Tablet Comparison: iPad Mini vs. Kindle Fire
At first, everyone thought that Amazon was going to challenge Apple’s iPad when the Kindle Fire was announced. So when the specifications of the Fire were known, we were like: “this thing is nowhere near my iPad 2! “ However when days passed by and Kindle Fire sales went skyrocketing, it became clear that Amazon was not really competing with the iPad. Kindle Fire was building a niche of its own.
Apple was right when they said that the Kindle Fire would not affect the iPad. It is actually possible to own both as they offer different things: the iPad had a lot of great apps while the Kindle Fire had a lot of e-books. Amazon made the Fire as a gateway for people into their wide array of services. This made the device profitable even though its production costs are more than its $199 price tag.
Google has found inspiration from Amazon as they are reportedly launching a cheap tablet of their own. The tablet, which is rumored to be built based on the ASUS Eee Pad Memo 370T, will earn more through sales from the Google Play Store. Is this the sign that the company is giving up competing with the iOS? Of course not. They are just trying out something new like what Apple is reportedly trying to do.
The iPad Mini is Apple’s answer to the Kindle Fire. Every iPad they have released are welcomed warmly by people including the new iPad which is experiencing record-breaking numbers. Do they still need more money? Why would they want to take away Kindle Fire users?
It’s business so the answer is a big yes. The market for smaller tablets have increased thanks to the Fire, the Galaxy Tab 7 and Nook Tablet. Also, the Kindle Fire is very far from a perfect device. If Apple will indeed release a smaller version of the iPad at a similar price, it would be a no-brainer for Kindle users to shift.
Steve Jobs was quoted saying that “smaller tablets meaningless unless your tablet also includes sandpaper so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of their present size.” As an owner of a 7-inch Android tablet myself, I agree. The 9.7-inch screen of the iPad is the perfect size for a tablet. A 7-inch iPad would be something different.
A cheap iPad is interesting and is uncharacteristic for a company like Apple. Fragmentation could be a problem though. iOS is well loved by developers because they don’t have to worry about different screen sizes. This is not the same with Android developers who need to consider the 7-inch, 10.1-inch and lately, 13-inch tablets.
The iPad Mini would be like a slightly bigger iPod Touch. If the iPad Mini would push through, that would mean they wouldn’t release a new iPod version anymore.
Apple is mum on the iPad Mini like how they were since 2010, when the rumors first spread. But if the iPad Mini will come to life, it would crush the niche that the Kindle Fire has defined. Might as well name all tablets as “iPads” by then.