By Jonathan Charles | Oct 02, 2012 12:08 PM EDT
Apple's launch event for a smaller iPad, dubbed the "iPad Mini," could happen on Oct. 17 if rumors are accurate. This is why the device could be a killer device for Apple.
Cheaper price, same iPad
Apple built iOS to work across its devices so the user experience is consistent. An iPad Mini would offer an identical experience to 10-inch iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches. Consumers would have little to 'learn' for a new device. With the same user experience, this smaller product will be cheaper. Rumors from eWeek indicate a price between $249 and $299. While not the even lower $199 price Google and Amazon offered with the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire, respectively, it is cheaper than the new iPad. Marketing a "cheaper iPad" will grab attention and sell devices. However, if Apple produces hardware that is visibly cheaper than current iPads, then consumers may not opt for the device.
Pricing iPad Minis at $299 puts the price on a level with iPad 2, so it seems logical that the devices' hardware will be similar. That means an A5X processor and a sub-Retina display. Analysts predict that sales of iPads 2 will fall from eight to six million, indicating room in the market for the iPad Mini.
Google's Nexus 7 proved the popularity of a smaller, lighter, form factor. Android has few tablet-optimized apps, and Amazon uses an unrecognizable version of Android. Combine Apple's strong developer support with the popular form factor may entice consumers.
iPad Mini will launch on Nov. 2 according to rumors.
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