Bits & Bytes: Mini iPad likely to pull in mega sales
BY ROBERT EVATT World Staff Writer
Sunday, October 28, 2012
10/28/12 at 6:30 AM
My first reaction to seeing Apple CEO Tim Cook unveil the iPad Mini last week was "Yep, that sure is an iPad Mini."
It has a 7.9-inch screen compared to the regular iPad's 9.7-inch screen, but other than that it's pretty much the same. Same functionality, same apps, same processing power, same Bat-time, same Bat-station.
But I've learned to never count out form factor. The way a product looks and feels can have a big impact on how it sells, no matter what kind of numbers are on the spec sheet.
Take the iPhone 5. For all its improvements, the main thing people notice when they see mine is how thin it is and how it feels in their hands.
And part of the reason people have kept buying iPods all these years is because they keep coming out in interesting shapes and bright colors.
The same thing goes for tablets. The difference between a 10-inch and a 7-inch tablet might not seem like much, but the 7-inch Android tablets are a remarkably different experience from their bigger brothers. They simply feel lighter and more portable.
Speaking of which, the number of 7-inch tablets introduced over the past year seem to greatly outweigh new 10-inch tablets. Either the manufacturers are playing follow the leader, or there's a big market for the size. The iPad Mini is well-positioned to take advantage of that market.
Then there's the matter of price. The starter cost of $329 isn't bad at all and should spark fence-sitters into action.
But it's also a reprieve for other tablets: $329 is still quite a bit above the $199 7-inch Kindle Fire, and you can easily get the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab II for the same price. Sure, it'll make things more competitive, but there's still just enough space for tablets that offer a decent experience for less money.
While we're on the subject, the most surprising thing to come from the Apple conference is that the third-generation iPad is being retired after just six months. Why couldn't they have just waited until next April? A lot of people in the Twitterverse are pretty annoyed at the move.
Then again, a lot of people were annoyed at the iPhone 4's antenna problems, and it still sold like crazy. The iPad looks like it will continue to rule the tablet space with an iron fist for the foreseeable future.
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Twitterverse loved 'binders of women' meme for all of 2 days
Awhile back I talked about memes - those phrases, photos and other ideas that go viral and show up on your social network feeds. The last few days I think we've seen a new meme break the record for fastest spread.
During the second presidential debate, Mitt Romney strung together the words "binders full of women." No matter what you think of his politics or what he was trying to say, the Twitter universe pounced on it like Labrador retriever puppies on an unguarded cheeseburger.
In the moments after he said that, Twitter commenters went from retweeting it en masse to making jokes about it and coming up with new meanings for it. The #bindersfullofwomen hashtag - the word for a Twitter tag that lets people find tweets - became the most-searched term.
Within minutes, a parody Twitter account pretending to be Romney's binders was created. After a few more minutes, people were creating image memes based on the phrase. A Tumblr blog was started on the subject. And, somehow, someone made a cartoon video on the binders well before the sun came up.
The meme rampaged across Twitter and Facebook for a day or two, but it soon died off almost as quickly as it blossomed. Maybe this is a sign of the increasingly fast spread if information, though it's probably what happens when tens of millions of people see the same thing at the same time.
Original Print Headline: Mini iPad likely to pull in mega sales
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Apple's Philip Schiller discusses the iPad Mini during an event in San Jose, Calif., on Tuesday. The $329 price tag for the 7.9-inch device is still quite a bit above the $199 7-inch Kindle Fire. NOAH BERGER / Bloomberg