Apple’s iPad Mini Release Update: Barclays Claims A Fall Launch; Low-Cost Tablets Fight to Get Fiercer in 2012

17 May 2012, 5:54 am EDT By Akansha Srivastava Mobile & Apps

Since the launch of Apple's new iPad, innovation has become the new word for leading brands in tablet manufacturing category. Currently all the major competitors in the tech arena are coming out with new concepts to pose a stiff challenge against each other. However, with innovation, one more thing is constantly hitting the tablet manufacturer's mind and that is, the consumer's value for dollars. With an attempt to foray new concepts in the tablet category, tech giants like Apple are also thinking over minimizing the prices of their products, so as to get a strong grip of the market share in the segment where still Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet hold dominance.

This can be said as the long rumored Apple's iPad mini, which took back seat apparently, when tech gossipers judged it as a hoax, is back in the buzz world again. Recently reports by Business Insider claimed that analysts for Barclays, in a note to investors mentioned that a new 7-inch iPad will be released this fall.

"Following up on comments made last week, recent research still leads us to believe that Apple may be planning to add another form factor to its iPad line in the 7" range for the fall," the note reportedly read. Calling it a "necessary entry point to make the tablet market the size of the PC market by 2015," the note looks fondly on the creation of a smaller, more affordable Apple tablet.

Why iPad Mini?

Of course, when it comes to buying a tablet, till date, a vast majority of consumers have always chosen Apple iOS devices over others in the market, and, consequently, the tech giant has been able to maintain a strong grasp in the business over the years.

Conversely, in a research conducted recently by market research firm ABI Research, it was released that out of 220 tablet models selling around the world, Apple will be able to maintain market share dominance only for a short-term. The reason, according to them, was consumers' inclination towards the lower-cost models.  In their press release, ABI predicted that, in half a decade, people will be more interested in $400 or less tablets.

Even if we consider the current market situation, Amazon's Kindle Fire, which costs half of Apple's iPad 2, is the closest contender to the Cupertino's tablet range. According to a revised estimate reports by Stifel Nicolaus analyst Jordan Rohan., the Fire device achieved an estimated 6 million units shipped in Q4.

Hence, the growing competition from Amazon and some other low-cost tablets obviously put the pressure on the Cupertino based giant to attack its mid range rivals to sustain its market position. Even Barclays reports also hinted that Apple, rather than sullying the iPad brand and iOS ecosystem, should bring in a "lower priced iPad is a necessary entry point to make the tablet market the size of the PC market by 2015 in terms of units (over 350 million units) - a figure CEO Tim Cook repeatedly mentions."

Further, the banking firm also states that a smaller iPad would be useful in promoting Apple's education agenda and could also help the company's gaming efforts.

Meanwhile, BGR reports also added some more information on the same and claimed through its sources that the new mini 7-inch tablet from the Apple is expected to be priced between $249 and $299, and could launch as soon as the third quarter of 2012.

What about other competitions?

As we mentioned, Apple's primary motive behind the launch of iPad Mini is to conquer market shares of Amazon's highly popular, low-cost Kindle Fire which is priced at $199, but at the same time, numerous reports suggest that Amazon and other tablets manufacturers are planning to debut bigger sized tablets to rival directly against Apple's best weapon, iPads.

Amid growing speculations that Apple is gearing up the launch of iPad Mini with the Retina Display, some latest Reuters reports are already indicating that Amazon will bring out the successor, Kindle Fire 2 by July this year and it will sport an 8.9-inches screen which will also include the capabilities of a monochrome e-reader with front lighting.

At the same time Google is also preparing its best armor to battle against iPad mini at an affordable price. The company is rumored to launch a 7-inch Nexus tablet along with Samsung and it is reportedly expected to feature Android 5.0 Jelly Bean, combined with dual-core processor based on Cortex A15 technology.

Hence, these scooped details definitely give a hint to how fierce the competition is going to swell up by the end of the year. As, it is obvious, that Amazon and Google and even other manufacturers would try to flog the Apple's mini giant by bringing a steep cut in the prices of their new devices. But with all this, one thing is for sure, consumers are going to get some great options in the coming months in the category of tablets to choose from. Lets us know in the comments section below, if all these three debut in 2012 - which one will you buy?

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