iPad Mini Release & What It Means For Your Business

iPad Mini previewRumors are swirling as the much anticipated official announcement of the iPad Mini release draws nearer.  The word on the street is that the new tablet could be released as early as September 2012.  The “wow” factor to this new Apple product is the expected price tag of only $200 to $250!  If this pricing is accurate, we may safely be able to say good bye to the Google and Amazon mini tablets for good.

With a smaller screen size of about 7.85 inches, this miniaturized iPad will be geared specifically towards commuters and e-book readers.  No more will the reading crowd need to sit in bed trying to grasp the bulkier 10 inch iPad.  Commuters will be able to lighten their load as the newer tablet may be closer to an over-sized cell phone.  Rumors are also suggesting a non-Retina display screen to further set itself apart from it’s big brother.  This may prove beneficial as the unit may consume less power and run at a cooler temperature.

From a retailer’s standpoint, many may actually have wished for a larger version of the original iPad in order to make the iPad standout more in-store.  However, we see a number of cases where a smaller iPad may be beneficial.  Below we examine a few of the advantages an iPad Mini has over the original within the business/retail environment:

Lower Cost

If the iPad Mini actually sells for half the price of a normal iPad ($200-$250), this would mean you would be able to buy twice as many iPads with the same budget.  Businesses looking to setup iPads at each checkout counter to use as POS terminals may now be able to afford the initiative.  Similarly, restaurants that were considering giving each waiter/waitress or table their own iPad for relaying orders back to the kitchen may now be able to do so.  Another benefit of the lower cost units is less risk of loss from theft.  The financial impact of getting a $200 iPad Mini stolen is easier to absorb than the theft of a $500 iPad.

Increased Portability

We see the increased portability a major advantage to the hospitality industry.  Waiters, waitresses, and bar tenders could now realistically carry around iPad Minis and comfortably take orders on them.

Less Space

Counter space is often a precious commodity within a store.  For those looking to use the iPad as an email address collection form or POS payment authorization device, the Mini may be all that is needed.  In these cases, the smaller device will get the job done while conserving space and keeping the counter uncluttered.  iPad Kiosks to house the tablet will also be smaller.  Another great use for the Mini would be on airplanes.  As the progressive airlines have already started providing iPads for inflight use, why not save space and use a Mini instead?

Simpler Apps

In the retail environment, simpler is often better.  With less real estate on the mini screen, business app developers will be forced to keep their interfaces simpler.   Processes and wording will need to be streamlined which ultimately benefits the user.

What are your thoughts on the new iPad Mini?  Will it dominate the Kindle and give Apple a true monopoly within the tablet industry?

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