Apple Releases iPad Mini Today – What Does It Mean for App Developers and Marketers?

Apple already made quite a big splash in the mobile world this fall, releasing its iPhone 5 to record-breaking sales and pushing out its iOS 6 operating system to a staggering 200 million devices. Now, on the verge of the holiday shopping season, the technology giant has unveiled a long-awaited, smaller-format tablet – the iPad Mini – that is expected to shake up the market with its ultra-sleek design and powerful display.  

Debuting today in front of an audience at the California Theater in San Jose, the iPad Mini is lighter and thinner than its elder sibling. It weighs only 0.68 pounds – more than 50 percent lighter than the standard iPad – and measures only 7.2 millimeters. It also features a 7.9-inch diagonal (versus a 9.7-inch diagonal on the current iPad), comes in black and white versions, and starts retailing at $329 for a 16-gigabyte, Wi-Fi-only model. (Models with more memory and cellular connectivity vary in price up to $659 for the high end model.)

At Fiksu, we’ve been keeping an eye on the iPad Mini and how it will affect app developers and marketers. While Apple has sold an impressive 100 million iPads in less than three years, there are considerations to be assessed before racing to incorporate the iPad Mini into user acquisition strategies:

  • Who’ll be buying the iPad Mini? Because of its $329 starting price, the iPad Mini could attract a slew of net new users, especially younger generations, who might consider it an alternative to devices such as the Xbox, Kindle, and PlayStation 3.
  • What’s the killer app category for the iPad Mini? It could well be leisure/lifestyle apps, as pundits believe the Mini might be more used in the home than out and about. Existing tablet usage has emphasized games, media, and shopping, so those categories are also likely to fare well.
  • Keep your eye on the prize. The larger iPad has an established, engaged user base and delivers a more immersive experience than its new sibling, so it provides better app-advertising real estate. In addition, the price difference may position the bigger device as a premium product, which could carry a premium price for advertising.

Pre orders will begin Friday, Oct. 26, with the device hitting shelves Friday, Nov. 2, in plenty of time for holiday shopping. And experts predict that ad spending on tablets will engulf smartphone spending for the holidays, even on the heels of last month’s iPhone 5 launch. However, the new iPad Mini could face competition from Google’s reported 10-inch Nexus tablet, which is speculated to premiere Monday, Oct. 29.

You can also read some of our recommended news articles from today’s event:

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