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Why I think the iPad Mini will be a failure

The New iPad Mini

The iPad Mini was announced yesterday, with much fanfare and a huge amount of superlatives (amazing, incredible, best, awsome..) 🙂 . The product definitely looks good and promising. It has all the features which made the original ipad a roaring success. Plus, The size is just right to fit in one hand and its lighter by 53%. I have been using iPad 2 and I have found its weight to be a major drawback. People like to use it while lying down, holding the device in hand or show it to their kids, or give it to their kids to use. All these scenarios begged for a lighter, more handy device. The iPad mini is one.
Still, I think this will be one Apple device which will be a failure in a long time. Why ?? I list down my reasons below :
1. Cost : Its priced at US$329. That must have been the biggest dilemma for Apple. Pricing it lower would have meant the mini would have cannibalized sales of it elder iPad. But that also means its much more expensive than the Kindle Fire and the Google Nexus 7, both of which are priced in the US$ 200 – 250 range. Though its true that people like to pay a premium for apple products, I feel in this case Apple is asking for too much. Consider this : Would the iPhone be a success if it is sold at an un-subsidizer price (close to US$ 700 in US) ? No.

2. Strong competition : The original iPad was a success because there was no similar device in the market at that time. We already have devices from Google, Amazon, ASUS, in the same segment as iPad Mini. The first-to-market advantage is gone.

3. Lack of Features : Dont know if people noticed, but the iPad Mini does not have a retina display. At-least it does not say so on its sales page. That very clearly means the next iPad Mini will have a retina display and Apple will market that as anything. Its processor is also not on-par with the new iPad released along with the Mini. People would want to wait for the next iteration, which would be a big success (I hope)

I may be eating my words(or blog post 🙂 ) in a few days, but right now, this is what I think.
I must also add that even though I do not have each and every Apple product ever released, I am a moderate level Apple fan and admire their technology and marketing strategy.
All the best Mr. Mini Me!

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Why are there no OS competitor to Windows?

The recent launch of Surface tablets by Microsoft is expected to change the PC hardware market dynamics. Acer has already echoed their take on this issue.
The long term impact of this might be for both software and hardware though. Microsoft’s move is a bold one no doubt. For decades, they have been in the OS and software business, content with selling their products to hardware manufacturers like dell,HP,  Toshiba and the likes.They have realized at the right time that these PC manufacturers are not showing enough growth lately and Microsoft needs a radical shift in its strategy to survive. Windows 8 is a step in that direction and is getting lot of publicity for its “radical” changes.

What I do not understand is why there are no “real” competitors to MS-Windows ?? Agreed that Windows has been a very strong player in the PC market and owns a majority stake in the market. For PC manufacturers though, that should have been a thing to worry for! They have a clear dependency on Microsoft here. They have had this dependency for years. Untill now, they were all making good money and just passing on the cost burden of Windows onto users. Now, suddenly they realize that Microsoft can go its own way also. Acer’s response indicates they do not have an alternative. It shows their frustration.

Linux never lived up to its hype on becoming the next windows. It is still too geeky to setup and is not targeted at home users. And corporate adoption has been slow. Very slow infact.

In portable/mobile OS market, there are a few options atleast : iOS, Android, Symbian etc. But in the PC world, Windows has been the dominating player. This should change. There is a clear opportunity for a new OS to make its mark here.

I guess changing this also requires strong will and risk taking from the hardware manufacturers also. Unless they are strongly interested in this, a new OS standard cannot be pushed in the market.

I hope someone comes up with an alternative soon. The PC world is shrinking, but because of its scale, it will take years before it folds completely.

I know its just wishful thinking, but with Apple focusing more and more on portables, will it consider licensing its OS X now ?? It should !!