Is a 7-inch iPad right for Apple? – Chicago Sun-Times: “Nonetheless, Apple has $100 billion under its mattress. They don’t need to rush into anything. Also, as quaint as this may sound, a desire to only make truly great products is part of Apple’s cultural makeup.
The challenge Apple faces with such a device is that a 7-inch iPad or iPod Touch would need to compete against the value and the utility and the presence and the legacy of the 10-inch iPad. That’s way more intimidating than trying to sweep away any dirt-cheap Android tablet.”
(Via. Chicago Sun-Times)
Andy Ihnatko is spot on here. A 7-inch iPad is going to easily crush the Android and Kindle tablets of the world. But making an inexpensive 7-inch tablet that can live up to the expectations of its bigger brother 10-inch iPad is another story. Unlike the Nexus and Kindle Fires of the world, Apple’s smaller tablet won’t be graded on a curve. So if and when Apple pulls the trigger on this product, it needs to be a great experience. And I still don’t think that simply shrinking down iPad apps is going to provide that experience.
Like the iPod nano and Shuffle, the 7-inch iPad needs a Raison D’être. It needs a story beyond “we want to flood every sector of the market to make more money.” Otherwise, it’ll either disappoint people who want what the big iPad does, or it’ll do nothing but steal big iPad sales from people who just want to read and watch movies.
It doesn’t serve Apple well to cater to the market that doesn’t yet see the full value of a tablet that can truly create. People who don’t yet get that the iPad is on its way to replacing the PC altogether are only slowing down Apple’s quest to take over the consumer computing space. A small, cheap tablet that you only use to read and watch movies on planes perpetuates the world of traditional PCs, a world where the tablet is for play and your PC is for “serious” work. That’s a world Microsoft continues to dominate.
The faster Apple can make PCs into trucks, in other words, the better. So even a 7-inch tablet needs to be seen as a productive, creation-driven device. And at the same time, it needs to be different from its big brother beyond size and price. Otherwise, it’s just another cheap knockoff.