Is there any technical reason a smaller device would cost less to build? Sounds like same components just a smaller screen so a touch less raw material, but miniaturizing tends to cost more not less.
Apple may be prepping a smaller, lower-cost iPad, perhaps as both a defensive parry to Amazon's $199 Kindle Fire and a less-pricey offering to cost-conscious emerging markets. Such are the conclusions to be drawn from a report on Tuesday that both Taiwan's AU Optronics and Korea's LG Display have provided Apple with 7.85-inch …
Yup, quite a few... The only parts which presently impose a size limit (and a premium if you were to go smaller) are the battery capacity and the users fingers. Everything else is miles away from any kind of super small size premium level.
Screens are actually easier to make smaller, just try and find a large OLED for example! So the screen will be cheaper. A smaller screen will use less power, which is handy as the battery (as always) is really going to be the compromising component.
I doubt they could keep the current margins, and might have to cut it a bit, but that's always the way with a product range. Top end products have the margin. That's how Nokia managed to fail, they dominate the low end, and lost the top.
At the end of the day, a mini-pad would be firmly aimed at those that might go Android, to tempt them into the collective and convert them.
The bulk of the iPad is battery, battery necessary to power such a large screen.
Reduce the size of the screen and you reduce the power requirements, hence the size of the battery.
The actual electronics don't need to scale as they take up a low % of internal space that they can easily be fitted into a 7" chassis, just as they can a 9.7" chassis. After all, much the same components are fitted in every smartphone from 3.2" upwards.
That's one reason at least.
Apple would be mad to miss out on smaller tablets, just as they're a bit mad not to offer more than one size of phone. I expect this to change too.
The thing about people is that different people like different compromises in terms of pocketability etc.
Some may want a device which is bigger than a phone to surf on but small enough to fit in the pocket, for example. The new smaller kindle is that sort of form factor - pocketable - which the ipad certainly isn't.
I do hope that we're not going to keep hearing references to what Steve Jobs might or might not have done.
(I wonder if we'll see Flash on an ipad too :-) )
Firstly, my winter jacket can comfortably take my ASUS 701 in a side-pocket. Charger, modem and mouse in the other. Almost always carry them about with me.
My Autumn Barbour can take my IBM T30 in the rear 'poachers pocket'. Dropping the rabbits off, and the shotgun cartridges, natch.
(I bag the ASUS with a plastic shopping bag when it's snowing, of course...)
Well actually they are. They are still making the 3GS, that's your cut down budget iphone.
So unless they have some new "super" feature for the ipad 3 they have a problem. How can you sell an ipad1/2 as a budget option if there's bugger all difference to the ipad 3? Also the margins might not let them slash the price of the budget option enough to get in and mix it up with the Android tablets. Hence they might need a real budget model.
The super feature which sells iPads and iPhones has long been the Apps available, not the specs, I would say. The specs stability and backwards compatibility make developing the apps supremely more viable than the constantly changing standards on Android. Having taken a look at the Galaxy Nexus just now as well as the Samsung Tablets, whilst they are ok devices, with spectacular specs, they just don't have the apps I need to use on a day to day basis, not to mention the decent Exchange integration. Developers will focus on the iDevices for some time to come simply because they appear not to make much money off of the Android app markets by comparison.
I can understand that when a factory gets a big order of specific parts from a specific company, one can speculate what they intend.
They may have got the *name* of the iPhone wrong, but to all intents and purposes, the iPhone4s is a significant upgrade over the iPhone4.
I can't help but think if they *had* named it the iPhone5, the world would've rejoiced and been quite happy with the result. I can also see Jobs having one last laugh before he died - all that speculation, that "it's definitely going to happen" - just to be thwarted by a name. Kinda funny when you think about the possibilities of that. It's the old adage "what's in a name?"
The iPad smaller form factor - well, if this rumour is coming from the factories that manufacture iPads and some of the parts on order are a smaller screen, it stands to reason - assuming the sources are right - that Apple will indeed release a smaller, cheaper version, regardless of what Jobs said. It also makes financial sense, as the Kindle Fire could snag a significant portion of the tablet market due to price alone, but couple that with Amazons success with the Kindle reader and their massive brand - they are the *only* ones currently who could challenge Apple in this market. Apple are not going to take that lying down.
An in the next day Samsung and others would start believing that there is a market for baked dog turds and announce their own, and the rabid anti-apple sheepleˆHˆHˆH cognoscenti would say it is better and buy those.
Please try and use intelligent arguments, do not repeat the same used when Apple announced the first iPad.
I assume he was referring to the state of play with cost, power drain and development of Flash Ram at the time (iDevices tend to use single chip solutions for storage) and certainly if my first iPod Touch had been twice the price and twice the size, that wouldn't have been a great user experience for me...
I think a lot of people tend to forget what made Apple great and many others fail. Apple is not about following others in other markets. It's about creating new and exiting products that create whole new markets. If Apple chooses to produce a smaller tablet, it won't be to compete with Amazon or anyone else, it will be because they have come up with something that others have missed, something that they think people will want.
Apple doesn't play catch up, Apple leads. That's how they went from nothing to everything in less than 10 years and that's why I switched to their products.
Sorry, that was an article (*) about a possible, unconfirmed rumor about Apple. You're not allowed to say anything good about Apple, this kind of article serves only as clickbait for the members of the Church of I-Hate-Apple.
(*)Honestly, reporting on rumors just because they are about Apple? It would be quite trivial to generate those automatically just repeating crap from "analysts" and blogs. Way to go, El Reg!
Steve (RIP) was the same vintage as me. I cannot remember if he always wore spectacles, but I can guarantee you that sometime in his early to late 40s, he started wearing them for reading. I was fortunate to have passed the half century before i required them.
Reality check for the über-nerds. No one over 45 can use a 7" "slab" OR an iPhone successfully without spectacles. 10" is the minimum "doable" size, thus the iTpad size and Steve J's comments.
And while we are at it, the 40+ generation has loads of cash to spend on quality items - we are the target market
Personally, I doubt whether a 7" iPad will appear. Some other whizz-bang device might happen in that format though.
A significant proportion of nerds actually already wear glasses...
I for one would like a lovely hackable 5-7 inch robust tablet, but my needs may not be representative of yours, and I accept that. I certainly don't see it coming from Apple with their lockdown, and I'm not sure I like Android at all either.
they've noticed that the 7" tablet from BN - a store with, like Apple, actual physical storefronts - is currently the best-seling Android tablet. This despite or because it's being pitched as an e-reader.
I think Apple has realized that there is a good-sized chunk of the market that wants a smaller display.
I'm curious about whether they want to go to 7" or down to 5" -- I had a chance to play with the Samsung 5" android mini tablet / big media player this weekend, and it is a very nice size point.
Genuinely pocketable. About the size of the Tungsten T3, extended.
I picked up a few of the pre-Jobs tablet when visiting China. Sure the finish was a little iffy, but they had neat features that Apple never deployed on their copies.
The company I work for has now successfully deployed 7 inch units for use by maintenance technicians for a truck company and has landed a contract for a telephone company so their field technicians can interrogate circuit assignments, etc.
Most work uniforms have pockets large enough to accommodate a 7" pad case, whereas a 10" would never fit a pocket.
I fitted a 7" unit in the kitchen for my wife to read off recipes from the InterNet. I also have a 7" unit on my motorcycle that enhances the function of, and adds features to, my set of wheels.
Jobs wasn't bad in product feasibility, but he sure was in the mid-sized tablet - as Apple now acknowledges.
"Steve Jobs – who would of course have been involved in any decision to go forward on such a device – mercilessly savaged 7-inch tablets during a quarterly financial report conference call that was held a year ago tomorrow.
A smaller display, Jobs said, "isn't sufficient to create great tablet apps."
Yup and Jobs also publicly dismissed solid-state MP3 players…. when Apple was secretly working on such products; in the meantime, Jobs attacked the offerings by rival companies. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the same thing is happening here, but Jobs’ public pronouncements were sometimes made for tactical reasons.
I think JeevesMkII pretty much nailed it – and the track record for the rumour mill is exactly stellar as http://stupidapplerumors.com/ has shown.
Apple could easily take the iPod touch and scale it up from 3.5" to 7". Larger battery, larger screen, same innards, same resolution, same software. 960x640 on 7" is still a higher pixel density than the 10" iPad with 1024x768. There're plenty of apps running on that "retina" resolution and even if the UI elements would appear much larger than on the iPhone or iPod touch it would be perfectly usable. And cheap, because just a larger screen with the same amount of pixels and a larger battery with a new case aren't that expensive. With the iPod touch at $199 you could sell this with a similar margin for $249 or less.
On the other hand scaling the 10" iPad down with a smaller screen and battery wouldn't make it much cheaper and all the UI elements in the apps would shrink to nearly unusable absolute sizes. Idiotic idea, actually.
But Apple is between a rock and a hard place here. An iPad mini would be easy and would sell not too bad, but it would very much look like the start of what nearly doomed Apple the last time: Sprawling products to cover a market at all angles.
I'm sure they have production-quality prototypes of both approaches, but I'm also sure they will wait this out for a while.
But a 10 inch is a PITA to lug along.
And reading a PDF document on a smart mobile phone is a PITA as well.
I'm not sure, but a 7 inch may be a good compromise, or it may well harbour the worst of both worlds, sort of like an iMac... (y'know, not a desktop, not a lappie, complete utter rubbish).