iPad mini Financial implications of retina mini

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Rogifan, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. macrumors G5

    Rogifan

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    #1
    Peter Cohen from imore.com was on Gene Steinberg's Tech Night Owl podcast. He says he doesn't think we'll see a retina mini this year because of margins. My question would be is Apple confident that people will continue to buy the mini without a retina display? Because a retina mini with perhaps slightly lower margins is better than no mini sale at all. It's one thing if Apple is having yield issues with mini displays, or battery life isn't meeting their expectations. But if Apple has solved for these issues I think it would be a huge mistake not to produce a retina mini for the sake of keeping margins higher.

    With Apple's latest quarterly results we saw a 3% YOY decline in iPad sell through. Also I think the revenue numbers are a pretty good indication that more people are buying minis (either because of price or form factor). A retina mini, I believe, could become one of Apple's most successful products ever. But with the new Nexus 7, Galaxy Note, and rumored Kindles with improved displays I don't know that Apple can hold off on a retina mini for another year. I think it will be a shame if Apple can't figure out a way to get us a retina mini this year (even if the device has to be a little thicker/heavier to do it).
     
  2. macrumors G3

    charlituna

    Joined:
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    #2
    Of course we saw a YOY decline in sales. There was no new iPad this spring like last.

    As for the whole margin issue. It might not be as bad as folks are claiming. Other part costs are likely to come down and off set the more expensive retina display which itself might be less in price than it would have been in years past
     
  3. thread starter macrumors G5

    Rogifan

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    Nov 14, 2011
    #3
    I hope all these people saying no retina mini (and seemingly not thinking its a big deal) are proven wrong this fall.
     
  4. macrumors G3

    charlituna

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    #4
    I think it is possible we won't see one ever, much less this Fall. But it won't be for money reasons. Tech or lack of it will be the hold up. Especially battery tech
     
  5. thread starter macrumors G5

    Rogifan

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    #5
    So how are other companies able to release smaller tablets with retina like displays? If Apple can't find a way to give the mini a better display then they're basically ceding the tablet market to the competition. And this is one instance where I would say Cook should be fired if that happens.

    The days of all Android tablets being cheap crap are over. As are the days of Android only having "a few hundred" tablet optimized apps (as Cook always says). Go read reviews of the new Nexus 7 on Amazon and Best Buy. It's getting great reviews. And I'm nt seeing any complaints about poor battery life. The one complaint some people do have is the display. They prefer the display size of the mini. There's no excuse for Apple not finding a way to build a retina mini.
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Northeast USA
    #6
    I agree completely. Apple is still in a superior position, but "no sale" is worse than "less margins." Android has a competing ecosystem, too; it isn't like people can buy into Android and then easily stick with Apple. Some people swap between the two very easily, but most don't. A lost sale goes beyond simply selling one "lower margin" device for Apple.

    I also agree with your later post discussing the tech in the Android tablets. A lot of people make claims that pulling off a retina display for the iPad Mini would be too technically challenging, or that it would require too many compromises. The Android tablets are already showing that you can have displays with a very high pixel density (higher than "retina") and little to no compromise on the battery life. Apple is running their own hardware and have their own technical challenges to overcome, but the competition indicates that it is possible.

    I am hoping that by the end of this year I'll be selling my iPad Mini to fund a new iPad Mini Retina. I am sure that an iPad Mini with retina display is coming at some point, but if Apple releases an updated iPad Mini that lacks a retina display I'll be a little bit worried for them.
     
  7. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #7
    But iPad sales have grown YoY since its inception regardless of launch dates. This is the first quarter to see a decline YoY. Must be something else.
     
  8. VFC
    macrumors 6502

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    SE PA.
    #8
    Sales of their cash cow (i.e., high margin) MacBooks are loosing ground to tablets. Apple can't afford to draw even more sales away from the MBP/MBAs with a highly desirable Mini retina.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors G5

    Rogifan

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    #9
    But this doesn't guarantee more sales of Macs. If anything it might push people to buy a competitors product.

    ----------

    Yes, yes and yes. The day Cook starts making decisions based on protecting existing products is the day he starts turning Apple in to Microsoft. I shudder at the thought of that. :eek:
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #10
    This. Apple is caught between a rock and a hard place. They can stay a high end, high margin product but they have to go back to 10-20% share like they have in laptops.

    The Mini is an incredible product and so will the Retina Mini but not for $100+ more than the competition (Nexus 7).

    Apple does best when they have the market to themselves, especially when they're defining new markets. But smartphones and tablets are mainstream now and susceptible to mainstream margins.

    On to watches and TVs? But this time, the competition isn't going to be caught flat-footed like Nokia, BlackBerry, and Microsoft were.
     
  11. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    #11
    I imagine its the battery life that's the problem - the GPU required to run that sort if display (a far larger display than the Nexus 7 in terms of overall area) would need a bigger battery, and that means a thicker, heavier device.


    I had a Nexus 7 from last year, and while it had a higher DPI than the iPad Mini, I prefer the mini's less saturated display, and that fact it feels so close to the glass. My nexus 7 is dead now, I let the battery run down TOO low it seems # - won't boot.
     
  12. macrumors G3

    charlituna

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    #12
    Increase from yr one to yr two: new iPad was released
    Increase Yr two to yr three: new iPad was released
    Decrease Yr three to yr four: no new iPad released

    Logically makes sense that the bulk of sales are when new item is release which was a previous quarter
     
  13. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #13
    I think it's possible to see a retina iPad mini but not at the $329 price point. Or it might be a good time to just drop the asking price for the full size to $400. The tablet market is over-saturated and $500 is looking to be too much. Or it's time to release a 12" iPad at $500, 9.7" at $400 and 7.9" at $329 with all 3 having retina display's.
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    #14
    If you take the logic of this thread's premise to its end the implication is that Apple's device line is done being competitive. It's that a $229 Nexus 7 is good enough hardware and Android 4.3 is a good enough OS. Even if Apple released a $329 iPad mini with a retina display, it over-serves its market.

    Wasn't the exact same thing said a year ago, particularly after a $329 non-retina iPad mini was released? Who would by such a device when a $199 Nexus 7 with a higher resolution screen was available?

    I'm sure there are lots of Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire being sold, but based on purely anecdotal evidence of 100 flights in the last year and corresponding time in airports, I just don't see them. Of devices between a notebook and a phone, there are lots of iPads, e-ink Kindles, and Nook tablets far exceeding Kindle Fires or Nexus 7.

    It's logical that the YOY decline in iPad sales is attributable to the lack of a release in Spring '13 like Spring '12 and buyers waiting for a new release in the fall.

    It would be nice if Apple was able to put a retina display in the iPad mini, but I don't think they will do so at the expense of weight or battery life like the larger iPad. Also, I see simply zero evidence that whatever happens on the Nexus/Kindle side of things large affects Apple's thinking on the iPad.
     
  15. macrumors 68030

    blackhand1001

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    #15
    Apple needs to do something. The screen on that new nexus 7 is second to none at the moment. The performance of the ipad mini needs to be addressed as well. Apple can't just keep using several year old parts anymore. Just look at how bad the mini does.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Its even worse when you up the resolution on the mini. It completely chokes.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. FrankB1191, Jul 28, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013

    macrumors 6502a

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    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #16
    My wife and I thought people who bought Apple products were less than intelligent... until a few months ago. We had Samsung Tab 2 7" tablets, along with the Note 10.1 and Note 8. We thought they were nice, and continued to make scratch our heads over anyone that didn't recognize the superiority of Android products. THEN WE BOUGHT AN IPAD 4. The first thing we noticed was the iPads superior build quality, and quickly found out that the battery meter didn't move downward rapidly like the Note tablets. We had tried Samsung's version of Apple TV, and it stunk. Apple TV delivers what it promises.

    There is the whole user friendly nature of iPads, and Samsung/Android isn't even in the same league regarding that issue. We bought the Note tablets largely because of the handwriting to text/built-in stylus thing. It takes a number of steps to get to this feature, and 3 Samsung reps couldn't figure it out when we asked for a demo at Best Buy. One of the Clear vendors came over, and showed us how to use it. We forgot 10 minutes later, and the Samsung reps were still clueless. We compared the iPad 4 to the Samsung tabs in all regards, and returned the Samsungs (except the Tab 2's which we bought last year).

    Samsung's website is absolutely useless for information about operating their products. We found an abundance of operating information on Apple's site, and the Apple people at Best Buy and the Apple store know their products. The Note 10.1 was okay for movie watching, but was a bit awkward to hold when compared to the iPad. The Note 8 had very weak speakers, and camera lump on the rear was annoying beyond belief. We had hoped that the Notes' music player would have been improved since the Tab 2, but it wasn't. If you scroll through albums with a Samsung, going back means you go back all the way to the first album in alphabetical order! I have close to 200 albums on my iPad 4 128GB, and it's been a pleasure not to go back to the bottom of the list.

    When people say that you have to tap Android screens two or three times to get a response, that's absolutely true. Not every time, but often enough that you get pissed. When we bought the iPad, I quickly noticed that it lacked a calculator. I wasn't happy, but a quick Google search led me to a VERY nice free calculator app. It was then that I discovered the wonderful world of apps, and what people meant by "tablet" apps. Samsung tablets were a hodgepodge of ideas, without a unifying theme. I looked at plenty of Android forums after we bought the Tab 2 tablets, and bought into the whole freedom from iTunes thing. I've since found iTunes to be very helpful in loading and organizing music. We often had albums load twice onto our Samsung tablets, and each track is doubled: 1-1, 2-2. 3-3, etc. You have to attach the device to a computer, and then delete the extra tracks.

    We've been quite happy with the Ipad 4's, Ipad Mini, and iPod 5G that we own, and recently bought a Retina MacBook Pro. They work wonderfully together, and we have not had a single regret. Yes, they were more expensive than the Android tablets, but it was money well spent. The iPad's 4:3 ratio makes reading websites a joy compared to the 16:9 ratio on 7" Android tablets. The 7" Android tablets display 30% less than a Mini, and I can't even look at the two Tab 7" tablets we have in the closet. While I haven't used a Nexus 7, Lisa Gade from MobileTechReview wrote that her Nexus 7 doesn't get any use now that she owns a Mini (and she is NOT an Apple fan by any stretch of the imagination).

    We did own a couple of Samsung Galaxy 4.2 PMP's as well. They were nice, but they were bulky. They had a very customizable EQ system, but it sounded different with each track and album. I finally set it on Auto, just like the iPod 5G. The iPod 5G is sleeker, has a better screen, and is still available. Samsung simply decided to stop selling the Galaxy PMP's and they disappeared from store shelves overnight. :confused: Battery life on those devices wasn't very good, and we gave both to my sister's kids.

    The Mini is a fine product. Could Apple put in a Retina display without adding weight, thickness, and increasing the price? I'm not an engineer, nor a corporate accountant, so I don't know. Reviewers already cry about the Mini's price tag, even while writing that they like it. They hold up the Nexus, Kindle, and Nook as examples of how cheap a tablet can be purchased, and then say, "...but those tablets are being sold at cost." Of course Apple wants to make money, and good for them that they do. I wanted to buy a non-Retina MacBook Pro lately, because the price is down to $900. I can't bring myself to doing it, because the Retina displays on our Retina MacBook Pro, Ipad 4's and iPod 5 make the cMBP look worse than it really is. I took my Mini over to Best Buy a couple of days ago, and it's miles ahead of the cMBP in terms of text quality, so that ended that. It also confirmed that while the Mini's non-Retina display isn't as sharp as the iPad 4, it's still very good.

    It's tough to be at the top, with rival companies making cheaper products and selling at cost, while customers clamor for the latest and greatest for less than the last device cost. Buy the Nexus if you need a "better" display right now, or want to pay the lowest price. Relax and enjoy your Mini if you want customer service, easy warranty and customer support (go to Samsung's site and try to get customer service!), and a product that is relatively free of bugs and quirks. These tablets are all much more than I imagined owning two years ago, but I'm happy with my Apple products. When and if they offer a Retina Mini, I'll take a good look. I might buy it on the spot, or I might be like many of the iPad 2 owners, and keep using what I have.

    P.S. The average consumer that I see in the store, or know personally, isn't using benchmarks to compare tablets. They pick up the various devices, and buy the one that gives the best hands-on experience. Sure there are people that will buy Apple because it's Apple, but there are plenty of people that will buy Android because it's not Apple, and it's cheaper. It's like that with many products, including cars, lawnmowers, etc.
     
  17. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #17
    Writing a book I see. You got eight paragraphs and it's time consuming to read; got to get to the point. I have a Note 2 and I can tell you that Samsung's Android tablet offerings are crap. The Nexus 7 FHD is the king of Android tablets when you factor in software, hardware and price.

    "While I haven't used a Nexus 7, Lisa Gade from MobileTechReview wrote that her Nexus 7 doesn't get any use now that she owns a Mini (and she is NOT an Apple fan by any stretch of the imagination)."

    Did you even see Lisa's review of the Nexus 7 (2013) model. The new Nexus destroys the original Nexus 7. The one complaint she had was that the images were "too sharp". Now that's funny.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/MobileTechReview
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #18
    If my post is too long, skip it. Reading it on a 16:9 7" tablet would make it appear more lengthy than it is. Lisa changed her opinion about the last Nexus 7, so it wouldn't surprise me to see her do it again. Enjoy whichever tablet you like, and even declare king if you must, but I fail to see your point. Are you saying Apple needs to mimic Google's latest, or that Apple isn't competent enough as a company to do so? Do you want a Nexus Mini, complete with an Android OS? Do you want Apple to manufacture their products on another company's schedule, or that of members of this forum?
     
  19. macrumors regular

    srkmish

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2013
    #19
    Apple has no excuse to not release a retina mini saying technical complications.

    Nexus 7 FHD has 323 ppi and is light and still has 8+ hours of battery life (with 70% brighness) as per Lisa. I understand that Apple wants a huge profit margin on its products, but it cant just sit idle while other companies release better hardware at lower prices.
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    #20
    If the Nexus 7 only has 8+ hours, than Apple does have a valid issue for not putting a retina display in the iPad mini as iPads get 10+ hours of battery life.
     
  21. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #21
    Nexus 7 is not Apples worst enemy, the iPad 9.7" and iOS is. If you make the iPad mini too desirable you kill the 9.7" iPad. If you dumb down the mini by keeping the same display you allowed the Nexus 7 to trounce over both your products in price and features. Also iOS is still not flexible when it comes to different screen resolutions. You have to use the same resolution as the 9.7" or else you start all over developing Apps for a non-standard ipad screen resolution. Apple is caught in a very bad position and there's very little room for mistakes. Apple is it's worst enemy right now.
    My thought is to make a no compromise iPad mini with Retina display, fastest A processor and 32gig of storage for $500. If you make the mini a far superior product than what the competition offers then people will pay the price. Apple can't battle on price first then features with Google. They must make you want to spend top dollar for a premium product.
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

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    Pennsylvania
    #22
    I agree with all of what you wrote. I'd certainly be willing to pay $500 for a retina Mini, since I already spend $529 on the 64GB version. ;) There is a Best Buy not far from me, and I see people comparing the Mini and iPad 4 quite a bit. They go back and forth forever trying to make a decision, so clearly the smaller tablet has a great appeal. Price is a factor, and my 64GB Mini is essentially the same price as the 16GB iPad 4. I've seen so many reviewers on YouTube saying that they've dumped the full size iPad in favor of the Mini, and these are people who appear to not be too concerned with price. Apple seems to be much more patient than the sliver of consumers represented here, so we'll see...
     
  23. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #23
    Well aren't you pleasant. I prefer Frank's longer post to your TLDR version which doesn't tell us anything useful.

    ----------

    I disagree. The Retina mini will be 4x the regular mini which means there won't be any issues just as there weren't any issues with the iPad3. Buttons and nav elements will be the same size. The retina mini will have the same resolution as the iPad 4. It's matching the iPad 4's ppi that will cause issues.
     
  24. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
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    #24
  25. macrumors G3

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #25

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