'iPad mini' to give Apple tech advantage, protect mobile device marketshare

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
The technology used in Apple's hotly-anticipated "iPad mini" will reportedly give the company a three to five year advantage over competitors, while the tablet itself is expected to protect against the emerging "midsize" device market positioned between the dominant iPhone and 9.75-inch iPad.

In a note to investors released on Friday, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the iPad mini will be responsible for a major shift in market and industry trends, the most important being new demand for small form factor tablets and control of key technologies like the device's GF DITO touchscreen.

There is currently emerging demand for devices with screen sizes ranging from 5 inches to 10 inches, a crucial gap not yet filled by any Apple product. Kuo noted that the apparent vacuum was unintentionally created by Apple, explaining that the iPhone and iPad are so successful that competitors sought to differentiate themselves by aggressively developing products sized between the two iDevices.

This new market is seen as a boon for OEMs, fueled by cellular network proliferation, app development, and attractive product pricing due to relatively inexpensive components. Kuo believes that Apple has much to gain by entering the market, but perhaps more importantly much to lose if it does not as the competition is quickly growing.

iPad mini Rendering
Rendering of Apple's rumored iPad mini. | Source: Martin Hajek


While smartphones were initially used mostly for voice calls and text-based messaging, widespread access to mobile data networks and the emergence of new apps like e-reader software have prompted device makers to increase the size of handset screens. At a certain point, smartphones become unwieldy and users begin opting to carry smaller tablets as companion devices dedicated to browsing and apps.

As mentioned above, the new breed of small for factor tablets are reasonably low-cost items. Notable among these devices is Amazon's Kindle Fire line, which has enjoyed sales growth due to its at-cost price point. According to Kuo, Apple is most concerned about competing content ecosystems from Amazon and Android, both of which are expanding in concert with device sales.

On the topic of pricing, the analyst believes that Apple needs to offer lower-tier products as the global economy continues to slump. Also a factor is the maturity of high-income markets like the U.S. and Europe, which will slowly push companies to focus more attention on Asia.

In addition to Apple's need to compete in the emerging "midsize" tablet marketplace, the iPad mini will offer the company a considerable leg up over competitors in terms of controlling key technology assets. The 7.85-inch iPad is thought to be the first consumer product to employ "GF2" touchscreen tech, which will allow the device to be 18 percent thinner than the current third-generation iPad. With Apple rumored to be rolling out GF2 in upcoming products, the company will be three to five years ahead of the competition as the technology is projected to become an industry leader for small form factor tablets.

Finally, Kuo offered a breakdown of estimated component costs, and echoed recent speculation suggesting entry-level iPad mini models will be priced at around $300.

Apple is widely expected to debut the iPad mini at a special event scheduled for Oct. 23. Also rumored to be unveiled is a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, while a newly-redesigned iMac and updated Mac mini may make appearances as well.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 114
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,600member
    Kuo noted that the apparent vacuum was unintentionally created by Apple, explaining that the iPhone and iPad are so successful that competitors sought to differentiate themselves by aggressively developing products sized between the two iDevices.

    Competitors had no choice but to come out with small screen tablets because they couldn't figure out how to make a competively priced tablet in the large form factor.
  • Reply 2 of 114
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,387member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post





    Competitors had no choice but to come out with small screen tablets because they couldn't figure out how to make a competively priced tablet in the large form factor.


    ...and the article would imply that Apple had no choice but to offer their own 'tweener size. Soon competitor's won't have any choice but to offer color options and more accessories. At some point Apple won't have any choice but to reduce entry prices. . . . and so it goes.

  • Reply 3 of 114
    mcrsmcrs Posts: 172member


    So, you're ready to become a bottom feeder now huh Apple? 


     


    Try this if you want to dominate some of the "growing markets".... 


     


    7" No Name chinese-made Android Tablets:


     


    USD 80 for 8 GB Wifi Only 


    USD 125 for 16GB Wifi Only


    USD 150  for 16GB plus cellular


     


    Tell me again why these same people who loves buying cheapo tablets would actually buy a Kotex Minipad, I meant.., Ipad mini? 


    -The hardware? The same crappy screen with underpowered CPU sans the sd memory slots? I don't think so. 


    -The I-tune and Apps advantage? Please..., Android already has tons of apps available.


    -The Price? Are you kidding me? 


     


    In many parts of the world with big populations, such as China, India, Indonesia. Apple's marketshare is in low single digit at best. For a company touting the "other markets" such as China for its future growth, it will only mean trouble ahead...


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post





    Competitors had no choice but to come out with small screen tablets because they couldn't figure out how to make a competively priced tablet in the large form factor.

  • Reply 4 of 114
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Is this the same display (notwithstanding resolution difference) as found in iP5?
  • Reply 5 of 114
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    ...and the article would imply that Apple had no choice but to offer their own 'tweener size. Soon competitor's won't have any choice but to offer color options and more accessories. At some point Apple won't have any choice but to reduce entry prices. . . . and so it goes.

    Well, they said that about iPhone and Apple only reduced price once.
  • Reply 6 of 114
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    jd_in_sb wrote: »
    Competitors had no choice but to come out with small screen tablets because they couldn't figure out how to make a competively priced tablet in the large form factor.

    I don't buy that no one can "figure out" how to manufacture it as cheaply. It's more a case of no one else commands the supply chain at the same scale.
  • Reply 7 of 114
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,385member
    The iPod Touch, which is essentially a 4inch iPad, starts at $299 for a 32GB version. Obviously, they are providing 32GB of storage rather than 16GB most likely because it is typically used as a media (songs mostly) and since it is similar in size as a point and shoot camera, I think it is safe to say that people take lots of pictures/videos and play music on these devices which would require a fair degree of storage for that data.

    On an iPad mini, the only way I can see them selling it for $299 would be either a 8 or 16 GB version as an entry "reader" type product, but I can see the smaller (less than 8 inch) also being used as a cash register type functionality for certain types of retail tasks. Waiters/Waitresses using them to take and process orders at restaurants, or any other types of positions at a various retail organizations.

    I can potentially see a 5inch version iPad or iPhone in the future if this phablet market seems to be big enough to go after, which might seem plausible.

    Because these types of devices are new, I think as time goes on, people will not only get a firm grasp as to what apps people will be ultimately gravitating towards, but also screen size for smartphones, tablets and media devices and they seem to be basically the same (more or less) OS and basic applications to be used. It just boils down to what screen sizes people will be gravitating towards and what the best processors, RAM, SSD they can fit inside along with battery power.
  • Reply 8 of 114


    Chasing the cheaper tablets worries me. They have the pad with the perfect size screen. Whats next, a disposable iPhone?

  • Reply 9 of 114


    .

  • Reply 10 of 114
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,385member


    Originally Posted by mcrs

    [post deleted]


    MacRumors released a pricing model that starts at $499 for the low end model and goes up to $829.


     


    First off, Apple doesn't like selling low margin product because they can't make enough profit to warrant going after that market.  That's why they don't use plastic and cheap screens, etc.


     


    Those $80 tablets you speak of, those are in large quantity, so that is the pricing for a genaric OEM would pay for it, and then mark up the product from there.  The actual specs are definitely not as good as a typical Apple, plus they come with pretty much ZERO support, don't have a reputable brand name, and are basically the same thing as cheaply made clone PCs, if you will.  Apple's answer to a cheap clone PC is a MacMini, which start at $600, currently.


     


    It makes NO sense for a top tier company like Apple to make cheaply made products that are priced the same as the cheapest crap coming out of China for the same device.


     


    Apple is not TRYING to capture 100% of the market.  First off, the don't have the mfg capabilities at this point to do so, unless they transferred all of the current mfg to make just Apple products.  They go after what they feel is PROFITABLE business that allows them to continually spend money in R&D for new processors, screen technology, etc., to be able to provide a high quality support network, profits to be able to survive the bad times, and also acquire other companies when they need to.


     


    See your comparison of these $80 tablets are just junk.  Plain and simple and you OBVIOUSLY are some bitter Android user that's trying to mislead REALITY in terms of specs.  Just because a product has a slightly slower clock speed, does NOT mean it is ALWAYS a lessor quality processor.  Speed tests are the measurement.  Apple is going into a trend of designing their own CPU/GPU that is more advanced than many of these other cheaper processors.  You might want to look at the different types of ARM core types. An A15 instruction set core is FAIR better than an A9.  In addition, the type of GPU design is important as well as the SSD controller is important.  Just looking at clock speed isn't something to compare UNLESS everything else identical, which it isn't.  Apple now OWNS Anobit, which provides the best SSD controllers on the market, which gives Apple a HUGE advantage over the competition in chip design.


     


    Screen technology, Apple's later generation screens are about the highest quality out there and I'm sure these $80 readers have the cheapest quality screens on the market, but in order to tell, you have to actually have one in your pocket.


     


    Apps?  Apple not only has more, but Apple customers actually are more inclined to PAY for good apps.  Content?  Apple has the jump on Android for content in iTunes for music, podcasts (for which Google is getting out of), etc.  Apple generates about 4x the revenue from iTunes/App Store than Google's Play store.


     


    If you come to this site comparing Apple's to some other platform, be well informed and NOT misleading.




    But, I would say that Google/Android do have the edge when it comes to MORE malware, and being a COMPLETELY dysfunctional OS since most Android users are STILL using Android 2.X.  The 4.X market is only about 10 percent of the total Android market. A lot of the Google Apps you fondly speak about may not be designed to take advantage of all of the Operating System versions, screen sizes and resolutions on the market.  So, be careful when you say "just as many apps".

  • Reply 11 of 114
    Apple absolutely better not sell the iPad Mini for $300.

    They gotta do $199 or, failing that, $249 MAX if they're gonna "impulse buy" people away from
    the $199-priced Nexus & KindleHDs and over to the Apple tablets.
  • Reply 12 of 114
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member


    Originally Posted by mcrs 

    So, you're ready to become a bottom feeder now huh Apple?



    The iPod Shuffle is by far my favourite and most used iPod (which I still use today*) and it only cost me $49. If you call that feeding on the bottom then so be it but it's not a crappy device just because it's inexpensive.









    * Paid more for the waterproof casing and headphones for it. The only way I'll swim laps for an hour is to have my tunes, podcast or audiobook.

  • Reply 13 of 114
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    boxmaccary wrote: »
    Apple absolutely better not sell the iPad Mini for $300.
    They gotta do $199 or, failing that, $249 MAX if they're gonna "impulse buy" people away from
    the $199-priced Nexus & KindleHDs and over to the Apple tablets.

    Well considering how many $300+ iPods Apple has sold over the past decade to "impulse buyers", I don't think they'll have a problem selling a much more full featured device for the same price to "impulse buyers"
  • Reply 14 of 114
    This article is mis-titled at best. So this screen is supposed to be so superior that rivals are at a 3-5 year disadvantage? Come on, all the screens on all the competing tablets are okay for a $250 device, and the Kindle can be read in the sunlight, which is an advantage for Amazon.
    I have too much invested in Apple, so believe me I want the stock to go up, but if this article is the only reason to believe, then I'm even more afraid. MCRS has some good points. Hopefully there are other reasons to believe the ipad mini will be a success.
  • Reply 15 of 114

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by drblank View Post


    MacRumors released a pricing model that starts at $499 for the low end model and goes up to $829.


     



    Um no. You should go back to read that article more closely. In fact, just reading the headline carefully will set you straight.

  • Reply 16 of 114

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BoxMacCary View Post



    Apple absolutely better not sell the iPad Mini for $300.

    They gotta do $199 or, failing that, $249 MAX if they're gonna "impulse buy" people away from

    the $199-priced Nexus & KindleHDs and over to the Apple tablets.




    Tim Cook and Phil Schiller thank you for giving them fair warning. They are so grateful to have your advice, given your vastly superior experience over theirs.

  • Reply 17 of 114
    galleygalley Posts: 971member
    The only reason I would want an iPad mini is to mount it in my dashboard.
  • Reply 18 of 114
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    montefuego wrote: »
    This article is mis-titled at best. So this screen is supposed to be so superior that rivals are at a 3-5 year disadvantage? Come on, all the screens on all the competing tablets are okay for a $250 device, and the Kindle can be read in the sunlight, which is an advantage for Amazon.
    I have too much invested in Apple, so believe me I want the stock to go up, but if this article is the only reason to believe, then I'm even more afraid. MCRS has some good points. Hopefully there are other reasons to believe the ipad mini will be a success.

    It sounds like your confusing the Kindle eReaders with the Kindle Fire. It's eInk that is better in the sunlight, not a backlight LCD.

    To make an LCD better in the sunlight you can do two basic things: 1) Ramp up the max backlight which can add cost and uses more power, or 2) reduce the number of panels between the display and the user so there is less bouncing around to obfuscate the displayed image.

    Except for Asus, Apple has used the brightest backlights, and Apple uses in-cell for the new iPhone and Touch which I think they will use with this device because it will reduce the thickness and weight lightly and shouldn't be too much of a challenge to incorporate with a 163 PPI display.

    That said, no display or book is good in direct sunlight. You can read everything better with moderate and controlled light. Ever try reading a book at the beach with the sun blaring on the white pages and reflecting of it? If so, then you know it's far from ideal.
  • Reply 19 of 114
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,418member
    seanorse wrote: »
    Chasing the cheaper tablets worries me. They have the pad with the perfect size screen. Whats next, a disposable iPhone?

    Yes, the iBurner...

    (which hurts a lot more than "filing down" your fingers).
  • Reply 20 of 114
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    ...and the article would imply that Apple had no choice but to offer their own 'tweener size. Soon competitor's won't have any choice but to offer color options and more accessories. At some point Apple won't have any choice but to reduce entry prices. . . . and so it goes.

    Apple has never 'had no choice' about anything they do.

    They will release this 'mini' will all the best tech, causing huge lines even though the price is hardly entry level, and be heralded as doing the mini tablet 'the right way' blah blah. It will be more like a big iPod touch, even running those apps. That will get them around the issues Steve talked about with shrinking the iPad etc.

    And those cheap tablets will be the ones with a choice to make, step up or step out.

    And the blogs will be full of 'Steve would do this' and 'Steve is cheering in his grave' and 'wow, Tim Cook does actually get it'. And the heads of the haters will simultaneously explode in an event that even Fox Mulder can't explain (Abrams will ignore the question to instead wax faux poetic and philosophical about the nature of the human condition and mans relationship with technology)
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