Who makes the best iPad killer tablet? My analysis of industry trends says that Apple is completely unafraid to cannibalize their own products with new products. To that end, the newest iPads will be the company’s best iPad killers yet.
Here’s what I see coming from Apple in the near term and mid term.
iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 – This is a no brainer and just in time for the all important holiday shopping season. The iPad 5 will feature a smaller form factor (necessitating a new line of Smart Covers)– thinner and lighter, Retina display, improved camera, and a model with Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Likewise, the iPad mini 2 will finally make it to market with a Retina display, and a model with the Touch ID.
This is where it gets interesting. Almost every non-Apple iPad killer– Google, Samsung, Amazon, Microsoft et al– have tablets with a higher resolution screen, and a much, much lower price tag. Apple played lip service with the iPhone 5C’s price tag which ended up migrating customers to the faster selling iPhone 5S, and I expect a similar treatment of the iPad line, specifically the mini.
Would it be a surprise for Apple to launch an iPad mini with a brightly colored polycarbonate shell, slower CPU-GPU combo, lesser camera, and no Touch ID fingerprint sensor– starting at $279 for a 16GB model? $60 more gets you the aluminum iPad mini 2 with faster 64-bit CPU and Touch ID.
At $279 Apple would be paying lip service to the lower price requirement to compete with also-ran tablets, but present an attractive upgrade path $60) for the superior iPad mini 2 with Retina display, 64-bit CPU, and Touch ID.
Long term, Apple can be expected to flirt with a larger screen iPad maxi with a 12-inch display, and assuming that Apple’s OS X-to-Intel skunkworks operation remained open for business in recent years, is it difficult to imagine a MacPad in the mix?
Didn’t Microsoft get skewered with their Surface tablet, write off about $1-billion in losses, because no one could figure out what the Surface was good for? Why would Apple combine iOS and OS X into an ultra slim MacPad?
The idea seems plausible if the hardware and software execution improves upon Microsoft’s lead. How hard could that be?