Is it possible for the 7" iPad to become Apple new Flagship Tablet?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by appswipe, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. appswipe, Sep 6, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012

    appswipe macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2012
    I'm not trying to say that 9.7" iPad is "wrong" because for the time it was released then it was probably the best size to make an impact on the market. But what I'm wondering is if it's possible that Apple would shift its focus on the 7.85" iPad to be their new flagship product while the bigger and more powerful 9.7" eventually becomes the niche product?

    My reason for thinking this is by looking at the history of the iPod. As amazing and disruptive to the market as the original iPod was, it eventually got pushed aside by the Nano due to improved technological advancements (Solid State, manufacturing etc) and the consumer willing to sacrifice storage for portability. So maybe we'll see history repeating itself with iPads and the smaller, cheaper, more portable 7.85" would become the primary seller and the 9.7" becoming the "iPad Classic"?

    Just a thought.

    <<EDIT: Apologies for heavily editing this but based on the first few responses then apparently I came off as slamming the iPad somehow and I clearly didn't get my point across.>>
  2. flyguy206 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 5, 2008
    If it was not for apple we would not have half of the devices we have now. People thought a tablet was a joke before 2010.
  3. roxxette macrumors 68000


    Aug 9, 2011
    Get a grip man :eek:
  4. tech4all macrumors 68040


    Jun 13, 2004
    Really "idea size" is subjective.

    At the time of it's release the iPod wasn't heavy. If you consider that heavy, you need to do some weight lifting.

    What was clumsy about it?

    HD based - That the primary technology back then.

    Firewire compared to USB 2.0 was a good thing. On paper USB 2.0 was faster, but Firewire has/had faster sustained bandwidth.

    Again that's subjective.

    If some gets their panties in a bunch because Apple went from HHD to SSD, then they got issues :rolleyes: ;)
  5. BluAffiliate macrumors regular

    Feb 16, 2010
    Why would anyone get "offended"? Maybe you should take the blue pill and wake up from the so called "reality" that you live in.
  6. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    I really don't think so. It's just Apple offering another form factor for the iPad.
  7. aluren macrumors 65816

    Sep 9, 2008
    If Apple didnt get it right the first time, the iPad would've been discontinued. I guess you never saw the huge lines and back orders for the iPad 2?
  8. Geekbabe macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2011
    Given the technology of it's time the original iPod was fabulous, I had one and was amazed by how small it was & the amount of music is held.

    I also don't believe there is any such thing as one correct size for any tablet including iPad. Different people have different needs, Apple is merely providing an additional size option based on consumer demand. They are responding to customer need, not dictating what they feel is the correct size.
  9. sneaky butcher macrumors 6502

    Nov 8, 2011
    yeah didnt steve jobs say that anything smaller than the 9.7 is "too small" i'm sure he made a big deal about that at one of his key notes. Same with the "perfect" 3.5inch phone.

    its sad people fall for the crap apple spouts. Funny watching them backtrack and it might wake a few people up too.
  10. Arran, Sep 7, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2012

    Arran macrumors 601


    Mar 7, 2008
    Atlanta, USA
    I don't think there's such a thing as a perfect product. There are 'successful' products, but they are successful, in their time. Context is everything. The competitive environment changes, technology changes, customer's perceptions and needs change. So a product that was wildly successful, in its time, can look deficient later.

    Take the model T Ford: Hopelessly antiquated now, but huge in its time.
  11. SteveAbootman macrumors 6502a


    May 12, 2008
    Golly, Apple sold 17 million 9.7 inch iPads last quarter. Maybe your definition of niche is different than mine, but that's a pretty solid chunk of people buying the product over a 3 month time.

    TV manufacturers have very diversified product lines - from small 20 in sets up to 70 in in some cases. Would you say that any one particular screen size is the 'right' size? I'd say it gives consumers choice and more potential revenue for the company making them.
  12. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    I think the OP makes a valid point.

    It's easily possible that customers want smaller (aka 8inch) iPads that are cheaper (under $400) and that in the future the 8inch iPads make 90% of the market and the 11inch iPad is a niche product.

    That doesn't make the original iPad a failure butit would show that Apples/Jobs assumption that a 7-8inch iPad is too small was wrong. We will know in a few years.
  13. Beta Particle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2012
    I think they got it right with both of them.

    With the iPad, 9.7″ is about the smallest you can realistically go and actually be a suitable notebook replacement/alternative.

    These smaller Android tablets might be somewhat more portable because they can fit in a jacket pocket, but the aspect ratio means they’re considerably less useful in portrait than landscape, whereas the 4:3 screen on the iPad makes it a lot more flexible.

    Tablets like the Google Nexus and smaller Kindle Fire are really only useful as consumption devices. There’s not enough workspace to do much more than read a book, watch a video etc.

    And if you look at newer tablets, you see that they are moving away from the 7″ form factor.

    The new Kindle Fire is an 8.9″ 16:10 tablet, which makes it close in size to the iPad, but skinnier.

    Microsoft chose to keep the 16:9 aspect ratio, but went with a 10.6″ display—larger than the other “big” Android tablets, which makes it closer to the iPad size, but wider. (making it too top-heavy in portrait)


    So we started with competitors using a considerably different form-factor, and are now seeing them starting to converge on the iPad shape & size. I think they got it right.

    If there is enough demand, I’m sure that Apple will come out with a smaller tablet (if nothing else, it lowers the price) but I don’t think it will overtake or replace the iPad, and I don’t think the iPad would have gained so much popularity in the first place if it had been a smaller device.

    And with the iPhone. Well, I like the current width. It fits nicely in your hand and allows for good one-handed use if necessary. I find the larger Android tablets to be unweildy. My phone shouldn’t try to be a tablet replacement—it should be highly portable.

    While I am not completely sold on the 16:9 aspect ratio, the iPhone is small enough where it lets you have a bigger display without changing the width of the device, or making it too top-heavy in portrait use.

    So I don’t really think that the iPhone 5 display really goes against their original decision. It’s just a slightly taller display rather than a bigger one. It doesn’t change how the device fits in your hand, unlike these Android devices which are monstrous.
  14. RedRaven571 macrumors 65816


    Mar 13, 2009
    Excellent example. And, when Henry Ford started producing the Model T, it was available in only one color, black. If that didn't change over the years, how many black Fords could you sell in 2012? Consumers like diversity, nothing wrong with 2 size iPads.
  15. docprego macrumors 65816

    Jun 12, 2007
    Henderson, NV
    I agree With the OP. Particuarly in the education market where the cost difference alone is going to result in an explosion of iPad adoption far beyond what it even currently is experiencing. Students won't miss the extra 2 inches of screen real estate at all. Think about it, schools will be able to purchase at least 2 iPad Minis for the cost of 1 larger iPad. That's significant.
  16. appswipe, Sep 7, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2012

    appswipe thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2012
    Actually, Im not really sure what the ideal size for the education market is. Yes, with current prices then it does seem like when you're equipping (eventually) billions of kids then a cheaper price would be a deciding factor but that could easily be remedied in time as cost of manufacturing goes down and edu deals emerge.

    But when it comes to edu then where I'm really flip flopping is trying to figure out "Whats the best size for the K-12 market Apple is currently after". On one hand a big screen makes it easier to read and IF the OS matures to a point where multiple apps can be used simultaneously ON SCREEN then bigger screens means more screen to share. But on the other side, I have young kids that have been proficient with small screens since birth so they may not feel the need for large screens the same way adults do. But again, price forces itself in as a factor because I think it's widely accepted that younger kids can't be trusted with expensive and fragile tech.
  17. kannesss macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2008
    It's not that they didn't make the right product first, it's that when you basically create a new market, there is no one to base your designs, ideas off of. Apple opened the doors to using tablets, on a serious basis. There have been tons of other devices come out after the iPad, that have a big screen just like they do. Just like every other product ever, they make smaller ones. They made the iPod classic type of ipod first, then the nano's etc. That doesn't mean they got it wrong, it just means they started somewhere else, and have only gotten better with ideas, designs, etc.
  18. Bokes macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2008
    There's room for both sizes.
    I think of it this way-
    The iPad is the Hardcover
    The Ipad mini will be the paperback.

    In theory- I prefer a nice fine Hardcover.
    The page are bright- the words and letters are decent size,
    it just feels important.

    but in reality- I own far more paperbacks.
  19. blackhand1001, Sep 7, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2012

    blackhand1001 macrumors 68030


    Jan 6, 2009
    I am taking you have never used a nexus 7. Also its not 16x9. Its 16x10. There is a pretty big difference. I do way more productivity on my nexus 7 than I do on my ipad 2. I web browse on it all the time and also manage my calandar send emails, type documents. The ability to use a file manager is also huge and is a huge oversight that apple made with iOS.
  20. engelke2010 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 28, 2010
    The question that should be asked for those who do already have an iPad is this - If Apple had both screen sizes available on launch, which one would you have gotten? I still would have gotten the larger one. I've checked out the Kindle Fire enough to know that it's not big enough for me. My eyes need the bigger screen real estate,
  21. mwulf67 macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2011
    Exactly like the OP suggests...

    Paperbacks are the mainstream market...
    Hardcover's the niche market...

    I think some people are getting tripped up on the OP's use of "niche product"...just 'cause something is niche doesn't make it unprofitable or unimportant...

    I too believe the 7.85 sized tablet will become the mainstream market size....yet I will probably always use and prefer a large size (my computer monitors and TVs are usually slightly larger than mainstream market standards)...I would love something even bigger then 9.7...


    We currently have 2 ipads in our household...if your scenario existed, we would more than likely have 4...1 9.7 for me, and 3 mini's, one for wife and each of my kids...
  22. Beta Particle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2012
    My mistake, didn’t realise they were also 16:10.


    While you might prefer the Android OS (I certainly do not) I still find the 7″ form factor to be too small to be productive. It’s less than half the size of an iPad, and could never replace a notebook for me. Larger tablets like the iPad and potentially the Surface could. (actually, I switched from a MacBook Pro to an iPad + PC combo over a year ago now, and haven’t looked back)

    If all you need to do is type up a quick response to an email or something, yeah, I guess you can do that on the Nexus tablet. But I would have no problem doing that on a phone either.

    As far as usability is concerned, the 7″ tablets feel more like big phones to me, whereas the larger tablets are more like small notebooks.
  23. mwulf67 macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2011
    I agree...product evolution doesn't mean what came before was necessarily "wrong"...however, when Jobs/Apple flatly stated for years that any tablet smaller than 10 inch would be wrong/a mistake, you (as a company) are going to have to eat a certain amount of crow, deservedly or not, if and when you start making a 7 inch tablet...
  24. rdas7 macrumors regular


    Nov 17, 2002
    London, England
    I find the 9.7" iPad a little too big to use comfortably for long-form reading. This is where a 7 inch device comes in. If Apple do indeed make a smaller, thinner, lighter and cheaper iPad, that's going to sell like hotcakes.

    With services like AirPlay, where you can send video from your iPad directly to a tv or radio, things like on-board speakers and larger screen are somewhat less important, in my opinion.

    On the other hand, when using an iPad for tasks other than reading/web surfing — for example, photo editing or games — I've sometimes wished the iPad's screen was bigger.

    There's not that much difference between an 8" and a 10" iPad… who's to say that the next iPad (4) won't get bigger?
  25. zephyrnoid macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2008
    Geneva Switzerland
    Yes. I have. From the Get Go till now and if you read back my previous posts, today's 7"'rs are nothing compared to what should be down the pike inn a year or so.

    To help out with the 'Why?' of it all. I'll share what I learned form an excellent book titled The Innovation Imperative: Strategies for Managing Product Models and Families an others.

    The products you see in the market are not simply the 'Brainchild of a Genius Team' that gets to decide what is introduced.

    Technology Product designs are constrained by two factors:
    1- The limits of each component technology
    2- The possibility of component interoperability

    In simple English, The larger ipad came first, not merely because the development team chose that size arbitrarily , nor merely because of SJ's alleged whims. but rather because the confluence of technologies DICTATED that size as being IDEAL at the TIME.

    If you follow the evolution of most consumer electronics you'll discover the same pattern at play.

    So how do I come in? I visualize the future 'Ideal' iterations and wait it out till they arrive. In fact, I often wait to pounce on stocks when such moments occur ;) . But I wait patiently BECAUSE I know that the ideal confluence doesn't happen by magic, ever.

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