John Paczkowski has a post over at All Things D, “confirming” that Apple will release an “iPad Mini” this fall. This will supposedly kill off Android tablets for the holiday buying season.
Maybe. Maybe not.
I’m typing this on an original-recipe iPad that I have been using since the first day iPads were available with 3G. It has replaced my Mac laptop for most applications. It completely replaced my HP/Linux netbook as a mobile device. Indeed, the only other mobile device I still use is my iPhone. All the 7-in Android tablets that I’ve tried were too small to be useful as a laptop replacement and too large to useful as a phone.
I have a Kindle Fire, and I use it around the house for viewing content available in Amazon’s ecosystem. However, I don’t see it as competing with my iPad; what it replaced was my iPod Touch. So I’ll bet that any new product from Apple won’t be aimed at competing with Android tablets in general. The real competition is from Amazon and the Kindle Fire, and the killer response isn’t an iPad Mini. It’s an iPod Maxi. There’s the product line that needs refreshing.