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Amazon, Apple Expected to Strut Their Small-Tablet Stuff Soon 115

Posted by timothy
from the 7-inches-is-plenty dept.
After a few years of rumors and hints, All Things Digital says that a smaller iPad will debut in October. And Amazon may be trying to steal their thunder with a revamped Kindle tablet: Nerval's Lobster writes with a report at SlashCloud that "Amazon could be readying a new set of Kindle tablets for unveiling in early September. That's the widespread speculation following the online retailer's invitations to media for a Sept. 6 event in Santa Monica, Calif. Even by the coy standards of most tech companies' event invitations, Amazon's is notably bereft of detail. It will take place at 10:30 AM PST at Barker Hangar, a noted (and quite large) event space. But the timing of the event is auspicious: with Apple rumored to be unveiling a smaller iPad in the near future, and the holiday shopping season a few months away, early September could prove the ideal time for Amazon to whip back the curtain from a new tablet and dominate the media conversation, at least for a few days."
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Amazon, Apple Expected to Strut Their Small-Tablet Stuff Soon

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  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @02:47PM (#41123853)

    You can't steal Apple's thunder. They could release the iTurd, a literal green three-coiled turd, with a USB port squished into it, and people would buy it. People aren't interested in the hardware when they buy Apple -- they're interested in the brand, the experience, the ability to tell all your friends you have the latest iThing. Look at the iPod for example; Even when the very first version was released, there were plenty of alternatives that beat it on cost, service, feature set, and form factor. People still bought the iPod en masse.

    It's the same reason some people blanche when offered Pepsi instead of Coke, despite blind taste tests indicating most people couldn't tell the difference. Brand identity is a very, very, potent tool. And so there will be no thunder stealing; The Kindle could beat the next iThing in every category, sell at half-price, and come with a working "Give me an Orgasm" button and people would still buy Apple. It takes time, effort, and a lot of marketing dollars, to undermine brand identity. Also, as it turns out, many cubic miles of lawyers -- as Samsung has recently found out. Apple has the largest market capitalization of any company on the planet; It's Goliath... and unlike the biblical parable, a few rocks will not down this beast.

  • Not gonna be an iPad (Score:4, Interesting)

    by murphtall (1979734) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @02:52PM (#41123887)
    Ugh. It's gonna be the new ipod touch. Aka the new iPod. It's not gonna be a mini iPad. I wish people would get it right. I mean I know it's just an iName thing but i firmly believe this is the correct iName not iPad mini or minipad blech
  • by lilfields (961485) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @03:01PM (#41123939) Homepage
    Since the iPad is just a very large iPod Touch, why even both wasting my time with an iPad Mini? This won't be the reaction of the masses of consumers that love Apple (for whatever reason, they actually aren't that great anymore,) but I think it's legit. When will Apple actually embrace the tablet medium as something wholly separate from their iPod and iPhone platforms? They can share a core, have apps that are similar or easier to convert, but when I use an iPad I feel like I'm using an iPhone/iPod with a magnifying glass. It just scales so terribly. The iPad is a success because all other tablets are awful, not really because it's something great. The more I experience the iPad, the more I wonder, "why is this still popular?"
  • by Morgaine (4316) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @03:06PM (#41123975)

    I wonder how Apple is going to spin the fact that every man and their dog was releasing a 7" tablet at the time that Jobs was vitriolic in his total contempt for that size. How times change.

    Welcome to the party, Apple. You'll discover that it's an excellent form factor for tablets, very mobile for use on the go instead of merely transportable like larger ones, and it doesn't force you to squint like a smartphone display. Best all-rounder size, I reckon.

    I love mine, it's proven repeatedly to have been the right choice and an excellent workhorse.

  • Microsoft Surface (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nastav (2611511) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @03:19PM (#41124061)
    I'm not entirely convinced that the game is settled in favor of Apple and the next rev of iPad. I'm extremely curious about Microsoft's Surface tablets. Surface is not in the same exact category as the purported iPad Mini or the next device from Amazon, or Google - it's an ~10" device whereas the rumor mills suggest a 7" form factor from other tablet competitors. Despite the size difference, it's worth noting that the main use-case for a consumer using one of these devices is web browsing, media consumption, note-taking, occasional (and typically RO) access to office documents, games, and platform specific apps.

    The last two categories (games, platform specific apps) give Apple, and Android based devices, a significant first-mover advantage (in that order). When it comes to web-browsing, office applications and familiarity of interface, Windows has an edge (now along with Mac OS X) - at least in the consumer demographic that's waiting to spend money on a new device. If the rumors of low-pricing of Surface RT are true, and they are sold in the vicinity (or under) USD 300, and if the curiously interesting keyboard-and-mouse-on-a-flap turns out to be a seamless peripheral, then there is a good chance that Surface RT + Windows RT will gain momentum. Microsoft has already announced that they will bundle Office with Windows RT - and that's going to be a big deal IMO. This will certainly upset Google, and Amazon offerings - but perhaps only make a small dent in to Apple. Nevertheless, the world could look like an Apple and Microsoft dominated one this holiday season, leaving behind Android offerings. If the sales momentum is even somewhat interesting for Surface RT devices, I think that App developers will start implementing Metro style applications quickly - and developer experience (using Visual Studio and .NET toolsets) has been a historical strength of Microsoft's.

    Of course, my analysis is predicated on two important assumptions - pricing and a great execution on the flap-keyboard, but I'll nevertheless be tempted to at least wait until Surface starts selling before deciding which tablet to buy next (and which ones to recommend to my non-techie friends).

I took a fish head to the movies and I didn't have to pay. -- Fish Heads, Saturday Night Live, 1977.

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