Why Apple's 7.85-Inch 'iPad Mini' Isn't a 7-Inch Tablet

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    With rumors of an "iPad mini" launch in the coming months ramping up, there has been much discussion about just how usable such a device would be running at the 1024x768 resolution of pre-Retina iPad models. In particular, some commenters have pointed to Steve Jobs' October 2010 discussion of the 7-inch tablets from competitors that were just then hitting the market, where he outlined Apple's belief that such tablets were too small to be useful.

    While we argued as long ago as last December that scaling the iPad display down to a rumored 7.85-inch screen would still maintain usability and we provided iPad- and print- friendly examples to allow users to test for themselves, many have remain unconvinced of the benefits of a smaller iPad.

    Daring Fireball's John Gruber now takes another detailed look at what an iPad mini would entail, arguing that a 7.85-inch display on an iPad mini would be a very different experience from the 7-inch screen being used by competitors such as Amazon's Kindle Fire and Google's Nexus 7.
    Comparison of "iPad mini" to 7-inch tablets and full-size iPad (Source: @trojankitten, via Daring Fireball)
    Gruber goes on to note that Jobs was panning small, expensive tablets running a version of Android never intended to be used on devices larger than phones and that the tablets hitting the market today are very different products. He also points to Jobs' repeated efforts at misdirection in which he publicly spoke out against certain ideas even as Apple was pursuing them, as well as Jobs' ability to quickly and decisively change his mind at times.

    Beyond the size of the iPad mini, Gruber also addresses the topic of a non-Retina display in the device, suggesting that with Apple seeking to keep pricing down the display will be one of the main ways it can achieve its desired pricing while retaining significant margins. The iPad mini would naturally gain a Retina display a year or two down the road as pricing continues to drop.

    Finally, in addressing pricing on the rumored iPad mini Gruber suggests that Apple could approach the $199 pricing seen on the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 by leveraging its massive supply chain and economies of scale to bring its own costs down to the neighborhood of $150 and still maintain profitability. But even pricing of $249 could be competitive depending on hardware features and factoring in the benefits of Apple's extensive iOS/iTunes/App Store ecosystem for customers.

    Article Link: Why Apple's 7.85-Inch 'iPad Mini' Isn't a 7-Inch Tablet
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 24, 2010
    I guess we'll see what Apple does this fall...
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 16, 2012
    Cupertino, CA
  4. macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2007
    San Francisco
    At the time of when steve said it there was no 7 inch tab that was very good. Im sure they have had a ton of different sizes in the lab. Only time will tell. It will replace the ipod touch.
  5. macrumors 68040


    Feb 15, 2010
    Boston, MA
    if gruber is saying its possible than its most likely coming. he doesn't usually speak up unless he knows for sure its coming.
  6. macrumors 65816


    Jun 30, 2010
    If Apple do release this iPad mini, I would bet all the money I have that it WILL be retina.
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 22, 2003
    I'll take that bet.
  8. slippyr4, Jul 10, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012

    macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2008
    So this is how the Steve-is-infallible fanatics will explain the U-turn.
  9. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2010
    It's only a daydream, but I'd love an iBooks device... thing... that only had the iBooks App and the store to go with it. Instant on to the bookshelf, instant off.

    That to me would be a good excuse for a mini-iReading device, and it would no doubt be cheaper too.
  10. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 9, 2009
    I like the iPad just the way it is. If they come out with a mini, so be it. But I'll gladly pay for the extra real estate.
  11. macrumors 603


    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    Between that iPad mock up and the Nexus 7, I'll take the Nexus 7 shape ANYDAY! That mock up is far too fat to be useful as a smaller tablet, you may as well not bother and just get the normal iPad.
    As for $150 hahahahahahahahahahaha yeeeaaahhhh rrriiiggghhhhtttt!

    As I have said multiple times I don't believe it will be $200, Apple will need to drop the entire iPod Touch range to launch an iPad with a $200 price tag.

    I think we have far too many people jumping on the 7" iPad band wagon now and you just don't know what to believe as being possible.
  12. macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy part of the Pacific NW
    If each of us just copied and pasted our existing posts from all the recent 7.85" iPad Mini rumor threads on this site, I bet this new discussion wouldn't look appreciably different from how it will actually turn out.
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2010
    I hate Apple's bezels with a fervent passion.
  14. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2008
    If they can offer a smaller iPad at $250 they'll retain their major lead in the tablet market for the foreseeable future.
  15. macrumors 68040

    Mad Mac Maniac

    Oct 4, 2007
    A little bit of here and a little bit of there.
    It makes you wonder. A great deal of the 7" tablet appeal was for an extremely small, light, and portable e-reader. Will making the iPad Mini 40% larger than these 7" tablets actually take away from this appeal?
  16. macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2007
    mmmm... jessica.'s beer...
    So you would be against a smaller iPad having the retina display? Not a very wise bet IMO.
  17. macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2012
    Elsewhere, USA
    Doesn't the title say it all? It's not a 7 inch tablet if it's 7.85 inches, anyway.


    Slight sarcasm aside, I dunno. I think I'd like to see the mini, at those suggested price points. I'd buy one for my middle schooler, could be a great tool for the education community. But (just my opinion, I'm frequently wrong) I don't think it'd have as much bang w/o the retina display.
  18. macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2004
    Similar comments were made about the iPad before it launched. Most people thought it would cost 1000$ or more. And a lot of people still expected it to fail even at 500$ once it launched.
  19. macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    it won't. means it keeps costs down + higher profit margin, and gives them an easy feature to use for upgrading in the next 1-2 years.
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012
    Three Bears

    Currently I have an iPod Touch. It's the single most useful Apple product that I own. I literally have it either on my desk, in my pack, or on the nightstand 24/7. When it comes time to replace it what are the options:

    Our full sized iPad is wonderfully powerful but a bit too large to carry with me every day.
    The iPod Touch is great for carrying but it's a bit too small for web surfing and underpowered for some tasks.
    A 7" device might be "just right".
  21. macrumors G4

    May 10, 2004
    - Galaxy Note or similar phone with unbreakable screen (still fitting a standard shirt pocket).
    - A4-sized iPad

    That's what's needed.
  22. macrumors member


    Sep 19, 2007
  23. macrumors regular


    Feb 28, 2012
    ipad 2 399 $

    ipad mini 249 $, sure why not

    7.85 inch display makes sense, i would buy it, ipad is following same business model as ipod which is great for apple, more success to come for apple with this product, beware competition:D
  24. macrumors newbie


    May 1, 2012
    Bay Area

    Of course its the new Tab Remote for the New Apple TV! :cool:
  25. macrumors 68020

    Aug 29, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    Yeah, like video iPod's and iBooks.

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