The rumours have been here for years now, but following Steve Jobs statement about 7-inch tablets they were laid to rest for a while. Then Kindle Fire happened, followed by Google’s Nexus 7, and with Steve Jobs no longer in charge (RIP) the planets are aligning for the coming of the iPad Mini.
So, in this month 7 of the year 2012 the WSJ is reporting that Apple component suppliers in Asia is preparing for mass production of a smaller screen tablet in September that could well be the plus 7-inch tablet that Apple will use to further establish their dominance of mobile/tablet market.
The current new Retina iPad has a screen size of 9.7-inches and so far the only real competitor to pose a threat to Apple has been Amazon with their Kindle Fire. Following Google and Asus announcement of the sub £200 Nexus 7, which overall has receive a positive reception in the tech media, Apple could finally diversify the screen size of the iPad to avoid overall drop in sales.
WSJ is reporting that the tablet market is expected to surge to 126 million units this year. Given the success of the smaller screen tablets It makes sense for Apple to finally make the move. Yes, it will impact on the sales of their current iPad, but it will likely increase their overall market share, helping them sell more units, and when adding in revenue from their other channels, increase their overall profits.
Sometimes it is better to cannibalize your own products then to let your market share be eaten up by competitors. Especially in a market where there is so much money to be made from content and advertising, and that is where the real battle will take place.