UPDATED 11:15 EDT / JULY 16 2012

Is Apple Releasing An iPad Mini or a Bigger iPod Touch?

I was browsing a gag site the other day and saw a post regarding the rumored iPad mini.  I just had to laugh when someone commented that Apple was running out of new ideas that their upcoming, bigger iPod Touch would be called iPad Mini so Apple can charge more for an iPad and not an iPod.  It’s true: if the iPad mini is for real, Apple would be duping people into buying a bigger, pricier iPod Touch.

Well, whatever the device is, an iPad mini or a larger iPod Touch, it seems like Apple is all set to unveil the device soon.  But what could the next iDevice have that would make consumers lineup at Apple stores overnight?

Brand

Apple’s brand on any device gives it automatic street cred, and loyal followers will rush to purchase any new gadget released from their labs.  Apple’s done extremely well in brand marketing, creating a devoted following always anxious for an annual surprise.  While founder Steve Jobs has recently passed, the Apple brand remains strong in the following months and until we’re given reason to believe otherwise, Apple continues to have the cultural influence to bring in the buyers.

Low price

The price of the new iPad starts at $499 and goes higher depending on how many gigabytes you want and other specs.  Google already started shipping their $199 tablet, the Nexus 7, which is said to compete with both big and small tablets alike.  So if Apple wants people to buy their iPad Mini, they should price it lower than the iPad but of course higher than the iPod Touch since it’s an iPad.  The price of an iPod Touch starts at $199 so based on the price of both devices, the iPad mini could be priced somewhere in between, $349, or even less, but not higher.  It may not be priced competitively for the market, but is Apple ever?  They’re more likely to price it moderately in line with their other iDevices.

4G Phablet

All versions of the iPod Touch are only able to connect to the internet via WiFi.  If Apple is making an iPad mini, there’s a huge chance that it will come in a WiFi only version and a WiFi+Cellular version.  But what could make it stand out is if it turns out that the iPad Mini is actually a phablet – a tablet and smartphone – like Samsung’s Galaxy Note.  It could gain dominance in two areas: the small tablet market and the growing phablet market.  Though the late Steve Jobs might roll in his grave if Apple does this, at least they’d continue their lead.  I’m sure a lot of iPhone+iPad owners would appreciate it, unless they enjoy carting around two devices all day.


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