Would You Buy an iPad mini?

If the rumors turn out to be true, is the iPad mini shaping up to be a must-have? What would make an iPad mini a worthwhile purchase, especially for someone who may already own an Apple tablet and/or phone?

Rumors are always just rumors until Apple announces something in a keynote. Leaked photos of the alleged device have sprung up from almost all corners of the Web and analysts are clamoring to weigh in on what they see as either a revolutionary accomplishment of design or a potential flop.

As for me, I’m more interested in discussing the potential of such a product. A smaller iPad would still be an iPad, and it’s up to Apple to come up with a very compelling argument to encourage existing and former customers to hop back on board.

A 7″ iPad would undoubtedly need to be defined as more of a content consumption device.

It’s been proven time and time again that there’s a sweet spot somewhere in the vicinity of 7″ that make tablets a little more appealing to users. It’s small enough to store in a standard pocket on most bags and yet large enough to enable the user to browse the Web comfortably. It’s also widely considered to be a good size for kids as it fits comfortably in their smaller hands without appearing to be overwhelmingly large.

There are downsides to a smaller screen in a productive environment. The on-screen keyboard at 10″ is hard enough to work with, but shrinking it down by another 3″ would make it almost unbearable for my big, meaty hands. I would find myself switching between using my thumbs and typing very slowly with multiple fingers. Hence, this tablet space is generally thought of for media consumption devices rather than media production.

It’s in this definition that all of the appeal of the iPad mini would be found. I’d almost certainly be drawn to an iPad that was small enough to pack just about anywhere and yet capable of playing back media in a variety of formats. If the iPad mini doesn’t change anything about how it operates on iOS, this should be fine. No one is forcing a current iPad user to produce content. I’d be willing to bet that most iPad users are currently using it as a content consumption device already, anyway.

Price would undoubtedly be the most important factor in an iPad mini’s success.

It comes down to price, really. When I think about smaller tablets, I’m thinking about the budget space of ~$200. If Apple can’t hit that $200 mark, it’ll have a tough time reaching saturation in that market. The Amazon Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 are already in that space and performing quite well. Just the fact that it’s an Apple product would only take an iPad mini so far.

Unless Apple comes up with some ingenious way to draw people in, it’s hard to say that a smaller version of the current iPad would do much to drive people away from competing devices.

What about you? Would you buy an iPad mini? What would you use such a device for?

Image: Mike P.

Article Written by

Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.

  • ChrisDL

    I don’t see the point of an iPad Mini. On the other hand, I’ve had that before with new Apple products and I own most of those now.

  • http://www.mattbrislin.com/ Matt Brislin

    I am interested for the form factor. A co-worker has the Nexus 7 and I like the size for reviewing Evernote or Docs and being able to hold it in one hand, and have a screen larger than a phone.

    • Maverick

      The iPad mini is not like the Nexus 7″, it’s larger with 7″8.
      I think the Nexus size is more pratical

  • Kirk

    If it is at the $200 price point, it’s a perfect learning tool for my child.

  • http://mrcab666.livejournal.com/ MRCAB

    Over a big one, yes.

  • Steve

    I’m much more interested in the Nexus 7 and it’s unbridled Android experience than being locked in to the Apple market.

  • http://twitter.com/dihart73 Dirk Hartwich

    For me it definitely depends on the price. In Germany a basic iPad 3 is 399 Euros so, if Apple offers the mini for 249 EUR, ok then. If they go for 299 EUR I would rather save up another 100 and buy a full size iPad.

  • Kori Thompson

    I would buy an iPad mini!!! If it’s less than $300, though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dennis.mcclune Dennis McClune

    i wont buy any product that’s name begins Apple i