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Apple may have another hit on its hands with iPad Mini

October 25th, 2012
iPad Mini

Phil Schiller showing the new iPad Mini at Apple’s launch event this week.

Apple may have another hit on its hands with the iPad Mini when the new 7.9 inch tablet becomes available for pre-orders today. Bizrate Insights says 15 percent of online buyers across its network plan to purchase it pretty much immediately.

Haley Silver, vice president of Bizrate Insights says, “For context, we saw a lower number in 2011 around the introduction of the iPad 2—with the same top reason cited for not purchasing. These numbers today would indicate that Apple has another huge hit on its hands.”

The top reason cited for not purchasing is a lack of a defined need, as reported by over 39 percent of respondents.

Is the price right?

Introduced this week, the iPad Mini will be available for pre-orders starting today. It features a slightly larger screen than other one-hand tablets, includes the popular Siri voice personal assistant and dictation, front and rear cameras, and access to the massive number of apps available in the iTunes store.

It is priced at $320 for the least expensive model, which some believe may be too high to compete with the $199 tablets available from Amazon and Google. Here’s a CNET review comparing the iPad Mini to the Google Nexus and Amazon Kindle Fire HD.

It has been a long time since we were tempted to buy an Apple product, because for all their beauty and innovative design, we generally find them over-priced.

The iPad Mini temps us, though, primarily because the ability to do many tasks using Siri or dictation instead of a virtual keyboard is what we think will really make tablets more productive and less just media consumption devices.

The Google Nexus also offers a dictation feature, and we have been tempted to try that, as well. But we’re also interested in dipping back into the Apple ecosystem. We even considered buying one of the new iPod touch models, but at nearly $300 for a smaller screen and fewer features than the iPad Mini, we’re not sure that’s such a good deal.

Kindle Fire

A Kindle Fire tablet computer

We love our Kindle Fire, which we bought soon after its launch, but it is primarily a media and entertainment device.

It’s great for media snacking via apps such as Pulse and Flipbook, watching videos, reading books and magazines from our digital Amazon purchases, or playing a quick game of Angry Birds or working a chess problem. But even typing in passwords via a virtual keyboard is a pain.

But we have no interest at all in the new Kindle Fire HD.

Apps are a main reason to buy Apple

Also, many apps still do not run as well on Android as on the Apple iOS and some just do not work right at all on my Kindle Fire. Access to the Apple app store is not a minor reason for buying at least one Apple touchscreen product.

While we are often early adopters when we decide to try a new device or technology, we may wait for the actual hands-on reviews to come out before actually buying that iPad Mini, if we do.

Gizmodo doesn’t much like the iPad Mini screen, saying it’s inferior to the Kindle Fire HD, the Nook HD, and the Google Nexus 7.

How about you? Planning on buying an iPad Mini or any of the other new Apple products just launched? Let us know in the comments. — Allan Maurer

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