If you’re wondering why Apple has bothered to release a smaller iPad, consider that the company’s share of the tablet market went from 81% to 52% in the course of one year. Not only have contending Android products captured a large piece of the market, but so has the Kindle Fire, with its 7-inch screen and $159 price tag.
But now that Apple has introduced the iPad Mini, it’s unclear where the device actually fits into the Apple family. Is it going to cannibalize sales of other products, such as its larger predecessor, just as the iPhone has stolen revenue from the iPod? Or will it be a distinct product unto itself, as the original iPad was?
Analysts at JP Morgan suggest that the iPad Mini could actually be a replacement for PCs:
In our view, the iPad mini stands to target price-sensitive users and the e-reader crowd. Given the global economic uncertainty, we think price-sensitive users could gravitate toward an iPad mini instead of making a PC purchase.
Or, it could just be one of many smaller tablet options on the market. In the product’s unveiling, Tim Cook spent a lot of time comparing the iPad Mini to its Android competitors. Yet, with a starting price of $329, it’s unquestionably positioning itself as a luxury alternative.