iPad mini iPad mini - did Apple pull a brilliant "fast one?"

Discussion in 'iPad' started by davey1107, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. davey1107 macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2011
    I've written much about the mini, both before and after release. Don't expect any vitriol here - I believe it's a brilliant business move, offering a product in direct competition with the one segment of the massive tablet market that Apple doesn't dominate. I don't think 2012 Xmas will see Kindle capturing 22% of US tablet sales, as they did in 2011 - and that's not going to be because of the Microsoft Zune^2, or whatever they're calling that thing.

    But sales expectations aside, I'll ask a question: did Apple pull a brilliant "fast one" on Apple fans, one which will ensure greater sales and more new customers than ever? I think they might have...by getting Apple fans to hate the mini.

    Wait, huh?

    Let's step back a moment. I think there's little question that the iPad Mini is one of the more controversial devices Apple has introduced. There's no reason for this...it's just a smaller iPad. All Apple had to do was retool one of their Chinese factories to make smaller iPads. It's not like they're scuttling the larger iPad line, and it's not like the mini stopped the larger iPads from getting a nifty update. So there's no real reason for Apple fans to be perturbed by the mini, but many are. Check around these forums and you'll find totally "cool and rational" comments like:

    "The iPad mini is the dumbest device Apple ever made."
    (Devices don't really have intelligence...yet, but whatever)

    "Buy it and return it, tell Apple they can't give us underspecced (sic) garbage..."
    (But if you know what you want is a full size retina iPad, just buy that in the first place and save yourself a stroke.)

    "You sir, have poor eyesight. The resolution is simply bad."
    (Last year these people were raving about the iPad 2's display. It's not like this thing has a 1987 CGA display.)

    "I will personally laugh in the face of everyone who buys an iPad mini."
    (That's a lot of spiteful laughing, considering that millions of people will buy this - but oh man, the frequent flier miles you'll earn.)

    "The 7.9" "iPad" is an ABOMINATION!"
    (You know, sometimes in life you just need to take a deep breath, think, and calm the frak down.)

    Okay, so we could laugh at high blood pressure posters all day. They manage to spout some wonderfully hilarious garbage. The point here is that a lot of Apple fans don't like the mini. They feel they're somehow being ripped off by its very existence. Forget that Apple is also selling the larger iPad all souped up at the same price as last year. Somehow Apple's release of the mini is the equivalent slap in the face that Marie Antoinette's caused when she muttered "let them eat cake."*

    *Actually, she never said this, and in fact there were no large scale starvation problems in France during this period...the nation was at the cutting edge of technology and produced ample food. This didn't stop the revolutionaries from murdering her. See, visit MacRumors and you never know what you'll learn.

    It seems like the retina display is mostly what has people flustered. Oh-my-lord, how could anyone LIVE with such a travesty in technological design? Sure, 18 months ago we were marveling at the iPad 2's screen, but that was LAST YEAR. How dare Apple release a product using last year's tech?

    For a while, I thought that the choice of a non-retina display was primarily cost. The mini shouldn't compete with the larger iPad, it needs to compete with the Kindle Fire and other plastic sub-$300 tablets. One way to accomplish this, while keeping the aluminum frame and other elements that make the iPad an Apple-quality product, was to ditch retina. Analysts have estimated that retina added anywhere from $50-$100 to the iPad 3's production costs. On the high end, this would push a retina iPad Mini up around $429...a totally nonsensical price where you might as well just buy an iPad 4. So my assumption was that the leading reason to use the older display was to push the price down into Kindle territory.

    But now, I'm seeing a possible second reason. Did Apple choose a non-retina Mini because they knew fans wouldn't like it? This might actually be a brilliant move on their part - ensure that the holiday mini inventory isn't snatched up by Apple customers cannibalizing the iPad line by releasing a mini that current ipad owners won't want. Give these customers an awesome new iPad 4, then leave the minis to new customers so that you maximize the growth of the Apple customer base.

    This idea sounds the silly sort of conspiratorial ring fanatics often associate with large companies or governments. In all likelihood, the retina decision was probably all about cost. But if we read the Apple fan posts, it seems clear they're buying ipad 4 and not the mini, so what I describe above - great sales on the 4's with returning customers and huge sales on the minis with primarily new customers - might be an unintended benefit of releasing a non-retina mini.

    So, whether by happenstance or because Apple has some secret think tank cabal stashed away in a smoke filled room somewhere (it's patchouli, not cigarettes...I mean, obviously), the fact that the mini doesn't come with retina might be a good thing. Apple fans will bluster and steam...then go buy an iPad 4 and/or iMac, and the minis will be left for who they were designed for - budget buyers who don't have $500 to spend but also don't really want a Kindle, buyers who don't give a flip about retina or A6 or graphics cards...they just want an awesome way to surf the net, email, socialize and use some basic apps. The mini will, whatever it's shortcomings, do these things with aplomb.
  2. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    Editing is your friend...

    "I have made this letter longer than usual, because I lack the time to make it short."

    — Blaise Pascal

    :rolleyes: :D
  3. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    It wasn't cost, it wasn't malice, it wasn't to piss iPad 3/4 owners....

    Oh goodness more conspiracy theories.

    Why can't people accept simple TRUTH. The iPad 7.9" Retina Screens are still very much in development and not expected to be ready until Q3 2013 with production for Q4 2013.

    So the reason they didn't use one was because one isn't available. End of....


    Add that to the fact the GPU power required at the moment for Retina comes at a heavy cost. Lots of power usage and generates warmth, both of which are not suitable in an iPad mini. The big iPad requires a 45 watt battery, the mini uses a 16 watt battery. If they bumped a A6X in there it would get 3.5 hours battery life. They need a more power efficient chipset that is capable of driving a 2048 x 1536 resolution. This will happen when the A6 moves to 23nm production sometime in the middle of 2013.

    So there isn't an iPad mini retina because the hardware isn't ready to deliver one.

    Can we stop looking for hidden explanations when the simple truth is right in front of your faces people..... ?
  4. glen e, Nov 12, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012

    glen e macrumors 68030

    Jun 19, 2010
    Ft Lauderdale
    If you are under 25 and espouse this I understand, if you are over 25 and in business, you are whacked.....this is just not how business operates...

    seriously, apple execs don't think that deep....think they just put out what they can, when it's ready...

    retina/mini is not ready, and Xmas is looming...it's that simple...
  5. mjpearce023 macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2012
    The only problem with that theory is that there are plenty of Apple fans that bought the iPad mini. I have thought about it myself. What confuses me is that I heard so many people say that they couldn't tell the difference between the iPad 2 and 3 and now I hear so many people say the mini resolution is not good enough. Since the mini is closer to the retina iPad PPI wise than the 2 was that doesn't make much sense to me. I think a lot of it comes down to people want to justify not purchasing something. I will admit that when I first went to Best Buy I thought the mini screen looked horrible. I think it’s because I didn’t want to spend money so I was looking to find something wrong with it. Once I compared the 4 to the Mini at the Apple store I realized the Mini looks really good despite not having the clarity of the retina iPad. Anyway I think the mini is a good device and I'm still thinking about getting a LTE model when they come out. I may just keep my iPad 3 and wait till next year. The hardest part for me would be deciding between the iPad 5 and the iPad mini 2 with retina next year. I might have to flip a coin.....or buy both.
  6. ob81 macrumors 65816


    Jun 11, 2007
    Virginia Beach

    I don't think they put that much thought into it. Other tablet makers are trying to capitalize on making tablets smaller than the iPad with success. No 9" plus tablet is competing. Apple simply started selling a smaller iPad. That is it.

    They didn't put retina in this one so that they can put it in the next one. Apple isn't about making the best product right from the start. They want to make money on small upgrades. Upgrades that "should" have been on the release model.

    It is genius.
  7. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    Err no...

    A 7.9" retina display does not exist in production, only in development.

    What other choice of screen could they use if a retina one doesn't exist?
  8. Acorn macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2009
    I dont think its any kind of conspiracy. I think cost drives the mini. everything to get something decent as cheap as possible.
  9. RenoG macrumors 65816

    Oct 7, 2010

    ^^this please....but in true macrumor fashion someone will post right above this thread with a "Punk Apple could have given the mini retina"
  10. rmhop81 macrumors 68020


    Apr 4, 2005
    Dallas, TX
    how about.....90% of people that buy apple products aren't tech junkies and don't give a sheet about retina. When I had my iPad 3 I showed my mom who had an iPad 2....without me pointing out and telling her the differences she didn't notice. All she noticed was a price difference and iPad 2 works great for her. All the people that are negative about it are the tech junkies that have to have the best specs or it's a total failure.

    I love tech stuff...i am constantly buying/selling. For me, the big iPad is nice display wise, but it's awkward to hold and is pretty bulky. I'm not saying it's not mobile bc it is.....but why did apple decide that a 10inch screen was so mobile, but any size bigger than a 4s was TOO big? iPad mini is what I have been waiting on for awhile now. The cheaper price is just a bonus....retina is not that important to me. Neither is having the latest HDTV specs.

    Obviously for the spec junkies who love a retina screen, it's not marketed toward you.
  11. Awakener macrumors 6502

    Mar 28, 2011
    Apple pulled a fast one on itself this year by angering iPad 3 customers and driving iPhone and small tablet customers to the competition.
  12. CrAkD macrumors 68040


    Feb 15, 2010
    Boston, MA
    I'm an apple maniac and after 5 minutes with the mini I'm selling my 3 for a mini.
  13. richardmu macrumors 6502a

    Oct 10, 2007
    Bristol, UK
    I've got an iPad 2 and a 4s both of which I am very happy with.

    Unlikely to change the phone but the 2 will probably go next year when/if a new thinner lighter iPad is released. Couldn't care less about the retina screen as the 2 suits me fine.

    Very undecided about the mini. Bought a Kindle Fire HD recently to check out the Android competition and think it's a great little tablet for the price.

    May still get the mini eventually if they ever have them in stock in the local Apple stores! Being an impulse buyer does not sit well with ordering and then waiting!
  14. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    I feel like you have substantially changed the point and context of this quote, which was originally:
    "I Will Personally Laugh In The Face Of Anyone Who Buys An iPad 2 For $399".


    Perhaps you should be a politician.
  15. Nee412 macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2010
    Sunny England!
    Almost exactly what I was going to say. With the battery they had to put in the 3/4 it's obvious they couldn't power a mini retina screen at the moment.

    Eventually the right tech will exist in the volumes needed, then there will be a Retina iPad mini. Simple. No conspiracy.
  16. aka777 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2012
    I agree regarding the screen but surely they could have used the a6 chip from the iphone instead. It's faster and more efficient than the a5.
  17. corvus32 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    Yes, but could they have been able to meet demand between the iPhone 5 and iPad mini?

    The way they're both selling I highly doubt it.
  18. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    The simple fact is something easy to understand and something the naysayers don't seem to get. The whole point of the mini is small and light. Look at the iPad 2 to iPad 3 transition and it's obvious that current technology can't produce a retina display with iPad resolution that doesn't require significant power which in turn means a bigger heavier battery. Cost aside, adding a retina display would have made the mini larger and heavier which is completely against the goal of the product.

    As new display technologies allow less power and lower cost, the mini will get retina. But the reality is that in late 2012, you couldn't actually make an iPad mini that was smaller and lighter without sacrificing the retina display.
  19. davey1107 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2011

    I see the premise, where is the evidence? The data I'm looking at says 1.) There is no evidence of people moving away from Apple, 2.) iPhone 5 sales are off the charts, so much so that Apple had to delay iPad Mini, iPad 4 and iMac production to late in the Christmas sales season, and 3.) there's no data on how iPad Mini will affect small tablet sales yet.
  20. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
  21. pooleman Suspended


    Jan 11, 2012
    Eastern CT
    I'm a longtime Apple fan. I still use my 2004 iBook G4, I have had every incarnation of the iPhone, including the 5, original Apple product boxes litter my man cave, no, they adorn my man cave. And I love the mini. It's a great device. I'm glad I sold my big ipad to acquire one. I'm glad I stood in line on reass day (first time I've done that btw).

    I've enjoyed every second wight the mini and haven't looked back.
  22. PracticalMac, Nov 19, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012

    PracticalMac macrumors 68030


    Jan 22, 2009
    Houston, TX
    No, completely stupid move.

    They should have released is last year.
    The year delay has allowed other tablets to fill in a (edit) *niche* ignored by Apple.

    The Mini itself is very good (should have had more RAM memory and flash LED).
  23. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Anyone who tries to fill in my niece is going to be in serious toruble. :D
  24. PracticalMac macrumors 68030


    Jan 22, 2009
    Houston, TX

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