Computing Columnist: Is there an iPad mini in your future?
Is it true what they say about an iPad Mini being introduced this year? (Possibly just in time for the Christmas buying season?) All reports are that "yes," a new Apple iPad with a 7.85-inch screen will pose some fierce competition - depending, of course, on its price point - for the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7.
So far, both those choices (the Kindle and Nexus) have been the much-more-affordable alternative (at $199) to the iPad (starting at $499). While neither offers quite as much in the way of versatility, they've been sufficient to lure price-conscious buyers into a tablet purchase.
But if the iPad Mini really does come in at a reasonable price, with its larger form factor, and the promised Retina display (the resolution is extremely high, making even on-screen text look clear, crisp, and pixel-free - a real advantage especially in the eBook market), and the beloved Apple iOS (though personally, I find this one debatable as there are certain things Apple just doesn't do as well - for me - as other OS choices), it could be a game-changer in the tablet market.
Apple has also hinted that the (annoying) Siri personal assistant will be part of the Mini offering, and while, again, I'm not a big fan personally, any bells and whistles that people can get at a similar price are bound to add to the attractiveness of the offer.
And of course, people who are already fans of the iPhone will prefer to add an iPad to the mix rather than another OS-based tablet, enabled their "cloud" to update all their devices at once with purchased apps, music, and so on. (It might even make desktop/laptop converts!)
From where I'm sitting, it will all depend on the price. Anything over $299 is likely to make customers think twice. And Apple isn't known for caring much about how high-priced their products are. We'll know soon - and since I'm due for an upgrade to my now-elderly iPad, there just might be an iPad Mini in my Christmas stocking!