The mobile industry is continuing to grow at a rapid pace. Most of us can remember the large phone made popular by Zack on “Saved by the Bell”, but it’s much harder to keep track of all the phones that have come and gone between now and then. The cellphone still remains the most popular mobile device but as users require more speed, more features and typically a larger screen – the tablet was born and also continues to grow.
Apple Marketing Chief Phil Schiller unveiled the newest offering from Apple at a special event in California on October 24, declaring that the new iPad Mini is an entirely new design and not just a scaled-down iPad. A great deal of emphasis was given to the tablet’s sleek good looks and the fact that it is as thin as a pencil and is as light as a pad of paper. With a 7.9 inch screen and weighing only 0.68 lbs it certainly is a classy model.
Apple is clearly pitching this device against its nearest rival, Google’s Nexus 7. The presentation made several references to the inferiority of the Nexus 7, which fooled no-one apart from the die-hard Apple fans. It seems that Apple is certainly concerned with spreading it’s dominant share of the tablet market.
The iPad Mini and Nexus 7 are both tablets but its hard to determine which is better than the other as they are simply different types of devices. Apple made a big fuss about the screen of the Nexus 7 being only 7 inches but in reality, customers are not going to quibble over a difference of less than one inch.
Apple did neglect to mention that the Nexus 7’s screen resolution, at 1280 x 800 is better than the iPad Mini at 1024 x 768. Furthermore the new Apple tablet has the same internal specifications as the iPad 2: a dual core A5 chip, whereas the Nexus 7 has a state-of-the-art quad core processor.
Another important difference is regarding connectivity – the iPad Mini will only support the Apple Lightning connector; the Nexus 7 has a standard micro USB port allowing it to connect directly to any other USB device.
And then there is the price. The iPad Mini will hit the shelves at $329 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and $429 for the 32GB edition. Nexus 7 currently retails at $249 for 16GB storage and the new 32GB version is to be launched imminently. Rumor has it that this will also be priced at around $249 which suggests that the price of 16GB model must fall below the $200 mark.
These are whopping price differences compared to the iPad Mini. Phil Schiller has defended Apple’s prices saying he believes customers are willing to pay for quality that rivals like Amazon and Google don’t offer. But will that hold true when they are checking out their budget for Santa’s sack this year?
Ultimately each device has its own pros and cons. Apple lovers will embrace this new tablet with open arms and revel in all its Apple-ness – all the apps for iPad work with iPad Mini. Android users will prefer the Nexus 7 with its customizable range of interactive widgets. There will be plenty of room for both devices in the mobile industry, but who gains the greatest percentage of the market share remains to be seen.