December 20, 2011 at 18:55 PM EST
Will iPad Mini Compete With Kindle Fire?
If rumors are to be believed Apple Inc. will be releasing a mini iPad in addition to the next generation iPad 3 next year. According to Digitimes, a 7.85 inch iPad will be released before the fourth quarter of 2012 and the new iPad at the end of the first quarter.
(IBTimes) -- 12/20/2011 --

If rumors are to be believed Apple Inc. will be releasing a mini iPad in addition to the next generation iPad 3 next year. According to Digitimes, a 7.85 inch iPad will be released before the fourth quarter of 2012 and the new iPad at the end of the first quarter. According to the report the decision to produce a smaller sized iPad was spurred by increasing market competition from Amazon's Kindle Fire and other larger size smartphones. The rumors have been circulating for over year and there is a good chance that at one point Apple did experiment with a smaller iPad but the real question here is will the company even release it? And better yet, why should Apple even want to?

It would seem logical for Apple to release a smaller tablet to compete in the emerging market. Amazon's Kindle Fire has attracted consumers with its relatively cheap price of $199 and emerged as a strong second in the tablet market. An iPad Mini could be priced in the $250 to $300 range which is inexpensive enough to compete with both Amazon and Barnes and Noble's Nook Tablet.

While this may sound like a good business strategy for other companies struggling to get a toehold in the tablet market, Apple doesn't need to. The iPad currently accounts for 59 percent of the tablet market. Apple is also more interested in catering to high-end customers. The company builds quality products that are more expensive than their competitors and the strategy works.

A 7 inch tablet is also too small for some applications. Users have already complained about the Kindle Fire's touchscreen and how the small screen size led to frequent tap errors and accidental activation. Some users have also complained about some web pages not showing up properly. With all the problems the Kindle Fire is facing about its small screen size, would Apple actually make a mini iPad that could have the same problems?

Rumors about new Apple products will always circulate and it is entirely possible that Apple is keeping the iPad mini under wraps for now but until there is actual proof that a smaller screen is being manufactured, the iPad Mini will remain a rumor.

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