There’s speculation by Digitimes Research that Apple is working a mini iPad (5 to 7 inches) due out early 2011 below $400.  Why does Apple want to create a smaller competing device?  The new and more portable mini will be used for those on the go and compete against the smaller ereaders including the Amazon Kindle reader, Barnes and Noble Nook reader, and Sony reader.

Is there room in the crowded ereader niche?

We will likely achieve maximum capacity in the ereader niche with a flood of them coming to market in 2010.  Doesn’t matter whether the market can handle more competition, Apple will surely make a big splash.  How do they intend to compete with limited availability of content (i.e. ebooks) and apps?  Apple realize that they don’t have to get all their ducks in a row to be successful since the other ereaders have created apps (e.g. Kindle for iPad) already and the iBook store will eventually catch up (that’s the hope anyways).  So the motto “build it and they will come” is Apple’s strategy!

What must the incumbent ereaders do to survive?

With yet another potential threat on the horizon, current popular ereaders must innovate to stay competitive or perish the way of ereader dinosaurs.  Current market leaders must figure ways to incorporate new technology (e.g. color e-ink, faster processors, and touch technology) and optimize the tools to engage readers, enrich, and improve the reading experience.  Ereader incumbents that best cater to reader needs will have the best chance of survival and those attempting to mimic all of iPad’s (mini or otherwise) functionality will undoubtedly fail.


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  2 Responses to “Mini-Me iPad On The Horizon?”

  1. Great article! Doesn’t make my decision any easier: to purchase a Nook now for leisure and textbook reads? Or save up for the iPad (where I really don’t use different apps on a regular basis, but has a good ebook experience), OR wait for the mini-iPad, wanting to do everything I could do on the larger iPad but not able to when using the mini-iPad? Help!!*

    (Getting a headache now and wishing I could get over my gadget impulses now)

    • Tdrom, you’re probably not alone on that tough decision! A lot of people are weighing the ereaders against the iPad or wait for even more options (about 50 ereader like device to come to market in 2010!). Answering the question of how often you read will determine which device is best for you. If you are a serious reader and not too much in to the bells and whistles, then go with the dedicated devices (e.g. Kindle or Nook) because they are easier on the eyes for long-term reading. Get an iPad if you are a occasional reader and enjoy other multi-media activities (e.g. surf the net, view video/movies, playing games, etc). Good luck on finding the perfect device!

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