Rumours have been going round hinting towards the release of a smaller sized iPad, offering something different; a lighter, cheaper, pocketable device for consuming content such as books, magazines and video.
Starting with the size, it will have a 7-8 inch screen, so you’re still going to have to have a pretty big pocket to put it in. Also rumours suggest than it will much thinner than the current iPad and closer to the thickness of the latest iPod. Steve Jobs once said a smaller iPad would be useless, which has now sparked more debate on how Apple is changing after the death of Jobs, last year. Apple’s product strategy has usually been led with its own new technology and innovations rather than following rivals.
Samsung, Amazon and Google have already found the gap in the market by offering a smaller sized tablet at a much lower price, and not only that, Google and Amazon have made competition even tougher by selling their devices at or even below manufacturing costs, with the intention to make back their money from content and web services which is tethered to the device. It’s a bit risky for Apple to move in this direction but it is clear that they are very keen to keep control of the market.
If Apple decides to follow Amazon and Google’s pricing strategy, it will harm their impressive margins. ‘Fragmentation’ is a big danger through doing this. Jobs, himself once mocked Google’s Android smartphones for offering loads of devices and different screen sizes, as this makes it makes life difficult for app developers. Apple seems to be very defensive lately, and I think a lot of large tech companies are playing dirty due to the amount of patent lawsuits going on, Apple needs to get creative again.