Apple emerged with the iPad Mini this past September (2012), and tech reports suggest that the Mini iPad has become a splash hit, eating up iPad Major sales. There is something about an 8-inch tablet that seems to be an excellent product for an excellent price. Apple gambled when it posted a minimum $329 price tag for the Mini, defying tech experts who believed Apple would post a $249 price tag in order to compete with Google in the seven-inch tablet range. Much to the dismay of many, however, Apple did not produce a seven-inch tablet; it’s 7.9-inch diagonal display places the tablet in the eight-inch range. Apple produced a smaller tablet, but it did not produce a tablet so small as to compete with Google. The iPad Mini is a tablet that stands in the eight-inch category, comparable to the likes of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD. Steve Jobs never seemed interested in a seven-inch tablet, and Tim Cook echoed that sentiment with Apple’s latest tablet.
Now, Apple looks to shake things up in the tech world: this time, the center stage belongs to the iPhone. Apple would be wise to take the success it has had with the iPad Major (then the iPad Mini) and duplicate it with the iPhone Major (larger screen size than normal) and iPhone Mini. Here are a few reasons why the iPhone Mini is a wise move for the Apple Corporation.
First, the iPhone Mini would be another marketable product for the Apple Corporation. After all, who can get enough of selling additional products? Apple still needs to grow its devices if it hopes to catch up to the likes of Samsung Electronics, the company’s largest smartphone competitor in the world. Samsung’s phones of every shape, size, and form have swept the world by storm, with many individuals seeing themselves as Android customers because of the numerous smartphone selections over which they can choose. Apple, being an exclusive company that makes its own products, has not been one to partner with other companies in manufacturing phones (that is, if you exclude Samsung, who made Apple’s chips, and Corning, who makes Apple’s Gorilla Glass displays). The LG Nexus 4 is the kind of phone that Apple will never produce because Cupertino is concerned with the Apple Corporation getting all the glory. What does a $200 billion business do with all of its money? The wisest thing to do is place all that money back in research and development and create new products to sell. The iPhone Mini would be a step in the right direction.
Next, the variety is another major factor that makes the iPhone Mini an excellent move. Android has been known as the “OS of variety”. No matter who you are, where you’re from, and what your preferences are, Android has a little something for everyone. Apple likes to maintain its exclusivity and “educated” tastes, but it is the particular taste Apple has that will prevent the company from reaching Android customers who are dying for “something else” other than Android. Apple must step “out of the ivory castle” and walk outside the gate if it hopes to remain a top contender in the mobile market.
Last but not least, the iPhone Mini is a wise move because of its potential price tag. According to Neil Mawston, a Strategy Analytics analyst, the iPhone Mini could come with a $139 price tag on-contract and a $450 price tag off-contract (unlocked). This would seem like an entire world away from the current $650 unlocked price tag that many prepaid customers pay. For contract customers, the new price tag would be a welcome save but nothing major. Apple must eliminate its outrageous prices and reduce its price tags to the equivalent of Android phone prices (possibly $200, unsubsidized) if it hopes to compete head-to-head with Samsung. As for now, however, Samsung is on a race – and Apple must chase the Korean manufacturer to the finish line for the top prize.