It’s a question that keeps popping up now and then and even more so at the moment. Apple are expecting to announce iPad 3 on Wednesday and it’s possible that they might also be revealing a lot more – namely the reduction of price for the previous model – and a possible mini-version of the popular tablet at a lower price to lure in customers that have been dissuaded by the expensive of the main model.
The rumours of an iPad Mini, which will not die, are interesting but you do wonder whether or not Apple really need to make one. This could be seen as a reaction to the Kindle Fire, which as far as I understand has been selling quite well in America, but iPad sales are so strong and consistent that I’m not quite sure they need to be this aggressive. I’ve never seen Apple as a brand that sells well because it is cost-effective for the consumer (with the possible exception of the iPod in its present format), I see it it as a brand that sells well because of the brand itself. You never know though, it could be the rumour mill going into overdrive. Again.
Apple is expected to have a very successful launch and will probably a ton of money from the sales of the all-new tablet. They aren’t the only ones either – ARM Holdings, designer of the chips that went in the iPad 2 and the iPhone, will also probably see some success on the stock exchange (incidentally they’ll also have a good year since their chips will go in new Android and Windows 8 appliances) as will others like Micron Technology that have some relation to Apple’s products.
But enough about who will make a lot of money, do I actually need to part with my hard-earned pounds and pence? I own a Dell laptop that has worked perfectly well for me in the few months that I have had it for. The iPad to me, whilst a really easy-to-use and functional product, would essentially be replicating anything that I can do on my laptop albeit in a much more slimline physical form.
Michael Hyatt wrote a blog piece last year when iPad 2 was launched and he managed to perfectly summarise who would benefit from buying one and who wouldn’t:
Media Consumer: These are users who mostly consume media. The iPad is a fantastic device for this kind of user. You can consume media of all types: movies, books, web surfing, etc. If this describes you, the iPad may be the perfect device.
Digital Contributor: These are users who are more than consumers. They also contribute and collaborate via the web. They read and respond to email, blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. The iPad is a decent device for this. The software keyboard is more clumsy than a physical one, and it doesn’t have all the features I have grown accustomed to. I especially miss my keyboard shortcuts and special typographic characters.
Content Creator: These are users who create content. In addition to consuming media and collaborating via the web, they also create content. This includes serious bloggers, book authors, graphic artists, videographers, etc. Yes, there are applications to do all these things. (Heck, you can do most of these things on your iPhone.) But, in my experience, it requires way more work.
Either way, I’ll still be keeping an eye on the internets on Wednesday evening, glued to the inevitable liveblog that The Guardian will set up. These things are always exciting regardless of what you think of Apple or their products. I’ll see you on Twitter in a couple of days just like everyone else.