a smaller iPad that would support both WiFi and mobile networks. However, since itll be a cheaper device, Apple would probably only bundle 3G, and not 4G LTE. Its not the best course, but its effective mobile connectivity.
7. More than 16GB of storage in one model
When offering up cheaper tablets, companies usually start storage capacity out at 8GB. For Apple, however, the company should kick things off at 16GB. By doing so, it can differentiate its product and still make it a worthwhile purchase for people who store all kinds of movies and music.
8. An eye on thinness
If Apple decides to launch a 7-inch tablet, the first thing the company must do is remember the importance of mobility. And in order to do that, itll have to deliver a tablet thats exceedingly thin. In todays tablet market, 7-inch devices are designed solely for enjoying them while lounging around the house or going on vacation. In other words, bulky devices wont cut it.
9. Dual cameras
One of the nice things about Apple products is that the vast majority of them support dual cameras, allowing users to not only snap photos, but also have video chats via FaceTime. If Apple doesnt deliver dual cameras in the iPad Mini, it would be a major mistake.
10. Near-field communication, anyone?
The future of mobile productivity relies upon wireless communication. And a key component in that is near-field communication, a technology that lets a client and server work with each other to transfer data. In some implementations, that means payment services. In others, its sharing files back and forth. Whatever the implementation, it would be nice to see NFC come to the iPad Mini.