iPad Mini: Five Reasons Apple Should Release It
What could a miniature tablet from Apple do for mobile gaming?
Steve Jobs famously described miniature tablets as "dead on arrival" in a 2010 earnings call. While that may be true, he also told Tim Cook shortly before his premature death: "Never ask what he would do, just do what's right", citing the paralysis that struck the The Walt Disney Company following the death of its founder.
So it's no surprise then that rumors of a seven-inch screen mini iPad persist. It's on again, it's off again. A friend of a friend of a worker at a factory swears it's true. Putting all of the rumor-mongering around its existence aside, what would a brand-new, miniature iPad do for entertainment and, more importantly, mobile gaming?
A Lighter, Cheaper Load
It took us at least a fortnight to work up the nerve to leave the house with our iPads as a matter of course. These things don't come cheap, and while we wouldn't exactly expect a mini version of the best-selling hardware to cost pocket-money, we'd certainly feel a lot more comfortable about throwing a smaller version of it in our bags (or even our pockets) before going to the office, and without the worry of dragging it out in the evenings. We love gaming on the bigger screen of the iPad, but we wouldn't say no to something somewhere in the middle.
New Life For Old Tech
While it's one of our favorite iOS devices, the iPod Touch has lost something of its way within the Apple family at large, and the iPhone's become the more natural purchase given the mobile's obvious additional advantages. A mini iPad would make a great replacement for the device, and provide a natural bridge between Apple's smallest and largest screens.
More Power To You
Every iteration of the iPad hardware brings a crisper display with greater horsepower under the hood, so we're intrigued at the idea of what Apple could pack into a smaller tablet. A crisp Retina display certainly seems like a no-brainer, and it might even include the same processing advantages of the most recent iteration of the traditional iPad.
Games, Games and More Games
More gamers, on more devices, means more developers throwing their weight behind the already impressive gaming output of the App Store. If Apple can bring a larger, but still portable, screen to mobile gamers (and at a lower cost), it'll give people more pause for thought when choosing their handheld gaming device of choice.
There'll always be those who prefer buttons to touchscreens, and there are certain games that we ourselves will always want to use a controller with, but it opens up the App Store's big-screen gaming to a potentially even larger audience.
With more and more people opting to pick up a Kindle as their electronic reader of choice, a mini iPad would be a great way for Apple to claim its share of a market that's on the verge of exploding. It would also do much to trample out the flames that have been started by the Kindle Fire. Sure, you can read e-books on the iPad, but it's a bit like having a lightbulb shone in your face while you do so, and it's not the most comfortable device to hold when you're reading in bed.
While the technology giant is famous for introducing must-have luxury goods, it would do them no harm at all to be able to straddle all areas of the entertainment technology market, with new affordable options to suit every wallet. Apple's already set a precedent in selling the new iPad side-by-side with earlier models, so a further iteration of the hardware seems more likely now than ever.
Will a smaller iPad ever see the light of day? We'll have to see, but there are more than a few good reasons for Apple to make this miniature move.