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Handhelds Microsoft Windows Apple

Apple iPad Mini Could Complicate Things For Windows 8 Tablets 200

Posted by Soulskill
from the or-keep-them-very-very-simple dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Current rumor suggests that Apple is gearing up to unveil its iPad Mini Oct. 17, with invitations to media arriving Oct. 10. That's according to Fortune, which obtained the information from an unnamed Apple investor who, in turn, heard those dates from other unnamed sources. While that attribution might prove a bit too vaporous for some people, it does align with earlier reports from AllThingsD that Apple is planning to reveal a smaller iPad sometime in October. If those rumors prove accurate, the unveiling of an iPad Mini in that timeframe could prove very bad news for the upcoming Windows 8 tablets. (Gizmodo offers a pretty complete rumor rundown on the iPad Mini's possible features here.) Unlike the traditional PC market, Microsoft doesn't dominate the market for mobile-device operating systems. Windows 7 tablets never gained much of a toehold among tablet users, who prefer iPads and Android-based devices by wide margins. When it comes to Windows 8 (and Windows RT, the version of next-generation Windows for ARM architecture), Microsoft is starting out as the underdog."
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Apple iPad Mini Could Complicate Things For Windows 8 Tablets

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  • by ericloewe (2129490) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @04:37PM (#41530455)

    From what I've seen, Windows 8 tablets are focused on the 9-12 inch segment. I'd say the real threat posed by the iPad Mini is against the smaller stuff, like the small Kindle Fire (HD or not), Nexus 7 and similar hardware.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @04:39PM (#41530489)

      The speculated size is 7.85". Which puts it somewhere in-between. Microsoft's biggest tablet problem is that they haven't learned the HP TouchPad lesson... the only way to compete with Apple today is to massively undercut them on price. Microsoft hasn't even announced official Surface prices yet, but the early rumors suggested they might actually cost more than a full-size iPad.

      • by tyrione (134248)

        The speculated size is 7.85". Which puts it somewhere in-between. Microsoft's biggest tablet problem is that they haven't learned the HP TouchPad lesson... the only way to compete with Apple today is to massively undercut them on price. Microsoft hasn't even announced official Surface prices yet, but the early rumors suggested they might actually cost more than a full-size iPad.

        It is impossible to undercut Apple on price as Apple [thankfully] will secure the bulk components 6-12 months in advance barring Microsoft from doing so, not to mention Microsoft can't actually afford to play loss leader with Apple. They will just accelerate their own bankruptcy.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @04:41PM (#41530543)

      I think the concern is that the iPad mini will steal the Slate's thunder and may come in cheaper than an iPad 2 which is $399. It would be a black eye for Microsoft if the flagship Windows 8 tablet fails to gain any traction in the marketplace.

    • by Locutus (9039)
      and Steve Ballmers comments about the pricing would follow them going for the high end of the market. Don't forget, netbooks dragged Microsoft kicking and screaming into the low end 'laptop' market. Once they sweet talked OEMs into using Microsoft's old and even a limited version for extremely low licensing and including marketing packages which most likely eliminated the OS "expense" for the OEM...Microsoft came out with Windows 7 for netbooks and pretty much killed that cheap netbook market.

      Free or very c
      • by Cassini2 (956052)

        With falling hardware prices, Microsoft's ability to charge $200/computer (Windows+Office) for software is not supportable in the long-term. Customers will simply refuse to pay it.

        People will pay a few percent of the unit price for software. After that point, it becomes very tough to sell bundled software. Microsoft has a massive lock-in on the Windows PC, however this lock in is not worth $200/unit * 500 million units/year, especially in expanding non-traditional markets like mobile phones.

  • Who fucking cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @04:37PM (#41530461)

    There is absolutely no story here. Nothing to even connect Microsoft and Apple.

    "Competition from X could be bad for Y".

    What a fucking wank fest this site is. Anyways, flame on, dopes.

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      This is just more of the same sort of "Apple is inevitable rah rah" kind of nonsense that has been perpetuated since the release of the iPad. Apple appears to be finally acknowledging a use case they tried to ignore. They are being dragged kicking and screaming by the market into releasing a product like what everyone else already has.

      "Apple eats crow" would be a better headline for this situation (assuming it's even true).

      • by rtb61 (674572)

        Just more Apple marketing. Ohh leaks and special information about super special Apple products, really all so lame. Notice Apple never public comments, it always leaks, yet it is the most security conscious employees must STFU or be fired company on the planet. When will this lame arsed marketing tactic end.

    • Actually, if you replace the X with "Apple" and the Y with "Microsoft"...they seem pretty connected. You can't throw me off with your skillful use of variables in quotes!

  • by cervesaebraciator (2352888) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @04:41PM (#41530529)
    Oh, wait... [wikipedia.org]
  • by who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @04:41PM (#41530537)
    I should be able to mod down the story so nobody has to read this garbage.
    • by Hillgiant (916436)

      *pfff* we have to have at least three Apple related stories a day so that all the karma whores can get in their Samsung >> Apple, lol round corners, and lawsuit jokes.

  • We can only hope... (Score:5, Informative)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @04:43PM (#41530567) Journal

    Would it be poor taste to sneak a large Steve Jobs poster onto the outside of Apple's release venue, with his quotes on 7 inch tablets?

    "If you take an iPad and hold it upright in portrait view and draw an imaginary horizontal line halfway down the screen, the screens on the seven-inch tablets are a bit smaller than the bottom half of the iPad display. This size isn't sufficient to create great tablet apps in our opinion.
    Well, one could increase the resolution of the display to make up for some of the difference. It is meaningless, unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of the present size. Apple's done extensive user-testing on touch interfaces over many years, and we really understand this stuff. There are clear limits of how close you can physically place elements on a touch screen before users cannot reliably tap, flick, or pinch them. This is one of the key reasons we think the 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps."

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      People have spent quite a bit of time on this already, and if their math is right, the table will actually be 7.85" with a 1024x768 resolution. Why are they so sure of that size? Because it provides the same touch area target sizes as used by the iPhone/iPod. Moving close to 8" also makes a big difference.

    • by houghi (78078)

      The thing is, they are not interested in creating great apps. They just want to sell the hardware.

    • by BLToday (1777712)

      Steve said a lot of things. What he meant was "we're working on something like that but we don't want to show our hand so we're going to be publicly dismissive of it."

      • Mod parent up. I don't know why more people haven't figured out this is how Apple operates. The only thing I can think of that they were publicly dismissive of and didn't ever do a 180 on is flash on mobile. And if Adobe had ever figured out how to make flash on mobile work well and hadn't abandoned the project, you can bet that Apple would have eventually included a flash compatible runtime (either written by Adobe or licensed from Adobe) while conveniently forgetting that they ever hated it.

    • Well said. However, this is not a 7-inch tablet. This is a 7.85-inch tablet. You see, Steve was correct that 7 inches is too small. However, 7.85 inches is the perfect size. It just took Apple several years of research to find out exactly the perfect size.

  • Meh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo@woCURIErld3.net minus physicist> on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @04:46PM (#41530615) Homepage

    If the rumours are true and judging by the lack of innovation with the iPhone 5 it seems likely that the iPad Mini won't be anything special. Gizmodo seems to be expecting a sub-HD screen, the same as the iPhone, and fairly pedestrian hardware specs. iOS 6 is already out so we know what to expect from that.

    Their competitors are doing things like split screen multitasking at a price point it seems unlikely Apple will be able to match (the iPod Touch is $300).

    • If people are concerned about size why would it have to be more innovative than the bigger ipad? it just needs to be the right size for you. I would imagine for a lot of people this isn't a replacement for the larger ipad. It's for people who don't want the large one.
      • by sl149q (1537343)

        iPads are mobile within an office environment.

        iPad mini's will be more mobile out of doors. They'll sell a higher proportion of LTE versions than the larger iPad.

        iPads are perfect for PDF documents. But a bit big for reading novels in bed.

        iPad mini's are about the right size for recreational reading. And again more portable (fit in purse or backpack better) so more likely to be with you for reading.

        Both sizes will sell well. They solve different problems.

  • by busyqth (2566075) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @04:48PM (#41530645)
    Where's my ~14" A4/Letter sized tablet? Give me a full sized page of text please.
  • Complicate? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mitchell_pgh (536538) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @04:50PM (#41530677)

    I would argue that it does considerably more than simply complicate things. The iPad mini will show that Apple can create and expand upon a range of high quality devices on what is essentially a single platform. It's all about the ecosystem that you can buy today vs. Microsoft's ever persistent promises of a better tomorrow. While that may be an oversimplification, most end users just want something that works, looks great, and makes their lives easier. Currently, I don't see that with Windows outside of the traditional desktop experience.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      The Windows ecosystem is vast, and a lot of business users in particular will love being able to run MS Office on their tablets. Microsoft's biggest advantage is always software compatibility.

      • Except that the ARM based devices won't be able to tap that ecosystem *at all*, and the x86 based devices are priced so high that the only people that will buy them are the ones that have a very specific need such as a tablet that ties into Active Directory.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Microsoft's biggest advantage to date is simply "Windows". Microsoft is a "windows" company, that is what they sell and support. Everything is built on, around and for windows (including Xbox btw). That is also their Achilles' Heal.

        They cannot or will not support, fully, other devices and OSes. Nobody wants Windows 8 except a few. There is a huge market for Office Support on other products that is being filled by other people, not Microsoft. They will never make that market, because it isn't "Windows".

        Windo

    • I was with you until the last sentence. Let me help you out.

      I would argue that it does considerably more than simply complicate things. The iPad mini will show that Apple can create and expand upon a range of high quality devices on what is essentially a single platform. It's all about the ecosystem that you can buy today vs. Microsoft's ever persistent promises of a better tomorrow. While that may be an oversimplification, most end users just want something that works, looks great, and makes their lives easier. Currently, I don't see that with Windows.

  • Didn't Steve Jobs say publicly that a tablet any smaller than the iPad is useless as a tablet and if its bigger than the iPhone its useless as a phone, aiming directly at the 7" Android tablets hitting the market?
    • and the exact quote

      If you take an iPad and hold it upright in portrait view and draw an imaginary horizontal line halfway down the screen, the screens on the seven-inch tablets are a bit smaller than the bottom half of the iPad display. This size isn't sufficient to create great tablet apps in our opinion.

      Well, one could increase the resolution of the display to make up for some of the difference. It is meaningless, unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of the present size. Apple's done extensive user-testing on touch interfaces over many years, and we really understand this stuff. There are clear limits of how close you can physically place elements on a touch screen before users cannot reliably tap, flick, or pinch them. This is one of the key reasons we think the 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps.

      Third, every tablet user is also a smartphone user. No tablet can compete with the mobility of a smartphone, its ease of fitting into your pocket or purse, its unobtrusiveness when used in a crowd. Given that all tablet users will already have a smartphone in their pockets, giving up precious display area to fit a tablet in our pockets is clearly the wrong trade-off. The 7-inch tablets are tweeners, too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with an iPad.

      Fourth, almost all of these new tablets use Android software, but even Google is telling the tablet manufacturers not to use their current release, Froyo, for tablets, and to wait for a special tablet release next year. What does it mean when your software supplier does not (inaudible) to use their software in your tablet? And what does it mean when you ignore them and use it anyway?

      Fifth, iPad now has over 35,000 apps on the App Store. This new crop of tablets will have near zero. And sixth and last, our potential competitors are having a tough time coming close to iPad's pricing, even with their far smaller, far less expensive screens. The iPad incorporates everything we have learned about building high value products from iPhones, iPods, and Macs. We create our own A4 chip, our own software, our own battery chemistry, our own enclosure, our own everything. And this results in an incredible product at a great price. The proof of this will be in the pricing of our competitor's products, which will likely offer less for more.

      These are among the reasons we think the current crop of 7-inch tablets are going to be DOA, dead on arrival. Their manufacturers will learn the painful lesson that their tablets are too small and increase the size next year, thereby abandoning both customers and developers who jumped on the 7-inch bandwagon with an orphan product. Sounds like lots of fun ahead.

    • The guy is dead too. I suspect he wouldn't have released the maps app in iOS6 ln its current state and yet that has happened.
      • Yes. Last time Apple was without Steve it nearly went bankrupt.

        I'll just wait for the book titled "How Tim Cook destroyed a $100,000,000,000 company"
        • The last time Apple was without Steve, the board forced Apple out, and instituted policies that were the opposite of what Steve would have done. It was these policies that made Apple nearly go bankrupt. This time, the CEO and top executives were all hand picked by Steve for their ability and willingness to continue his policies in his absence. Remember, Tim Cook was effectively acting-CEO for the last year or so that Steve officially held that post due to Steve's health issues. Apple did perfectly fine duri

  • Plant (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MogNuts (97512) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @04:54PM (#41530733)

    Always nice to know that Apple plant's stories (or exposes the media bias). I love how everytime some big iPad killer is announced, *someone* posts a story about the iPad mini. Remember the Nexus 7 launch? One week later there was a iPad mini that proved to be vaporware. At least this time it's BEFORE the launch of Win 8, so we'll see it was just a plant story of vaporware.

    • Re:Plant (Score:5, Insightful)

      by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @05:20PM (#41531115)

      Always nice to know that Apple plant's stories (or exposes the media bias). I love how everytime some big iPad killer is announced, *someone* posts a story about the iPad mini. Remember the Nexus 7 launch? One week later there was a iPad mini that proved to be vaporware. At least this time it's BEFORE the launch of Win 8, so we'll see it was just a plant story of vaporware.

      So Apple must have planted these stories even though their official stance has been "We don't comment on upcoming products." All the while they are orchestrating some media campaign to discredit competing devices (which they don't really compete against anyways). Or the other plausible explanation is that in the vacuum of real information, many fans endlessly speculate on upcoming products? If you want FUD campaigns, see what MS was doing in the 80s and 90s. The problem for MS is that it doesn't work any more.

      • by MogNuts (97512)

        Always nice to know that Apple plant's stories (or exposes the media bias). I love how everytime some big iPad killer is announced, *someone* posts a story about the iPad mini. Remember the Nexus 7 launch? One week later there was a iPad mini that proved to be vaporware. At least this time it's BEFORE the launch of Win 8, so we'll see it was just a plant story of vaporware.

        So Apple must have planted these stories even though their official stance has been "We don't comment on upcoming products." All the while they are orchestrating some media campaign to discredit competing devices (which they don't really compete against anyways). Or the other plausible explanation is that in the vacuum of real information, many fans endlessly speculate on upcoming products? If you want FUD campaigns, see what MS was doing in the 80s and 90s. The problem for MS is that it doesn't work any more.

        Yup. It's classic PR. Just like those "supposed" lost iPhones, that happened *twice* around the time before it was soon released. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. They simply had someone in the company release to the media as a anonymous "trusted" source some BS about the iPad mini. So you're telling me the iPad mini was released when the Nexus 7 was? I haven't heard anything about it.

        Apple is the world's best marketing company. You think they don't practice good marketing and PR?

        And

  • Microsoft and Android will have to fight a serious uphill battle against iPad. I have an iPad and love it to read material but as content creator (Even simple emails), it sucks. The market is wide open to fill the content creation gap.

    • "Microsoft and Android will have to fight a serious uphill battle against iPad. I have an iPad and love it to read material but as content creator (Even simple emails), it sucks. The market is wide open to fill the content creation gap."

      I think it's the other way around. Unless it gets the patent courts on its side, Apple will have a serious battle maintaining its marketshare against the CheapPad or CheapTab makers. It might not seem obvious in the upmarket that's the US of A, but in other parts of the worl

  • by logicassasin (318009) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @05:00PM (#41530847)

    ... quietly, somewhere at the Apple offices all records of and references to the iPod Touch are being destroyed.

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @05:28PM (#41531211) Journal

    Between us, I suspect that whatever Apple chooses to do will wipe the floor with whatever Windows 8 ends up being, but I have a hard time making myself care either way.

  • iPad Mini market is clearly for home users looking for an entertainment platform.

    Windows 8 tablets are aimed squarely at the enterprise crowd.

    Simply put, iPad has had a slow adoption into the enterprise world due to a real lack of compatibility with the Microsoft systems STILL IN HEAVY usage in enterprise. People can shit on Microsoft all they want for no longer capturing the consumer market, but Microsoft is still king in enterprise. People bring an iPad into the office expecting a large amount of compro

    • Yes enterprise users will switch in a heartbeat from 19in dual screen set ups to single 7" screen tablets *rolls eyes*

  • by Sir Holo (531007) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @07:21PM (#41532287)
    FTA: ...Microsoft is starting out as the underdog."

    That's a strange way to put it.

    More accurate would be "...Microsoft has been unsuccessful in its more than 15 years of attempts at the mobile platform, despite its dominance in other sectors during that time."
  • Microsoft's efforts will at least accomplish something worthwhile: force Apple and Google to recognize the need for real applications like LibreOffice on tablets as opposed to just forcing users to accept a steady diet of media consumption and lightweight apps.

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