Posted by: Viki ZabalaOctober 23, 2012
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:
- Apple iPad Mini -- it's real, and it has a new design, CNET
- iPad Mini starts at $329, is thinner than a pencil, NBCNews.com
- Apple Unveils iPad Mini, The Wall Street Journal
Posted by: Viki ZabalaSeptember 6, 2012
While all eyes remain focused on Apple’s official Sept. 12 unveiling of the iPhone 5 and iOS 6, other major mobile competitors are holding their own media events to launch new products ahead of Apple’s highly anticipated launch. Still, reports point to Android’s continued position as top dog in terms of world market share for mobile devices. And, with the holiday travel season just around the corner, mobile users will want to check out the red-hot HotelTonight app that lets spontaneous travelers check-in to hotels for last-minute stays around the globe.
September is shaping up to be a huge month for mobile industry announcements. On Sept. 5, Nokia unveiled its new Lumia Windows phone, which will serve as the flagship handset in its Microsoft alliance, reports USA Today. “The Lumia 920 is a smartphone experience so immersive that you’ll never want to put it down,” said Jo Harlow, executive vice president of smart devices at Nokia, in a ZDNet piece. Similarly rushing to beat the iPhone was Motorola, which revealed a top-of-the-line Droid Razr phone at a Sept. 5 New York event. CNET reports that the device will feature a sharper screen and a higher-capacity battery.
On Thursday, Sept. 6, Amazon is expected to debut new Kindle devices. Technology companies used to divulge new products at enormous conferences, such as the Consumer Electronics Show, but have now followed Apple’s footsteps to create their own press events. “It seems that the rumor of an Apple announcement is having an effect on competitors’ announcements, unless it’s an amazing coincidence,” said Gartner technology analyst Michael Gartenberg to The New York Times.
Though we are just days away from the iPhone 5’s unveiling, Android remains “king” of the world mobile market. According to the latest smartphone sales figures from Kantar Worldpanel Comtech, the Google-powered operating system stakes a more than 61 percent share in eight key regions, including the U.S., European Union and Brazil. That’s a nearly 10 percent overall increase in the past year. In the U.S. market alone, however, Android’s holdings fell 4.5 percent in favor of Apple’s iOS platform.
As consumers eagerly await the new iPhone, Apple is allowing existing users to cash in on their current devices. According to TheNextWeb, Apple is offering through its Reuse and Recycle program up to $345 for older iPhone models. Users can simply input their devices’ model, color and donation, and Apple will calculate what it believes the product is worth. After agreeing to return power cable cords with iPhones, Apple will then generate a gift certificate for the user, redeemable for a new purchase in its online store.
Wildly popular smartphone app HotelTonight, which allows users to book same-day reservations for hotels, has now dropped in to 10 U.S. and U.K. cities and has tallied more 3 million downloads to date. In the past year, HotelTonight has impressively launched apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. “Hitting the 3 million download mark and announcing ten new cities shows how serious we are about our aggressive expansion and fulfilling our promise to be ubiquitous,” said Jared Simon, co-founder and COO, HotelTonight, to TheNextWeb. Read how HotelTonight teamed up with Fiksu to help “book its success” here.