Apple iPad Mini: We’re Desperate and We Know it
Allow me to begin with a short story. For the past three years, I have always freed up my calendar on the day of an Apple event so I can open a few different live blogs, tune in to some people there who are live tweeting, and watch some pirated live video stream. The purpose? To “Live tweet” the announcement as it happens. Yes, sounds funny. Live tweeting an event in which I am not present. But my followers have always thanked me since many people are at work and cannot open all these live feeds so they depend on my tweets.
Yesterday’s Apple event was the first live video streamed Apple event since 2010 and I was out at the movies. Yes, frustrating as heck but it also provided me with something I have not had in years when it comes to Apple announcements; objectivity and perspective.
As we all know by now, Apple marketing executives led by the company’s late Founder Steve Jobs are marketing gods. So tuning in to the Twitter feed, the live blogs and the video streams means falling into the trap of being enchanted by Apple and its army of fanboys.
Well, when it comes to the new iPad Mini, I had a unique opportunity to examine the facts from a dry and impartial standpoint. And I am not a happy camper.
Let me explain. In my last post, I wrote how the iPad Mini will change Apple’s DNA forever. Why? Because it will most likely offer a reduced iPad experience in order to lower the price and compete with the Nexus and the Kindle Fire.
The other scenario I thought possible was that Apple would remain true to itself and keep the iPad Mini ahead of the curve in terms of specs, and charge accordingly.
What ended up happening was utterly infuriating. Apple took a good look at the new (now old, but that is a topic for another post) iPad and said “OK. How do we make this thing cheaper? Lower resolution screen? Done. Two generation old processor? Done. Smaller display? Well obviously. OK that should do it. But you know what? Let’s just charge an arm and a leg for it anyway. After all, we can, we’re Apple!”
The iPad Mini, as compared to the full-blown iPad is a stripped down product but the price does not reflect that. If it was $199 or even $249 at the base price, I would be the first on line to buy one. But now, when this device is supposed to compete with the Nexus 7, which is fantastic, as I wrote here, and the price is $320 vs $199, well, all I can say is while it might sell millions, I will not be among the buyers.
But let’s take an even deeper look here. Apple is not dumb. It sees that it is overcharging and under delivering, so what does it do? It takes a page out of the Samsung marketing book and directly calls out its competition on stage.
Yes, Apple, for the first time that I can remember, actually showed a competing product, the Nexus 7, next to the product it’s announcing.
What did Apple say about it? The bezel around the Nexus screen is bigger, the materials are cheaper and the apps are stretched out and not optimized for the tablet.
Really? Wow, one second here, allow me to read that again. The bezel, material and apps.
The Nexus 7 has a higher resolution display than the iPad Mini, it has a quad core processor as opposed to the dual core of the iPad Mini, and stretched out apps? Are you kidding me, Apple?
Stretched out apps is the most ridiculous and desperate argument Apple has ever made. That has zero to do with Android, zero to do with Google and even more so, Hey Apple, do me a favor, open up Instagram on the iPad!! STRETCHED OUT. Now open it on the Nexus 7. BEAUTIFUL.
This kind of cheap and inaccurate marketing on Apple’s part is to me a clear indication that it knows its tablet dominance is for the first time, being threatened.
It knows the iPad Mini cannot compete with the competition if you take all factors that matter including performance, graphics, and price into account, and it planned this launch accordingly.
Jesus 10 hour battery life? Sold. Sold. Sold. Sold. Sold.
— MG Siegler (@parislemon) October 23, 2012
If I would have sat and watched the event or read the Twitter feed, I would have seen hundreds of people talking about how thin and beautiful the iPad Mini is. How beautiful the display is since it’s the resolution of the first and second iPad on a smaller screen and oh, did I mention how thin it is? And the battery life, let’s not forget how amazing ten hours is, right? Wasn’t so amazing when the Nexus 7 had the same battery life yesterday…
This is why Apple fanboys are called that.
I hate to say it again and state the obvious but this kind of product launch and cheap marketing tactic would never have happened if a certain someone was still running this company. Low, Apple. Very low.
[Ed. For alternative view on iPad mini check out: iPad mini = iPod Nano. It’ s mp3 players all over again. With Android as no-name alternative, Microsoft with Zune ]