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iPad Mini May Hurt Android Tablet Vendors

By - Source: DigiTimes | B 93 comments

Tablet vendors are scared stiff by the mere thought of a 7.85-inch iPad crashing the scene in 3Q12.

With Apple's new iPad 3 publicly out of the bag and set to invade store shelves next week, the tablet industry is now setting its sights on that mysterious 7.85-inch version reportedly heading to retail shelves in 3Q12. What we're betting is that it will be christened as an iPod Touch XL, but tablet manufacturers are still quivering in their boots nonetheless, fearing the fierce competition the device will bring.

The two biggest contenders striking out against this "iPad Mini" will undoubtedly be Amazon and Google. Both are reportedly working on tablets, the former cranking out a follow-up to the highly-popular Kindle Fire with reported improvements and enhanced features. Rumors say that Google's 7-inch Nexus-branded "Google Experience Device" will be built by Asus and sport Nvidia's Tegra 3 SoC. Both are looking to dominate the $199 to $249 tablet sector, both could give Apple a run for its money, and both will likely hit the market with guns blazing, ready for a fight.

Other tablet vendors, despite their fear of a smaller iPad tablet, don't plan on sitting on the sidelines. Asus is gearing up to launch the quad-core MeMO 370T packed with Nvidia's Tegra 3 SoC, Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich," and a tasty pricetag of $249. Samsung has its own 7-inch Galaxy Tab models that don't have price points quite so cheap (and some are even subsidized), whereas other vendors like Archos provide 7-inch solutions but lack Google's library of services.

That said, competition may be difficult now as it is given that Amazon's Kindle Fire seemingly split the tablet sector in half: the $199 tablet tier and the $299+ tier. But once Apple and Google crash the low-end scene later this year, non-Apple tablet vendors may have a difficult time staying afloat. This may be where previous reports come in where vendors back off, focusing on PC hardware while the big three duke it out for control over the tablet market, both high and low.

Given that Apple didn't produce a 7.85-inch iPad this week when the iPad 3 came out of the closet, it's probably safe to assume Apple may promote this gadget as a large iPo dTouch, revealing it during the yearly iPod showcase in September. That’s speculation of course, but it wouldn't be surprising. Dropping the pricetag of the iPad 2 probably won't be enough to penetrate the low-end tablet sector, so a 7.85-inch model does seem likely.

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Top Comments
  • 25 Hide
    A Bad Day , March 10, 2012 5:26 AM
    Apple, releasing a cheap iPad.

    Impossible!
  • 20 Hide
    king_maliken , March 10, 2012 5:36 AM
    Apple and cheap are antonyms, Apple is overpriced dung.
  • 11 Hide
    nforce4max , March 10, 2012 11:57 AM
    Not everyone wants to cough up $500+ for a tablet. Apple and cheap are two vastly different things.
Other Comments
    Display all 93 comments.
  • 25 Hide
    A Bad Day , March 10, 2012 5:26 AM
    Apple, releasing a cheap iPad.

    Impossible!
  • 20 Hide
    king_maliken , March 10, 2012 5:36 AM
    Apple and cheap are antonyms, Apple is overpriced dung.
  • 8 Hide
    nebun , March 10, 2012 5:44 AM
    this is good news...about time....for other companies to keep up they really need to offer better products at competitive prices
  • -6 Hide
    DjEaZy , March 10, 2012 5:52 AM
    ... imagine iPad mini for the lately by apple announced education initiative? ... a maybe 8' tablet with the resolution of the original iPad, to easyer to develop too... put a dualcore in it from iPhone 4s... price it about 199$ for 16Gb and 299$ 32Gb... and apple haz a winner...
  • 7 Hide
    shqtth , March 10, 2012 6:28 AM
    nothing to fear. apple can't compete on price. they need to make way too much markup for their poor dear share holders. SO buy an apple product now and make the shareholders more money today ! they need food you know, without all your money they will all starve.
  • 1 Hide
    yannigr , March 10, 2012 6:55 AM
    I hope they bring out a $200 tablet. I don't care if it will be useless, or with locked features, or with bad screen or without any ports for expansion. I don't care if it is going to be a tablet without a.... screen. I only want it to have a price of $200, call it a tablet and an apple logo.
    When that happens all android tablets will take a huge discount and this is what matters!
  • -7 Hide
    malicemizer , March 10, 2012 7:02 AM
    ASUSFTWMOFOSAsus Transformer beats the IPADAsus Transformer Prime beats the IPAD 2Asus Transformer tf700 beats the IPAD 3These are the facts and only ISheep believe different.


    Lol you are a nub on many levels. iPad 3 display is better and has a higher ppi. The iPad has a faster processor and way better graphics. There are no apps or programs that use all 4cores so a quad core tablet is slower when using 99% of anything. Hell iPad even has a better camera even though the 700 has higher megapixels. The 700 reportedly has a 12 hour battery life we will see. So ya you lose.
  • 4 Hide
    lesz422 , March 10, 2012 7:08 AM
    Asus Transformer beats the IPAD

    Asus Transformer Prime beats the IPAD 2

    Asus Transformer tf700 beats the IPAD 3

    These are the facts and only ISheep believe different

    so ASUS make more money then the ipad? more sales?........................let me guess.............Apple may have some dodgy IP rights, but they can make a good product, i sale droid tablets, and trust me, most are sub standard, and turn the customer to a ipad....., which we dont sale
  • -6 Hide
    DjEaZy , March 10, 2012 7:35 AM
    ASUSFTWMOFOSAsus Transformer beats the IPADAsus Transformer Prime beats the IPAD 2Asus Transformer tf700 beats the IPAD 3These are the facts and only ISheep believe different.

    ... beats in what?
  • -7 Hide
    watcha , March 10, 2012 8:15 AM
    ASUSFTWMOFOSAsus Transformer beats the IPADAsus Transformer Prime beats the IPAD 2Asus Transformer tf700 beats the IPAD 3These are the facts and only ISheep believe different.


    The Asus Transformer Prime has a far slower GPU than the iPad 2.

    The tr700 which isn't even out until June has a far slower GPU than the third generation iPad. It uses Tegra 3 - the same Tegra 3 Apple claims its GPU is 4x faster than. It also has a lower resolution screen, and lower battery capacity (although a longer claimed battery life).
  • 6 Hide
    rajaawad23 , March 10, 2012 8:26 AM
    ipads are not better than android, nor is androids better than ipads.
    they are both good at different things, so best cannot be correctly chosen.
    android are good at allowing the consumer to customise and chose their own roms and therefor have more control over their own device, unlike ipads which are fairly limited software wise.
    ipad 3 may have super display and a better camera but at the end the consumer will never see all the pixels that are available on that screen, simply impossible. this is what makes apple so rich, their products are fashion statements and that is all people want a apple product to impress their friends with.
  • -4 Hide
    chronicbint , March 10, 2012 8:54 AM
    Toms really needs moderators, these droidfags are ruining the site with the trolling and the lame statements based on some kind of alternate superior reality.
  • 4 Hide
    halcyon , March 10, 2012 9:13 AM
    lesz422Asus Transformer beats the IPADAsus Transformer Prime beats the IPAD 2Asus Transformer tf700 beats the IPAD 3These are the facts and only ISheep believe differentso ASUS make more money then the ipad? more sales?........................let me guess.............Apple may have some dodgy IP rights, but they can make a good product, i sale droid tablets, and trust me, most are sub standard, and turn the customer to a ipad....., which we dont sale


    Having had 5 (yes FIVE) Transformer Primes before I threw in the towel I can speak with authority when I say that the Transformer Prime does not match the quality of the iPad. All 5 of mine had screen defects (dead or stuck pixels) and Android (even ICS) is still not as easy to synch as iOS.

    Its funny how people who've never had the Transformer Prime KNOW its better than the iPad. Funny...I must've just got 5 lemons eh?
  • 3 Hide
    halcyon , March 10, 2012 9:21 AM
    It also remains amusing that many THG readers feel anything made by Apple stinx just because it is made by Apple regardless of its inherent characteristics. That's a strange perception from what otherwise seems be a pretty swift demographic.
  • -5 Hide
    watcha , March 10, 2012 9:22 AM
    rajaawad23ipads are not better than android, nor is androids better than ipads.they are both good at different things, so best cannot be correctly chosen.android are good at allowing the consumer to customise and chose their own roms and therefor have more control over their own device, unlike ipads which are fairly limited software wise.ipad 3 may have super display and a better camera but at the end the consumer will never see all the pixels that are available on that screen, simply impossible. this is what makes apple so rich, their products are fashion statements and that is all people want a apple product to impress their friends with.


    Firstly, iPad is a device, Android is an operating system, so your whole comparison is invalid.

    Secondly - just because you are able to install different ROMS on Android tablets doesn't mean you have more control over the device at all. Installing ROMS isn't an end in itself, it should be a means to an end. And what end is that? Installing a different ROM is only a benefit if the existing ROM is not acceptable - hardly a selling point.

    What can you do, which is practically beneficial on an Android tablet which you can't on an iPad? Nothing. The opposite, however, is not true - there are several features and numerous apps which are only available on iPad atm.

    The fact that the customer will never 'see all the pixels' is precisely the point of a retina display. There is, however, a clear and noticeable improvement in screen quality when comparing, and that is the more relevant point - and the iPad is also capable of playing games at a much higher resolution and in higher quality. The iPad also has longer battery life than most (if not all) Android tablets.
  • -5 Hide
    halcyon , March 10, 2012 9:24 AM
    You're absolutely correct, again, Watcha
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