Tomorrow, Apple is rumored to reenter the e-book market with a 7.85-inch tablet display called the iPad mini.
Within the last couple of years, the Amazon Kindle Fire, the Nook Table, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab have been introduced and have combined the e-reading experience and multimedia into one device at an affordable price of around $199.
These products serve as an in-between option from the basic e-ink reader and the larger tablet. While the third-generation Apple iPad leads the market in tablets, it costs over $400 and loses the consumer whose priority is e-reading. Apple’s iPad mini is meant to bring back the customers who want an e-reader with less utility than a full-sized iPad but with the ease-of-use and the web friendliness their customers have come to expect. But, will the Apple iPad mini be able to compete with the popular Kindles and effectively serve the e-reader community?
In 2001, Apple introduced the iPod. Inspired by the expanding market of MP3 players, the company combined a 5 GB hard drive, an operating system, a high-resolution display, a lithium polymer battery, and an aesthetically pleasing and incredibly usable scroll wheel. Two years later the iTunes Music Store was developed and Apple was able to cut the price of the iPod making it affordable and more importantly integrated with a music collection database.
The iPad mini has the same potential with the e-book market as the iPod had with the MP3 market. As the Kindle uses Amazon, the Samsung Galaxy uses Google Play. Apple on the other hand holds control over both the device and the database. Under one roof, Apple will be able to support the e-readers with the iPad mini and the seamless integration with the iBookstore. Synchronization allowed the iPod to reach the forefront of the media player market and if Apple can make the iPad mini affordable, undoubtedly consumers will flock to Apple for their e-reader platform.
A blog dedicated to mac rumors speculated the product to begin at approximately $329. At that price, Apple will have a hard time convincing consumers to pick the iPad mini over the other e-reader/tablet options. However, if Apple brings their price to about $250 or below, this product's demand will skyrocket.