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iPad Mini: Proof That Apple is in Decline?
Originally Published at http://goo.gl/l1H67P

While some may point to the iPhone 4S or iPhone 5, most historians agree that Apple's fall from the top began in 2012 when, panicked by the success of rival tablets, they released the iPad Mini.  While ultimately a bigger success than the full sized iPad in terms of sales, the Mini was widely panned by critics as a "me-too" mini tablet costing much more, while offering much less, than many of its 7-inch rivals.  Their rivals leapfrogged them, and before long the world's largest corporation was reduced to bankruptcy.

Will some future writer pen these words, or similar words, about the technology wars of our time?  Perhaps not, but after yesterday it seems a lot more likely.

With the iPad Mini launch, Apple may well have jumped the shark and begun a spiraling decent into irrelevance.  I say this not because they won't sell millions, I think we're all agreed they will, but most people would agree that, with its strong brand reputation, Apple could sell bottled water and millions would buy it and call it revolutionary (hydro-lutionary?  aqua-lutionary?).

Yet Apple need only ask the many tech giants who have preceded them how long such a reputation can withstand market forces when innovation takes a back seat to iteration, litigation, and the bottom line.

More so than any other iDevice Apple has ever released, the iPad Mini was an overpriced me-too device, which costs considerably more than its top rivals the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD for what amounts to nothing but recycled iPad 2 hardware in a not-so-mini mini tablet.  That millions will likely sell isn't a testament to the greatness of the product, but to the power of the brand.  Brands, however, owe their greatness to great products, and when the products stop being great, the brand loyalty tends to fade over time.

The iPhone 4S was a minor iteration over the iPhone 4, but those iterations showed progress in the product line: better graphics, a better screen, a virtual assistant who didn't quite live up to expectations, etc...  The iPhone 5 was also iterative, but iteration is still advancement.  Likewise with the "New" (now old) iPad: minor iterations, but worth the upgrade for many.

The iPad Mini not only isn't revolutionary in any way, it isn't even an iterative improvement on the iPad series, nor does it challenge opponents to step up their game (at most it challenges opponents to lower their prices further, a challenge they seem capable of meeting).

It was obvious during the launch that Apple was aware of its weaknesses, and like any good magician they practiced the art of misdirection, focusing on red herring issues like how that extra .9-inches of screen real estate mean a better browsing experience (because tapping or pinching to zoom is such an enormous hardship, apparently), or their subtle assertion that the Nexus 7 feels "cheap" and "plasticky" (which, outside the reality distortion field at least, is nowhere near true; sorry, Apple, but even professional fanboi +M.G. Siegler doesn't agree with you on that one; http://goo.gl/ReW2P).

Even Samsung wouldn't try to make a selling point of having the biggest mini tablet out there... it's a mini for a reason, after all!  If anything even Apple must have known their "mini" wasn't really very mini, how else to explain those ungodly narrow bezels in portrait mode?  Those bezels are so narrow that, to borrow a Jobsianism, they make no sense for normal human hands unless it also comes with sandpaper to file down your fingers with.

Let me repeat: the iPad Mini will sell millions.  It will probably outsell the larger iPad eventually.  To someone who only sees quarterly revenue, all will seem well in Cupertino Town.  But to someone with a longer view of the technology landscape, the death of a technology firm starts the minute innovation takes a back seat to profit.  And that's precisely what Apple has done, repackaging an old tablet into a smaller form factor.

If the iPad 2 still had any cutting edge features, this might not be so bad, but it doesn't; not one single feature apart from its size sets the Mini apart from newer iPads or from more affordable, and more advanced, competitors.  That it runs the latest version of iOS may be its only saving grace, but many would argue (rightfully so) that innovation in iOS has also slowed to a "me-too" level (not to mention the #ios6mapocalypse ).

The iPad Mini is a good choice for those who won't buy any tablet but an iPad and want something smaller or more affordable, but even then you're being cheated in a choice between the overall-better 4th generation iPad, an only slightly more expensive iPad 2, and a more advanced but much smaller and slightly cheaper new iPod Touch.  Worse, the price increments go up $100 each time you double the memory, even though the actual cost of that increase is only a fraction of that.

If you want the most advanced mini tablet, buy a Nexus 7, buy a Kindle Fire HD, heck buy a Barnes & Noble Nook.  All three companies are still trying to earn your patronage by giving you the best they can offer at the best price they can offer.  Neither of which can be said for Apple.  Apple thinks you're a fool with (as my colleague +Brian Hartman put it) "more money than sense".

Most likely they'll be vindicated in this belief, sadly, but take heart: Apple can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but they will never fool all of the people all of the time.  Resting on their laurels may win them a few battles, but in the end will likely lose them the war.

#Apple   #iPadMini   #Nexus7
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402 comments
 
Great article +Eli Fennell, I have to admit I didn't read the whole thing but I did read most of it... Just a question, did you end up getting that Nexus 7?

Enjoy
 
Apple has peaked. Coming soon: declining market share and outraged shareholders.
 
+Mathieu Leclerc I did.  I was skeptical of the 7-inch form factor, but between problems with my Xoom that made me concerned it would fail (and I need a tablet for various professional and educational purposes), and the glowing reviews even from iPad fanbois, I bought it and was not disappointed.  Best tablet on the market overall, in my opinion.
 
But the iApple iPad Mini has the thunderdome connector! :)
 
I'm waiting for rumors of a new UI to come out. I look forward to the day 'field of icons' isn't considered a good UI.
 
+Eli Fennell good choice on the Nexus 7... I also installed Nova Prime as a launcher to increase customizability... I have not yet seen a iPad mini, it must look good, and as you mentioned in your article it doesn't really bring new innovation to the table.
 
+Mathieu Leclerc You've seen one now... it's the pic that goes with this post.  Look at those side bezels!  That's crazy!  I thought the N7's bezels in portrait mode verged on being too small, but those!  Yeesh!
 
+Christian Orpinell Thanks for reading the whole thing.  I didn't really think it was that long, LOL, but I believe in covering my bases when writing an article.  Heck, I left a lot out to get it down that small, and I thought the launch of a new Apple product, which always generates thousands, millions of articles, was worth a couple pages.
 
The kicker for me is that the WiFi only models of the iPad Mini don't have GPS. A portable tablet without GPS is ludicrous, even if it doesn't come with LTE or HSPA+.
 
+Andre McPhail Really?  I'd heard that, but it's confirmed?  No GPS?  Jeez, what a freakin' ripoff.
 
+Christian Orpinell Exactly.  They didn't love doing this, they did this as more of a chore.  They loved making iPhone; they loved making iPad; they clearly hated making this one and did it out of a sense of obligation to the market.
 
The iPad Mini should have been called the iPad 2 Mini with thunderdome connector. :)
 
I've just been informed that the EU retail price of this gizmo will be € 339. Absurdly overpriced! They must be joking.
 
+Joseph Moosman Oh, right, you guys have those weird taxes on these things.  No wonder Android's kicking butt in the EU... lower cost means less impact from the taxes.
 
+Joseph Moosman Undoubtedly true.  But I wonder about the logic of it when it pertains to computing technology.  Seems to me there's bound to be a tradeoff in hobbling that market.
 
+Eli Fennell no more hobbled than any other market. I assume you are referring to our VAT taxes. They are fairly standardized on non-food items. 25% in Sweden.  In spite of this enormous "handicap"  we have one of the very most competitive economies in the world. Far more competitive than the US, for example.
 
+Joseph Moosman Not in terms of technology.  Name for me the European equivalent of Apple, Google, or Microsoft?  And no, Nokia doesn't count anymore.
 
+Eli Fennell Well, Europe is pretty good at making cars: Mercedes, Volkswagen, Fiat, Renault, Citroën, etc. This is partially thanks to the high taxes on gas, because European manufacturers were forced to focus more on economical fuel consumption and they could make an advantage of it on the global market.
 
+László Torma True.  But I'm not sure the comparison between the two is actually valid in all details.
 
+Eli Fennell To your point:  The iPad Mini looks to me like a device made more out of spite than obligation. ;)
 
+Brian Hartman That's probably true.  They just didn't want Android to have an opening.  As if size was their only opening, LOL.  I gather Amazon has been very careful to avoid Apple patents... which will be trickier if they ever make a smartphone.
 
+Eli Fennell You are right. But I think the problem in Europe isn't just the high taxes on consumption. I think the biggest problem is that it is much harder to successfully start a new company in Europe than in the United States: higher taxes on employment, more paperwork, more regulations. Most of the successful European companies are very old: even Nokia is more than 140 years old. Google didn't exist 20 years ago, and even Microsoft or Apple are less than 40 years old.
 
+László Torma Yes.  I don't want to sound like an American supremacist here... there are things I wish we would adopt from the EU... but, if the EU was such an economic powerhouse, why do we in the U.S. go on with business as usual when someone else's economy is failing, but if we fail, the freakin sky is falling for everyone?  We're clearly more business-friendly... too business-friendly some would argue... the best scenario would be somewhere in the middle for both.  Because, frankly, you can't call us evil capitolists if our evil capitolism supports your economy... and we can't call you freeloaders if you take care of your own and we don't take care of our own.
 
Well written, and keenly argued.
 
If I am a game I would get the iPad mini instead of nexus 7
 
+Sean Sanders I live near an Apple store... it's jam packed on new product release days, otherwise not.

But if you bothered to read my article (it seems, and sorry if I'm assuming wrong, you haven't) that the decline I referred to isn't one that will yet show in quarterly revenues.  It's a broader, bigger picture... the same kind that screwed Apple back in the day against Windows.
 
Nexus 7 is sold at big box stores like staples, future shop and best buy. Good try your ignorance isn't proof of anything.

Also anyone who buys this is foolish. Its only marginal smaller since its still 8 inches. The screen is old 1024x768 that is resolution on my laptop in 1998. Only 512mb of ram is laughable.... and not GPS seriously?? Haha. Oh and the old a5 chipset.

I guess you'd buy this if you didn't care about specs but then it still makes you a fool.

What a foolish product.
 
The Kindle and Nook is well-known, and the Nexus 7 and the Nexus series itself is getting bigger and bigger by the day. People will realize that the iPad mini doesn't offer many features for the hefty price. And even Apple fans sometimes realize this. Look at how widespread the failure of Apple Maps became.
 
+Eli Fennell, your thoughts echo a comment I made to +Sameer Singh's post yesterday:

I will hazard a guess that iPad Mini is the first non-Jobs product out of Apple. I will also project that this knee-jerk reaction to Nexus 7 marks Apple's entry into the ranks of the average US corporation: ruled by finance. I think that five years from now, people will realize this was the start of the slide into mediocrity, when engineers and managers realized that it was time to leave.

The froth is too fresh right now, the product shine ("it's so thin!") too bright, and cash-on-hand too incredible for anyone to question Tim Cook. But the karma of both his ruthless domination of suppliers and his rule-by-numbers financials will return and strangle the magic, slowly, surely.
 
These tablets are popular in that mini size for a couple for reasons. I think the 2 equally are size which makes it very portable and easier to look at for a long time than a phone. Keeping in mind the Iphone had the smallest screen out there for a very long time. And the IP5 isn't much better. So they had to cater to that market because those people were buying a kindle, nexus 7 or nook. Even if it was in some opinions as good as a full ipad. The 2nd and equally important point here is price. Less than 300 is the sweet spot for these devices. heck 250 or less and you got a winner. I agree 329 for the Mini doesn't make sense the price on the comparable models of Android decent make them almost throw away device or something people buy for their kids for road trips and the like instead of a net book. 329 firmly places this out of that market too. and as for  +Sean Sanders  what you quoted is exactly what +Eli Fennell was saying . It is the apple marketing machine hard at work. No doubt there will be droves of folks who call it revo-somthing. But only because it came from apple other did it before them as is the case in many things apple does but it is not sold to them in the same cult like way (hehehe just kidding). Honestly i equate the apple marketing machine to the AXIS war machine of WWII. It is sold to people who do not believe it can be stopped and there is nothing else like it. When in reality it is just like everything else or similar. (If it wasn't other companies like Samsung wouldn't be getting sued by apple.) Everything else doesn't have the "Cool" factor that apple does. Heck I applaud their marketing DEPT and think they should out source it to other industries because they are clearly brilliant. I have never seen any other company part people from their money efficient as apple can. Heck people wait in lines to  hand it over to apple. As as for not find apple products in stores because they "run out" you would think a company who has done as many product as apple has would have supply chain down pat. But it is a better head line to say we sold out "AGAIN"  because any other headline would be a failure in investor and the public mind. just my 2 cents
 
+Sean Sanders Three things:

1) It meets a "safety" theshhold.  iOS and Android are safe in mobile (neither in desktop), while Windows is not safe in mobile (but is in PC's).  By "safe" I mean people feel like they're buying a known quantity, which they are thanks to the onslaught of "there's an app for that!"  Some will buy the risky thing... but usually regret it, as one friend did who was talked into buying a BlackBerry months ago.  In fact, on the Windows Phone front, Lumia has the highest return rate of any flagship series of smartphones.  People may not care about numbers of apps... but they care when there are tons of apps available, except for the thing they bought.

2) It's a known name.  I attribute a lot of the failure of Android tablets to a lack of any real effort to make those names known.  Even many people for whom Android is a household name in smartphones have been surprised when they realized my tablet was Android... they didn't know such a thing existed.  The Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 series have changed that, not enough yet but the trend is heading in the right direction, and Samsung has finally stopped being freakin' lazy and expecting their smartphones to sell tablets and started finally trying to convince people to buy their tablets.

3) It works well enough when they get it.  If it sucks compared to their expectations, they'll ditch it.  There were many Android tablets better than the original Kindle Fire... but a $200 price point forgives a myriad of sins in terms of End User Experience.  iPad, to Apple's credit, worked well enough because they paid developers to code for iPad, and others followed.  Google's approach has been more carrot, less stick, and it's starting to pay off (with a bit more of the stick approach), but the N7 is still the best selling one besides the original Fire without being able to claim hundreds of thousands of optimized apps.  Amazon similarly didn't have the benefit of those apps, but again, $200 forgives a myriad of sins.

I could add a fourth, less important these days but still important, factor: the ability to try it out before buying.  When I bought my Motorola Xoom, it was the only non-iPad in the crowd of tablets you could actually try before you bought at the Best Buy I was at (the rest were just display models).  The iPad, N7, and in fewer places the Fire HD can all be tried before buying.  Chromebook sales have also increased since people could try before buying.  Trying before buying relieves a myriad of false fears.
 
+Sean Sanders Agreed.  And I forgot to add cost.  Nothing else matters if you can't afford it. ;-)
 
Haha. This premise is stupid. How many "cheap" stripped down Android phones are sold by Samsung and others, you know "free with contract"? How are those innovative? They are made strictly to move product, just like Apple. fAndroids are living in their own little bubble. 
 
+Zachary Lenhert Different business models.  If Apple sold a million cheap stripped down iOS devices, I'd review them differently.
 
+Sean Sanders please acknowledge my freedom of speech and dont dictate to me how i should form my own opinion. They sell n7s at best buy here and staples same with future shop and the source for around and im talking in canada.

Also this is the 21st century you can order it online.

Also the nexus is made by Asus...Asus is way more into tablets than samsung. Asus also has the transformer series which are badass.

Again just because you're ignorant about non apple tablets doesn't make your opinion even remotely true. 
 
For what it's worth, it would be 'aqualutionary'; using the Latin derivative of water, just as the root of revolutionary is the Latin for 'turning'.
 
+Lionel Matsuya LOL  Thanks.  I know the Latin roots of the words, but Apple's term for the new iPad "resolutionary" isn't proper Latin, so I was speculating on which term they'd use in a manner of gentle mocking, parody essentially.
 
I think there may be something to this but I am a tablet fanatic so I do plan to buy the iPad mini to add to my collection.  I'm also buying the Sony Tablet P when I return to California next week.  I saw one at CES and fell in love with them then.  Now I cannot wait to grab one.
 
+James Poli Wish I had your budget.  If I did I'd buy Apple just to try their stuff out.  It's not good enough value for money in my world.
 
+Eli Fennell Great article, proud owner of the Nexus 7 with its totally awesome Tegra 3 superchip!
 
And when the ipad 2 stops getting software updates because it was reviewed to "not be able to handle it", what will the identically specced ipad mini get? The new software? Even though it "isn't powerful enough"
 
+Nolan Seibel I thought that, as well.  They're selling a new device with an abbreviated upgrade cycle.  Weird.
 
+Eli Fennell Apple die hard here, reading your post hit right at the heart of how I'm feeling. My Avatar tells a lot about my thinking of Apple as you can see. This here, this keynote shed a lot of light on some of my post-Jobs Apple thoughts. #1. No mention of iPhone 5 sales nor updates to availability. #2 iPad mini is a complete joke, basically a smaller iPad 2(two year old internals). #3 Where is the passion to innovate? #4. Apple is showing its age. #5. Normally there is a demo of the software an normally I would have thought an update would have been mentioned about maps or iOS 6 as a whole. #6. Like you mentioned, there is a fundamental shift in Apple from pushing the industry forward to the bottom line. Finally, the iMac was announces yesterday but won't be available until Decwmber, really? For the first time, I feel like Apple is lost right now and hardware design will not be enough. Imagine if Ive was poached from Apple to work with Google to design hardware!
 
I feel bad for apple...they are so stubborn and don't recognize defeat. They create a "lightning" connector. Why not USB...what part of UNIVERSAL do they not understand? Lol what am I saying? I dont feel bad. When apple is dead, android phone makers like Samsung can focus less on defending their own innovations in phones like NFC, and more on creating the best product for us users. =D
 
People don't know that it takes real engineering to make something smaller lighter and thinner, while making it better and adding more to it, that it self is innovation. They don't need widgets, palm swipe to capture, shake to update, moving backgrounds etc, because those are android features, bb10 and wp8 also wont have these, why? Because ever OS is different and will remain that way. And iOS is still the most used platform when it comes to web/app traffic, maybe its the time people spend on there phone and not playing with widgets.
 
+Arthur Davis One thing people sometimes misunderstand about me is thinking I believe all Apple products are crap: au contraire, I think Apple usually makes great stuff (though I don't always say that up front).  The iPhone is a strong and consistent brand... iterative if not always innovative (and basically recreated the cellphone market).  iPad, as well.  Mac... well, it depends, under Jobs usually good but not always, under anyone else hit-or-miss and always expensive either way... but you don't get ranked near the top of JD Powers and Associates' consumer rankings without making great stuff.

But from the iPhne 4S down to now, I feel it's declining.  Even at its worst decline, it still showed improvement in a given series of devices.  The Mini is just... cheap.  And not even that cheap... 2-year old hardware should come cheaper when nothing else new has been added.  There was a passion in making sure that at least the original iPhone and original iPad were like nothing else on the market, and iterating and occasionally innovating with each new device.  This... it feels like an afterthought.  It's embarassing.  I am certain Jobs would never have allowed it to be such a humdrum uninspiring affair.
 
I thought the Ipad mini was a hoax.......Never actually believed it was real
 
+Bryan Obiorah Neither did I.  Because it didn't make sense.  It still doesn't.  Which is worrisome.  Apple always makes sense to me even if I don't agree with them.  This... this is just weird.
 
Wow.....I'm still in shock to how the Ipad mini is REAL.....Apple is becoming PATHETIC
 
+Raymond Jones  And iOS is still the most used platform when it comes to web/app traffic, maybe its the time people spend on there phone and not playing with widgets.

Phony numbers, and outdated phony numbers at that (even in the official, but flawed, numbers Android now beats iOS for web traffic).  The reason the numbers are "phony" is a flaw in how the stock Android browser handles user agent... very often, it reports its user agent as, ironically, a Mac PC and the Safari browser, evidently a holdover from a barely-modified webkit source.
 
Ipad mini is a waste of Apples time. You might as well get an Iphone or the first Generation of Ipad
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IPad mini the tablet nobody wants.
 
I have a xoom but cant resist nexus 7.
 
not interested in this or the iphone 5
 
ANDROID HAS WON!!!!!!!! Nexus 7 beats them all!
 
+Joseph Natale Who really cares about OS X?  I care about technology and culture... Mac is a subculture at best.
 
Mini,..? Might as well just use a scientific calculator...
What a joke
 
I believe that apple is going downhill due to the fact Steve Jobs, the brain child of the company is deceased. Without him they are doomed to repetition which can very easily be seen here.

A cult can only survive so long after its leader dies.
 
I agree with +Sean Sanders I think you fandroids are forgetting about the average person here. If you stick a iPad mini and nexus 7 in front of some one what do you think they are going to pick? The shiny iPad or the plastic N7? When are the other companies going to realise its not just the software it's the design of the hardware. The average punter doesn't give a sh@t about the quad core tegra thingy bob, they just give sh@t if it looks good when bring it in their local coffee shop. That's what apple are good at and rest aren't.
 
If their definition of revolutionary is just a click and drag away on MS Paint, then this my friends is the most revolutionized device in the world.
 
Maybe in 8 months they will release the iPad mini 2...now with retina display and GPS! I got a Nexus 7 because I have wanted a tablet for a while and 7" is perfect for me. It is a great product and I couldnt ask for it to do anything else
 
+Iain Robinson Do you own an N7?  In fact, have you ever even used one?  I want to get that out of the way before I respond.
 
Apple's biggest goof: showing the Nexus 7 in the unveiling at all. Don't show people what's making you sweat. Just hock your wares. When you tell people, "My ice cream's better than Ben 'n Jerry's," people know ... you're probably worried that people will prefer Ben 'n Jerry's. "Never let them see you sweat." I'm sure Jobs lived by that. ... He's rolling in his grave today. 
 
Apple are going down and now they are trying to make some quick money before they die out!
 
Samsung just released the Galaxy Mini. Is that proof they are in decline?
 
That's how it struck me. Suddenly, Apple is following the market rather then leading it.
 
Osx is just modified bsd....and Unix is the only way they're able to scale their operating system across so many devices. Linux which is android is a free variant of Unix. Hmmm..... 
 
You needed proof? They've been in decline since their first iTrollPatents court case. Way to innovate!
 
Great post and dialog. I share your sentiments. I don't own Apple products but have respected their push towards innovation, but this is almost laughable! Thanks for the commentary.
 
That is why they did not mention gps is not available, it will hide the fact apple maps suck :-)
 
Does anyone find it strange that Google, Apples biggest competitor, is making sure that all of Google + reads this story? I smell something funny. 
 
Great article, was a pleasure to read. Apple really is on a decline. I have examples around me, one friend has an iPhone and bought the nexus 7 for a tablet and now wants an android phone and my other friend is ditching his iPhone for a note 2.
 
+Andrei C Zamfir As I've said elsewhere... different business models.  If Apple flooded the market like Samsung, they could afford screw up and disappointments.  They don't and they can't.
 
The iSheep just keep on getting in line and buying more iCrap.
 
Yea but the iPad mini 2 and 3 are going to be great(er)
 
The silent killer here are those bezels. Nobody is being honest about them right now but wait until people try to hold this thing in portrait orientation.

The other thing I've noticed is how all of a sudden to iFans and the iMedia that praised the N7 is junk. It went from having a premium feel to with the flick of Cook's tongue to feeling cheap. And did not I point this out +Eli Fennell. The iMedia only blessed the N7 to pave the path for slobbering over an iPad mini without looking like they'd contradicted themselves.
 
+Mike Solimine I don't hate Apple as a general rule.  I hate their business model, but I won't argue it isn't working when it is.  It's starting not to work.  This all happened before.  Learn from history or repeat it, as the saying goes.
 
I don't think Apple products are bad ones.  As some people discussed on this article, they have very interesting, and advanced engineering inside (not only the electronic parts count).

What I think is that is not really the point.  Apple "was" the company recycled some not well developed ideas and products into marvelous ones.  They didn't invented the graphical interface, the UNIX based OpenBSD base for Darwin and iOS, the phone or the tablet, but they changed the market as we know today with their related products.

The problem is that they created the image that in the next speech they would present the next new "Ohhhh", with something nobody else expected to see, and this really was over.  Now, everybody else knew what the mini was before the event, and they don't like to see evolution but revolution in the new company products.  A new 7 or 8 inches tablet? ... they have been in the market for years by now, and costing around $100, maybe not so well built or powerful, but the "mini" is not revolution in any sense.  And the iPhone5 is, as you describe, another step forward but not any type of jump.

My question now is if somebody in some place is creating the new Apple with some revolution, because as the evidence is saying in a very loud voice, not Apple, not Microsoft, even Google, are preparing this new thing.  Could be that this industry burned all the fireworks?  I don't think so.
 
+Phillip Hagger Good point.  Hence why I linked to Siegler.  No better proof they once loved the N7, deny it or not.
Jack C
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Selling my iPad and moving to android!!!
 
Lolol. Oh Fandroids. So optimistic. Except. You all know the iPad Mini will sell like hotcakes.

Then you'll say "Well iSheep will buy anything from Apple!"
Then I'll say "Twist it however you want to make yourself feel better!"

Brand loyalty, usability, and updates. More important than being able to root your phones. By 100x.
 
Wouldn't a mini iPad just be an iPod...? O_o
 
Missing retina display, that's the killer feature missing , but other then that what is left to innovate in tablets ? NFC is the only thing that comes to mind, and better Siri.

I think the Phone and tablets are now in iterative Dev cycle , no more revolutionary feature can be expected?

Big question is can apple come out with some new class of device? That will be the test of post Steve jobs apple. 
 
God, I couldn't get past the opening statement. No offense, but why can't anybody write a decent unbiased article? I'd rather put my eyes in a glass of sulfuric acid, before reading that all the way through. 
 
Greg keep buying over priced hardware. its not a worry for us.
 
+Mark Bushell The N7 is no more fragmented than any iOS device.  It feels like stretched leather, rather than gimmicky aluminium that scuffs before you get the dang thing out of the box.  And our music syncs with the freakin' cloud with up to 20,000 songs uploaded to the Google Music cloud for free.
 
+Vineet Semwal I suppose it could be due to the excessive inbreeding we are all a product of causing us to like them. ;-)
What is your reason for not wanting one?
 
why wouldnt someone just buy an itouch instead?
 
+Alberto Rodriguez I'm giving my own view.  It has nothing to do with "bias".  If Apple had released that device at a more realistic $250 price, my review would be different.  If, for that premium cost, it was on par with the new iPad, my review would be different.  It wasn't.  It was outdated and overpriced.  That's as objective an analysis as you'll get from me, and I'd said the same about overpriced Android tabs (heck, Samsung produced a 7-incher that cost more than this did, and it was lousy!).  Get over it.
 
+Andrei C Zamfir phones are not tablets... they are offering a smaller phone of a popular phone. some people were on the fence about getting a gs3 because of its size. not everyone wants a 5" phone. the gs3 mini (which isn't even out yet) will be 4", and be all the greatness of the gs3 but for people with smaller hands, and smaller pockets.

which i could say the same about the ipad mini. the gs3 didn't "me too" any phone, it widened its own market, by catering to 4" fans, and 5" fans.
 
They're hardly wounded and I'd disagree they're in decline. Good article but with that sort of dosh Apple can play the long game. The sad truth is they'll sell more minis than N7 and Kindles combined. Apple is a way of life and a religious following for many. No competitor has that power yet. Only something scandalous can halt them.
 
+Eli Fennell What's the best selling smartphone? What's the ratio of Andrpid phones to iOS phones? I like to keep things in perspective.
 
Same things were said when they released the first iPhone. Guess that was a failure too. Oh wait...that business alone is bigger than Microsoft.
 
+Greg Billetdeaux 4-to-1.  And you can't change the rules of the game... iOS is not a device, it's a platform.  iPhone, iPad, iPod, these are devices running the iOS platform... ditto Android and all of their devices.  Apple makes more than any Android OEM, to be sure... but it's still ultimately a platform race, and when 90+% of mobile devices run Android, as will surely happen in the next two years barring catastrophic shifts in the market, it won't matter how much Apple makes margins on each device, because Android will become the new standard.  Platforms win wars, not devices.
 
Let's hope the death of Jobs doesn't end the the legacy he has built.
 
For me it does the one thing I've been longing for; it brings the iOS environment to the bedside in a form factor that is small enough and handy enough that it will increase the quality of the care I provide patients. Whether it be in acute care settings, long term care, community settings, homes and offices; it is giving me an environment and platform I (and a significant portion of my colleagues, especially the younger ones) am familiar with. Also, it's fairly easy to teach a new user (essential in the medical arena). I can't wait to be able to walk down the hall reviewing EKG alarms in realtime scrolling strips on my #ipadmini (not sure how to tag words as this is my 1st post on g+) with options to cancel the alarm, call a code, or direct a tech to check lead placement on the patient. The innovation that the #ipadmini brings is in access. It brings the ecosystem into an area desperately in need of change. The thing I love about the #ipadmini is that after I'm done reviewing that alarm, I can drop the #ipadmini into the cargo pocket on my scrubs and go start that IV that I was in my way to when the tele alarm sounded. ( btw, when I'm done starting that IV, I can tel Siri the details and have her document it for me :)) Who said magical?
 
I think it will be a fantastic little machine. I've got an iPad 2 and this new one will do everything, and take up a bit less space. Marvellous!
 
+Chris Vukin Very good insights into a particular area of the market Apple is ahead in.  Thank you.
 
It seems to me being anti-Apple is preaching to the choir. People whine about this iPad mini like we are forced to buy it.
 
+Jason Paulsen What about someone (not naming names, but look in the mirror) who didn't read the article in which I explicitly stated that my view was long-term and not about quarterly margins?
 
I totally agree..great post....I'd dump my Apple stock now...if I had any !! :-)
 
+Christian Oldham Not whining, just analyzing.  If no one analyzed the future, every moment would be a surprise... and no one likes Ninja Hurricanes!  LOL
 
It's funny they didn't compare the MAPS app on the nexus 7 to the iPad mini
 
This could mean that Apple has to conform to the android market. With the new tablets (Nexus 7and kindle fire 2), Apple has to promote their tablets better. With a starting price of $200 for the Nexus 7 and $369 for the iPad mini, Apple better be damn sure that they are making the right decision going small. I personally like my iPad 2 just fine. 
 
The Nexus 7 is a way better choice. it seems to me like the ipad mini is a more expensive not as powerful option.
 
I don't get apple fan boys . ! Every single product of apple looks the same ! Never changes ! It's boring ! U can't customize it to make it better ! So y buy them ? 
 
My first tablet was Asus TF700. Apps crashed. A lot.

I exchanged it for the Sammysung 10 Tablet with digital pen. Apps crashed of course and I noted that websites were not optimized for non-iOS devices.

Dissatisfied with the second Droid tablet, I exchanged the Sammy for the iPad 3. And you know what, I couldn't be happier! A solid performer and not a single crash!!!

Quality for droid devices needs to be exponentially improved. Did anyone loose their Nexus 7 screen? Furthermore, the droids need better developer support which I think is key if the DroidNoids want to be supreme.
 
Seriously? This is such a hatchet job.

#1 - apple sells things for a profit. So does Samsung - and how much is samsung's 16GB tablet? Wasn't it $349?

How can you compare that to "sell at cost" at any cost nexus or kindle?

A tear down hasn't been done and the mini already sucks in terms of technology?

90% of tablet browsing traffic is iPad. What the hell are the other people doing with their tablets? Using it as a placemat?

And seriously? $399 for iPad 2 is ok but $329 for the same iPad in a smaller form factor sucks? Explain to me how your logic works?
 
+Brian Grinter I'm not an iHater.  I'm just honest.  I'm just saying what every real Apple fan would feel as a pain in the pit of their gut... that while Google, Amazon, even Microsoft are innovating, Apple is stalling, trying to run-out-the-clock rather than use more than a measly 2% of their revenue for R&D.
 
+fan tai We don't need a teardown.  It's the same parts as an iPad 2 with maybe a tweak or two.  Also... I never said it sucked.  it said was overpriced and outdated.  And by any fair assessment, it is.
 
True Eli. I like your contrarian analysis. It would be cool to know what Apple, Google, et al are working on for future "game changing" tech. Like new materials, batteries, glass, interfaces etc. Because candy bar phones and slate tablets are already old.
 
The best part is that when you buy an iPad, the very first thing you have to do is use a computer to create an account before you can use it.
(As tho it would be so hard to make an iTunes account on your tablet.)
 
I do like android hardware a bit more. This is a great example. But, their marketplace is horrible. Apps are a large part of why I'll keep buying ipads. Maybe even this one 
 
The specs and pricing of iPad mini indicate that they expect to sell on brand recognition alone.  Sadly, a lot of people make that easy for them to accomplish.
 
+Greg Billetdeaux yes lets keep things in perspective because some seem to take the individual phone model argument and create a distorted picture. Simply put this is not a game of chance. The number of devices in the two pools does little to nothing to determine sales. No one walks into the store and randomly picks a device in which case Android would fare well. No people decide which device they want either beforehand or while in the store trying them out. So in reality while no single Android device normally attracts more buyers than an iPhone the majority of people bypass the equal chance to buy an iPhone and purchase an Android device. In other words people walk into the store and most often find almost any of the other Android devices to be a better purchase than an iPhone. And price is no factor as the U.S. market has show that free and $99 dollar iPhones make little difference. Do you have a different perspective?
 
... All summed up in: "Apple thinks you're a fool with more money than sense." This is why it feels good to hate Apple while at the same time owning Apple stock.
 
I think this is a waste of money GET THE REGULAR IPAD
 
+Eli Fennell Re what you said about Nokia not really counting anymore. Way back in the 90's, EVERYBODY and I mean EVERYBODY had a Nokia phone, in some ways (don't know sales figures or stuff like that) they were the Apple of their day. Nokia's downfall was that they didn't update the look of their phones - each new device looked pretty similar to the last device and people got bored. To my mind Apple are going down the same road. Whether its an iPhone an iPod touch or this new iPad Mini, they all look exactly the same and its getting dull. I seriously think they need to address this issue if they want to stay on top of the game because Android is on the way up FAST.
 
With out steve jobs apple aint worth nothin... he was the brain of apple..
 
looks like a Galaxy Note bigbro.
 
While the mini may be a "Meeeeee too" deal from Apple....don't forget Steve Jobs did bring about the Tablet concept to fruition successfully ....and I'm an Android fan-boy.
 
I don't think Apple well decline anytime some. Look at Harley-Davison, their tech is 20 years behind, yet they sell bikes like flap-jacks to starving lumberjacks!
jay ckb
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1
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A very well written piece. Enjoyed that. 
 
Nexus 7 is now and still will be(after the new one next week) a way better deal than the ipad mini.
 
+Eli Fennell Help me understand this then.  $399 for the iPad 2 is OK and $329 for the same iPad in a small form factor is not OK WHY ?

Also, please explain how the inability to provide timely patches, sometimes even on nexus devices, is considered a plus?  How long did it take the Verizon Nexus to get Jelly Bean again?
 
Don't forget amazon sells their tablets at a loss just to compete. 
 
The build quality will be fantastic, but the specs are an all-around disappointment. It's the first iDevice I have seen that is a step backwards from the current generation iPod touch or even the last generation iPad.
 
To be fair, although I'm upset about how I feel about Apple, I would never buy a Nexus 7. It's ugly, no LTE and no real ecosystem for it. Yes the iPad mini is shut to me but the N7 is shut to me as well because there is no developer support to make it shine. iOS 6 needs more flexibility to customize if it were Android would be in trouble. One thing that keeps consumers coming to Apple is the ecosystem and design. One other thing I would add is that Apple is dead wrong about 4.3" up to maybe 5" screens, this Gs3 I own the screen is nice, the body of the phone sucks. So on one end Android wins on the phone side with flexible OS but sucks on hardware design... ONE X WAS NICE. I played with the Note2 today and it's really big for a phone, maybe keep the screen size but shed the gurth of the phone and it would be perfect. 
 
This ipad may not be as good as competitors, but in a couple of generations, when it has retina display etc. it will be the best you can buy.
 
That is why I go with sony and samsung all the way!!
 
Its looks cool, but its stupid they even said "its a little iPad 2" iOS 6 sucks! you cant even customize it! 
 
+Robert Swilley so did the PS2 (play station) at one stage, and make up on games revenue. All about getting that foot in the door, and it seems they got a few foot in some doors. Breaking into the tablet market that seems dominated by the ipads is not easy.
 
+Zach Brodie Apple has been dead since they realize they could milk money out of dumb people, which was probably around the iPhone 3gs.
 
Apple has being playing catch up lately. Its funny how the Samsungs,Googles,HTCs,etc... are releasing better products seemingly every month and leaving Apple behind. The time of reckoning will come soon for Apple. And I personally cant wait. 
 
Apple- let's make an iPad, but smaller.

Me- wow so innovative! 
 
The mini is aimed at a niche market...grandma! Grandma wants a tablet that is easy to use and fits in her purse. She doesn't need GPS, she already knows where she is going (just ask grandpa). It should be super light and thin and priced just north of the iPod touch and south of the iPad.

Engineers don't make the business decisions. They build what marketing says they should build. Maybe Apple's marketing department jumped the shark, but their engineering and design is still exceptional.
 
+Eli Fennell I enjoyed your analysis on this. I think you are correct, this really is the first time that a major apple device has been a strict market reaction and will  essentially canibalize Apple's own products line... Actually it is not the frist. The first was in the 1990s, after Jobs left and Apple was selling "Performas" at Sears and they tried to License the Mac OS in those horrible Apple clones by "power computing"...and that nearly killed them...
 
I would have to agree with this review on some points. This product may not have ruined their company but it could be a pretty big bruise to their product line. I looked at the price and there is no way this is justifiable. An Ipad 2 can be picked up for 359 new if you look and a refurb Ipad 3 is 379. With those price points even die hard Apple fans will be thinking twice about picking up this tablet.

Also, even more detrimental is to refresh the Ipad 3 so quickly. Many Apple fans I know personally (and like) tend to be technology elitists with the latest products. By deviating from their normal refresh cycle many of these people will and do feel burned by a company that they have purchased from for a long time. The the illusion of the product that they perceived as an investment for a certain period of time has just been shattered. Though this may not be the end of their Apple purchases a flicker of doubt will cross their mind every time they are in the market for a new piece of tech. This could provide the opportunity that Apple's competitors have been waiting for.
 
Nice analysis +Eli Fennell 

No GPS seems crazy to me. A 7 inch tablet is a perfect replacement for those Garmin-type car mount gps units, and I think Apple is really missing the boat here. My Nexus 7, a 10 dollar window mount, and a 10 dollar CoPilot app and I have an awesome gps system at minimal cost, without a data connection required.
 
Retina display is meant to be an upgrade to be offered next year

 
Disagree! As far as specifications are concerned, just like you dont need a rack server to watch movies the "awesome" processors and ram are immaterial to a tablet. Nobody is gonna run neural network algorithms on it. The unified experience, 250000 apps, everything in the cloud are the key selling points why apple will blow away the competition over the next decades to come.
 
To follow up.... daily with my Nexus!...
 
Duh. When there is up, they must come down. You don't always stay #1 forever.
 
Although I don't see myself purchasing a mini iPad, does it really matter which brand of device we(consumer) get. We all have our reasons as to why we make our purchases. My story if anybody cares to hear for buying an iPhone was bc at the time I was looking for a new phone(keep in mine I had the blackberry storm!) I had a co-worker who had an iPhone, he would let me use his phone for various reasons. That is initially why I got an iPhone. I believe had he had an android based phone I probably would've gone with that. I don't consider myself any better than the Joe or Jane next to me, frankly I get judged more for my looks than my phone. My iPhone does what I want it to do and after 2 yrs its still running like a champ. 
 
Thanks for the great article. I can't believe Apple has fooled so many for so long. I finally jumped off the Apple eco system a year and half ago and am so much happier with Android. 
 
Absolutely FANTASTIC REVIEW
 
Yes, i totally agree. Nobody can stay on top forever 
 
Steve Jobs probably wouldn't have approved of this. But of course there are masses of fans who are devoted to Apple products that would sell a kidney for an Apple product. Not necessarily the smartest, but it's all about the devotion.  iOS has gone downhill for some.  As someone who jumped ship from iPhone to Android, I'll proudly display the Android sticker on my Macbook.  They still make good products.  Only some. Go Nexus.
 
Just about the best write up of the current state of Apple, that I've ever seen. I think this is right on target.  Apple has set the state for their decline.  It will probably be a long one, but it will happen.
 
Duh they make their money by suing other companies 
 
"If you want the most advanced mini tablet, buy a Nexus 7, buy a Kindle Fire HD, heck buy a Barnes & Noble Nook.  All three companies are still trying to earn your patronage by giving you the best they can offer at the best price they can offer.  Neither of which can be said for Apple." uff... so true
 
Dude, their latest ad extolled the virtues of a small screen (wow! My left thumb reaches EVERYTHING… even though most prolonged use involves two hands… and only on iPhone are you trapped in a minimally customizable launcher that forces you to try to access the whole screen to do simpler tasks.

I laughed my ass off! 'Our screen is smaller!' must have given Marketing nightmares. :D
 
You are so right in 4or 5 months they will release a new ipad so you ipad 4th gen beware
 
But if it costs more that means its better /s 
 
Great article +Eli Fennell It might seem surprising but I read it all. I too dislike the Apple business model, but admire them for their marketing and quality. The iPad Mini isn't revolutionary, but it will sell like hot cakes because loyalty and image is incredibly important these days (what people say about those who are not tech savvy is true - they will see the iPad Mini and be amazed).

In the long run, I can't see Apple holding their position, they have been in decline for years - people quickly leapt onto Android when phones with the platform started appearing, especially Samsung phones. Their attitude towards competition is also another thing that may do them harm, quite a lot of people are not pleased by their actions in court, but thankfully the Dutch courts are in support of Samsung, joining the English courts in supporting common sense.
 
One sure sign that Apple is concerned about its future, this is the first time Apple did a side by side comparison with the competition. 
 
it looks cool, just a little small, might put ipod out of buisness. lol
 
I'm sharing this. You sir, know how to speak the truth. 
 
I thought Apple crossed the bridge when they released their Maps app and sacrificed their core competency - the user experience.  
 
Seems like the iPad mini will cannibalize the iPad sale. But time will tell
 
Great article +Eli Fennell. Not an apple fanatic, but I hope they change their view. Otherwise, they probably won't last long. 
 
ya apple is nothing without Jobs, i'm afraid
 
The iPad mini has been designed with a view to selling to those who need a more portable iPad. Those who mount the iPad in their car for example will benefit from a smaller unit. You can rave and rant as much as you like but that won't change the fact that an android tablet has nowhere near the appeal of the iPad. The same way that the iMac is in a different league to any other home/professional personal computer. 
 
Sweet, would love to see them go down the drain. 
 
I don't see anything wrong with Apple releasing smaller tablet.

They were loosing market share within those for whom standard iPad size was too big. iOS platform had nothing to offer for that rapidly growing, spoiled by diversity in other platforms, user segment.

This was reasonable response to meet consumer demand and fill the missing gap.

Disclaimer: even though I do have an iPad, I primarily use and prefer Android "phablet" and a PC computer. I am not by any means Apple advocate.
 
The jailbreak for ios is fully customizable! But apple here adds something new every year that has been out years before!
Like the Panorama Feature for iPhone 4S/iPhone 5 has been out as an app in the app store for 2 years!!!!
R.I.P steve jobs! he was the genuis!
 
IOS is Cisco branded. Cisco didn't sue. Look at that. Huh...
 
I have read several like minded reports. Some even go as far as to say the same as above.  " Is this the end of Apple". One comment said,  " Old apples in a new box will still be old apples "........." But the box price has increased.
 
Great article and hits on every point as to why I am a former Apple employee and former iPhone user!
 
Definately not their finest moment.

The sweetest deal in 7inchers right now might just be the new 32GB Nexus 7.

Too expensive, too underpowered, too late #Apple ...
 
I worked on iPhones. Thousands. Refurbishing is just so much fun when the apple rep says we don't care what the customer thinks, its what we tell them to think.
 
People these days know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
 
I think it was a stupid Idea that apple made a Tab and "copied" it from Samsung( Samsung rules!!!)
 
I don't know if they're panicking. Profits up with complaints down (compared to their competitors). They just want the whole market which makes perfect sense.
 
If not for a stroke of luck, Apple would be bankrupt and just a memory by now.  The iPod brought life back into a company that could not sell anything.  The iPad was someone else's idea but just at the right time.  Motorola invented the cell phone and Apple again took the ideas of many and hit that right time again.
Now here comes Microsoft with a Tablet that will do much more than any iPad and for a comparable price as an iPad.  $50 bucks less may have really given this new Tablet a significant edge for a product being introduced close to Christmas but once again Microsoft never seems to see the big picture whereas Apple does. Apple may have finally given themselves a true reality check with this so called "mini".  I don't know anyone who wants one.
 
+Vijay Sharma: I wouldn't even say that Apple wants the WHOLE market. They are perfectly happy to let Amazon and Android have the sub 300 dollar space, leaving the high(er) end tablets and phones (and the higher profit margins) to Apple.

I love when people go off about how Apple MUST do something to survive, and it invariably involves doing something that causes themselves damage. In the mid-nineties it was the low-end space, which resulted in the under-powered and gimmicky Performa and Centris lines, as well as the instantly cannibalizing, and fortunately short-lived clone licensing program.

An aside: I already know of three current kindle users who plan to trade in for the mini. Not bad for a "me too" device.
 
They're not in a decline, they're just heading in a new direction. If anything, they'll become more dominant by making more "affordable" alternatives to their higher end products. The number one reason people don't by Apple products is price. 
 
Why does Apple have to make a MINI iPad. The iPad is all about it's big size
 
Apple is loosing innovation. Next year they will put NFC on an iPhone and trick people into thinking they created it. They are nickle an dimeing people with "advancements" (half inch more on screen, Thunderbolt connection, retina display which is not their creation, and now a overpriced iPad mini). What a shame for what was once an incredibly innovative company. This is a huge step backwards from just a year ago.
 
Apple is declining indeed. It started with the iPhone 4S not with the iPad mini. Steve Jobs gave everything he had and lauched great poducts such as the iPhone 3GS and 4 and the iPad. Now he's gone and the new CEO can only improve Jobs' ideas but Apple won't bring new ideas to the market.
They will live on what they already have which is not so bad if you consider what they achieved in the last decade.
 
There's no GPS so you can't blame Apple Maps for getting you lost ;)
 
It's too hard to tell where this will lead. The iPod mini was the same as the iPad mini with nothing revolutionary attached but it stuck around amd became the iPod nano and that's still around, doing pretty well. 
 
I'm getting an ipad-mini because I've always disliked the weight of full size tablets, and those smaller side borders are also appealing. Pity it has no retina, and is overpriced, but no surprises there. I'm fine with it's negatives because let's be honest it's better than what Google or Amazon has to offer.
 
apple is doing really well evan though steve jobs has passed but also they do have the next 3 years planned out of prodcts
 
Millions will be sold anyway...
 
They dance around the fact that it does not have Retinal display. Actually, the Nexus 7 has a higher resolution screen.

They also boast about it being less than a pound. The Nexus 7 is also less than a pound.

You are right. I seriously thought Apple was going to sell a $199 version to crush the market. Their pricing on this is waaaaaaaay off.

I'll take two Nexus 7s please.
 
It's the Nexus 7 sprinkled with fairy dust.
Leo T
 
+Eli Fennell = another douchebag Apple hater. * yaaaaaawn *
 
Sweet article. Pin point accuracy. Anyone who listens to advice, shouldn't over look this. All he wrote is da truth! 
 
I'm the biggest +Google  fanboi there is, but the mini has two cameras and 4G and it's coming to +Sprint  I am finding it difficult to resist the power of the Dark Side...
 
Apple is going down, it's painful view, we saw what happened to Nokia, now I do believe jobs was the one behind all innovations
 
its like they kind of ripped it off of the samsung galaxy note
 
Would have to disagree with you on a lot of things you wrote. Not prepared to start any form of debate either lol...
 
I guess I'm a fool then.  I'm looking forward to getting one.   It will be the perfect size for my daily train commute and more comfortable to read than my phone.

Android fans always try to dismiss the reason people buy Apple products as doing so due to slick marketing, hype, status symbol or simply following the crowd.   Those reasons might get someone into the door to buy their first product, but it is the users' previous experience with Apple products that keep them coming back for more.  I have an iPhone 4 and MacBook Air that I bought two years ago.  They were my first Apple products.  Even two years later I'm really happy with that Air and iPhone.  First off, Apple's hardware fit finish and design ascetics are top notch.   I like simple and clean and Apple does that well.   Secondly, the OS and software are designed to fit the hardware they make like a glove.  Even two years out the Air and iPhone are still a pleasure to use.

I have no hesitation buying the iPad mini because I know I'll be getting something that I'll enjoy using day in an out for some time.  I'm willing to pay a little more for that level of confidence in what I will be buying.  Bare on paper specifications are not everything.  It's the overall package and day to day experience with the product that counts.
 
I'd have to disagree with the overall conclusions and theme of the article. I do not agree with everything that Apple says, however they were the original ones to bring upon the tablet craze, and let's call the real "me-too-ers" 'me-too-ers,' and not Apple.

Apple did not go the way of other smart phone developers and make a really big (read wide and long) screen, they focused on what they deemed most important in their vision: lighter, thinner, and faster... if nothing else, it's obviously still "better" than what has come before from Apple.

To say what they've done nothing impressive with the iPad mini is, in my opinion, false. I'm not a rabid Apple-fan, but even I can realize that to reduce the size of the iPad while maintaining all of the features present in the much larger counterpart (and include improvements like smaller screen width and other innovations that are new to this product), is definitely an impressive feat.

The main differentiator that this business has, and I believe continues to have, is superior overall quality of experience gained from their products. To summarize, a better 'feeling' from the use of their wares over their competitors. Apples digital non-pc products are stable, secure, with long-lasting battery life, outstanding customer service to support them, and are usually very aesthetically appealing.

To scoff at the competitive nature of our capitalist society is to misunderstand a part of its greatness. The market helps to shape an environment where Apple can have great competitors offering compelling alternatives to its products, to result in inspiring Apple to strive for maximum customer satisfaction at competitive prices. If another company brings to light an opportunity for Apple to improve, and they take that hint, then kudos to Apple... not "shame on Apple."

There is an ever-present tendency in us all to suffer from envy. And this is found often times when those out there chose to criticize a company like Apple, simply for being successful. If Apple projects arrogance, then that temptation to disfavor them for any success is strengthened. But just as it may seem nonsensical for many out there to 'purchase anything Apple produces, just because it's made by them,' it is easily just as nonsensical to not buy something or like something Apple makes, just because they made it. (This is indeed worth a mention in any discussion like this)

I've loved the first and second generation iPads, and still do. I've seen many ways in which, in an overall-general-user-experience standpoint, they have proved superior to the competition thus far... at least in those areas or experiences that matter to me personally.

I understand that others may not share my personal priorities, and not share my views, and that is very good. We are all unique, after all... and what a challenge it is indeed, to seek to find something that will satisfy many, many of us... and succeed in doing so.

May Apple continue to honor the house that Steve built.
 
+Lars lego it's a me too product. Best part is next year it will have the same design, but ipad 3 parts and a retina. And the crowd will ooh and ahh.
 
SAME SHTUFF.. JUST ALL DIFFERENT SIZES
 
Nothing like Google+ for baseless Apple bashing.
 
+holger feroudj seriously....how many people were saying the iPad is just too big and too heavy before yesterday? Jobs himself said 7 inch tablets served no purpose. It was never a big deal while others were providing tablet experiences of varying sizes though devices like the Galaxy Note sold like hot cakes. Now Apple blesses it and its a big deal. This is simply sad that its come to the point that a company actually tells people what and what not to like. Just sad.
Ken M
 
Apple has always taken a backseat to me..they keep prices up, for their own selfishness and greed, while competitors keep innovating new devices that just dazzle in comparison to apple. I would never pay them twice over for what I can buy 2 great PC's, and even though I really like the New ipad, I would never pay the ridiculous price for it.
 
I think they should step up the tech. a little more they should make a watch that is touch screen i mean like its pretty mutch the same thing just smaller. But still pretty cool !
 
Well said. My thoughts exactly. Apple has peaked. Plain & simple.
 
I've been an apple fan for years and i mean a real fan like nothing else was even remotely as good for me as MacBooks, iMacs, Macs Pro and even iPods and iPhones. I've used macs with rainbow apple logo and back then it meant something to have an apple device. After years trying to keep the Mac OS's reputation of a system for professionals from photo to audio suddenly everything has gone down to design. Previous iMacs and MacBooks had a good design too but the important thing was on the inside. No one would ever challenge the superiority of Mac OS over windows vista or Xp even though the market share was nearly non existent in business and home applications. Even the first 2/3 iPhones were focused on being the avant-garde of tech with many nice solutions compared to windows mobile or Symbian.
When windows 7 finally have seen the green light and android was born everything changed. The choice of styles and configurations on windows pcs and laptops from only one manufacturers was bigger than the entire product line with the apple on the back. Yet somehow people were able to convince other people that having a choice, control is stupid and counter innovative. MacBooks have not changed their looks since 2009 though there were at least 3 iterations of them. iMacs from g5 up were nearly identical and that compared to the g4 was just boring. Mac Pro line hasn't changed it looks sine g5 and iPad and iPod touch still looks nearly exactly the same as the first one.
There is always this conversations I have with my friend who believes in apple being the only choice that starts with "great processor and ssd drives and retina and a6 chip and ram and pixel density and sharpness and ips and 5mm screen edges and so on" then it turns into "iOS is the best" so after showing him this pc or smartphone having the same or better specs it turns into "it looks nice and I want an apple so I can get a nice case for it on amazon" end of... And that's why I left the apple camp. I'm posting it from an iPad which I hate so much that I'm tempted to throw it through a closed window or donate to charity (meaning eBay). IOS has not changed even a tiny bit since the first iPhone and its so confusing that sometimes I think its been made purely to piss me off yet so limited to make me feel claustrophobic. My MacBook has no fun in it any more and the iPod touch though very capable MP3 player is just an MP3 player. I have spent 20 minutes setting up the iPad after a reset with all the account information being put into it 8 times. To reset and set everything back up on a htc sensation including all my apps and logins its 5 minutes. Apple is designed for the mass market. No exclusivity any more. Everyone started to think different and that's why everyone thinks the same.
I'm not saying apple's crap cause they're good at what they do but the problem is that they are mostly doing ads now. 
 
hay the new ipad miny is orsume isn it .
 
+Kevin Murphy ordering a smaller screen and case and placing the same components you're already using into it is not difficult at all. I can't see why anyone would find this impressive. Its not like they had to invent the smaller screen and the same components in most tablets can fit into a smartphone. 

Apple is ok with me. I suggest their products to others when it makes sense but most don't interest me over competitors. But the two things that do tick me off about Apple and its followers are Apple's constant pretending to invent the already invented and their followers constant bedazzlement at the simplest of engineering tasks. 
 
+John McLachlan +Keith Stansell You both are missing the point. This is about Apple fooling people into buying products that could have more features for the same price but are not added because Apple knows you will give them your money anyway and this makes a fool of you. Apple could have easily added at least a retina display to the iPad mini but they didn't. Why? Because if they did they won't have a reason to milk your money (again) next year when they release the iPad mini with retina display. Also, +John McLachlan I would ask you to call Apple or write a letter to them complaining about how Steve Jobs started this war. You Apple fanboys sure are hypocrites as your leader Steve Jobs taught you to. You complain when you see posts like this stating facts about Apple but you do nothing when Steve Jobs, Apple executives, or Apple fans trash Android or Microsoft (Which they did before G+ existed). 
 
Didn't they already invent that under a different name it's called the ipod touch!!!
 
Loved this article and love my Nexus 7! :) I don't buy in to the Apple hype.
 
Great article. But the one thing people are forgetting about that whole show is how apple is screwing over everyone that bought a ipad 3. Jeez, how are they just going to abandon the 3 and still support the 2? 
 
apple always goes through ups and downs.  i worry now because Jobs is dead...
 
For me what's important is the merging of tablets and phones along with camera. I think that's where Samsung will be the leader. I like to just have one device to meet my needs - phone, camera, and tablet 
 
None of Apple's WiFi-only models have GPS. Why is that suddenly an issue with the iPad Mini?

The selling point of the iPad mini is that it is an iPad that you can hold and use in one hand: thus scroll mode in iBooks so you don't accidentally turn 20 pages while getting off the train. Thus the thin side bezels, so you can swipe with your thumb of the same hand you are holding it with.

The extra screen real estate is useful for two purposes: either you can fit more words on screen at the same point size, or you can fit the same content at a larger point size. I find it more comfortable to read an article when I can see all the letters clearly, and when I can see a couple of paragraphs at the same time.

I have used a Nexus 7: the onscreen keyboard is usable but fiddly. It cannot run any of the applications I have bought for the iPad (OmniFocus, Paper, Byword and others), so there is the element of lock-in even though I could replace most of the apps with Android equivalents. I find the tall, narrow screen uncomfortable to read on: tall and narrow is fine for boutique restaurant menus, not for novels or technical reference books with source code samples and diagrams. Apart from those niggles the Nexus 7 is a nice tablet.

It is not the iPad Mini that marks the beginning of Apple's downfall, it is the super advanced manufacturing techniques which are hard to get right, causing a great deal of stress in the supply chain and making Apple bound to the fates and whims of the suppliers capable of handling this work. Friction stir welding, diamond cut chamfers, micron-tolerance assembly: these are going to be the downfall of Apple, not the iPad Mini.


 
isn't a mini iPad pretty much a bigger iPhone?
 
i want it and APPLE IS THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
I don't really like how people blindly bash Apple. Some of the comments use terms like Crapple, iSheep, etc. (which to me are all getting really old). The iPad mini really makes no sense and it's pretty much fact that it's not great and it's old technology. However, Apple's other products are undeniably great. This comes from an Android user.
 
As long as Apple keeps making a desktop Mac for me to use, I really don't care what size pad they make. 
Tom Yan
 
no, apple is not on a decline
 
Apple pricing table should read:
iPad 2 16gb $299.00
New (old) iPad 16gb $399.00
iPad 4th 16gb $499.00
ipad mini 16gb $249.00

But for whatever reason they still overcharge for their products and people still buys them.....for me the new (old) iPad was my last invesment on any Apple product.... Great piece of reading!!!!
 
While I agree with some points in this article, I think it also misses a few key items.

I think the mini provides an iOS choice for consumers. Much as you have options of 13,15, and 17 inch displays for Macbooks - you know have sizes ranging from iPod Touch on the low end, the iPad Mini in the middle and the iPad3 at the larger end of the spectrum.

Now I expect that If you already own an iPad or iPhone, you're not likely to run right out and get an iPad Mini unless there is a reason to. I do think the iPad mini fits a target market of putting an iOS-based tablet in the hands of mobile students that want a smaller form-factor. As much as I love my iPad3, I can't stash it inside a coat pocket easily.

Second is why would I want to abandon my investment in iOS apps to jump to the Android platform? The analog for this is the Microsoft Windows vs Apple Mac platforms. When you buy the platform, your stuck purchasing apps that are platform specific. Change cost may range from small to quite significant.

Each platform (Android and Apple iOS) have their consumers, and it's nice to have choice as a consumer.

Me, I've demoed both platforms at technology shows and the reason many vendors demo on Apple iOS tablets is that Android doesn't support simple standards such as HTML5 tags. 

No vendor at the Interop Tradeshow used Android in their video walls because the Android tablets don't use the HTML5 tags "AutoPlay" and "Loop". Apple iOS does, and has done for quite some time.

I don't want to bash Android, I own an Android device too, but in my opinion the Apple iOS platform, app store, and total customer experience is better than Android today.
PJ C
 
Troll Bait!!! ^_^
T Mare
 
Apple has been declining from conception. 
 
Don't get this comment.  According to some everything Apple does has to be either revolutionary, or it is dead.  Somehow it is ignored that not everything done by Apple when Jobs was alive was a game changer, but now the hand-ringers come out claiming the end is in sight because this or that product hasn't set new standards. If in another year or so Apple doesn't come up with a truly innovative product (Apple TV?) then there might be something to this.  It's easy to make this kind of prediction, because if it's wrong, no one ever remembers it. 
J rose
 
Nice read as always. Thank you.
 
I would Read all of this if it wasen't long
 
i think apple lack the imagination and creativity since steve jobs passed away. They will slowly disappear into obscurity again and overshadowed by rival companies
Ryan Ng
 
It is unwieldy, and besides, will not fit in your pocket.
 
#iFail  i don't want to buy ipadmini or another idevice cause all of them overpriced
 
Very well said. I agree that Apple has overpriced and less innovative over the years... the iPad mini is just one of the proofs that they want, as you say, "more money than sense".
 
hoping my fairy god mother drops one in my lap this coming christmas!! (Here's hoping for a merry christmas and a happy new year!!!!!!!!)
 
it's like a fat, iphone :/ why not name it the iphone 5s? 0.o
 
Outstanding piece, very insightful and I believe spot on! 
 
It hasn't even been released, little premature to call it the demise of Apple?  " widely panned by critics as a "me-too" " ??? Where may I ask is this wide panning? "Was an overpriced device" <-- Again it hasn't even been released, your clearly just trolling for links and clicks, though it pains me to legitimize your article here by responding to it you are clearly misleading the "normal" population that doesn't follow the news closely. In two months time, sure, publish then but I'm willing to assume nobody will believe you then either after it potentially posts record numbers. 
 
it looks awesome, but I'm probably going with the Yoga when it comes out.
 
Yes because it acknowledges the competition.
 
Couldn't agree more. Really, who want to buy this overpriced piece of crap, nexus 7 is far better in any aspect. In the term of software I think iOS is at peak, I see no real innovation or ground breaking changes in the last few iOS iteration. In the other hand Android trickling to the top, which eventually surpass iOS (oh I think it already did).
 
its dumb just stick with the ipod 4th
 
As always... No Bluetooth file transfer, no access to file system, iTunes, no microSD slot.  I'll pass.
 
if u want a smaller ipad, get an ipod touch for like 200$
 
I have an Android phone and I am planning to get the Nexus 7.  It is really a shame that another great American company seems to be in decline...
 
Fall?!  You gotta be joking right?  The iPad happens to be the most successful, focused solution out there.
 
Why do people keep saying that the downfall of Apple is because jobs is dead? Do you honestly think he had a serious role in any part of the design of the hardware or software? People were paid to design and program while jobs sat back and said yay or nay. Give me enough money and ill assemble a team of talent too. The man was an arsehole who stole ideas and signed cheques, not a genius.
 
As an Apple person, I must say I've personally been rather disappointed with their products lately. They were actually the leaders of innovation for a while there, and if they don't get that title back soon, they'll eventually fall. I'm still getting the iPad Mini though (my current 2nd gen iTouch is rather old).
 
Good grief!  What would you expect from a post on GOOGLE+
 
+Alex Satrapa tall and narrow is what made iPhone 5 extra super mega extraordinarily innovative revolution and now ur saying it sucks... U wanna protect the brand u've gotta do it properly. And by lock-in u mean being locked in the iOS...
 
Apple's always been a company that focused on making the best products for the Apple ecosystem, and never gave a damn about competition

But if even Apple actually made a smaller tablet to compete with Nexus 7 AND mentioned and compared the Nexus 7 at their "APPLE event".......man the Nexus 7 has gotta be good. Starting to like the idea of the Nexus 7. Thanks for advertising it at your own event Apple
 
How was banning Google Maps the best thing for the apple ecosystem?
 
Yes the fall of Apple as the stocks rise, Lol! 
 
Yawn! Same song, second verse. It's funny how there's been so much bashing since the original release of the iPhone in 2007. All the predictions and Ill wishes by the Apple haters will never make it fact.
 
As long as people are willing to spend large quantities of money on their shitty products don't expect Apple to go away anytime soon BTW Android for life Mothafuckas!!
 
So far this is the best thread on android / apple I've read. The name callings are relatively low. Keep this up Google+
 
I thought one of the funniest parts of the iPad 4 announcement was the chart to show the CPU and graphics are 2x as fast. The chart has no real data, just the numbers 1 and 2 at which the A6x went up to the two line. They are correct, 2 is twice the number 1. Seems to show that if Apple says it, people believe it.
 
Sums up what I thought pretty accurately!
 
It's an iPad you can fit in your pocket! So it's a slightly bigger iPod?
 
After much fanfare....no Retina display. Really?
 
This is the beginning... Say what you want about Jobs but he would not have released this.
刘传文
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we could know it when Apple on the peak, it's a natural rule that no one can always stay on the top, the Earth will pull him back, sooner of later.
 
+Eli Fennell first of all i agree i have not read completly. upto what i read i can understood that you are keep on cripping on the ipad2 hardwares used in the ipad mini and u present in the way that apple used this for making money with the old refubished hardware. I have questions for you ..do isight 5mp is a ipad 2 hardware ?...do nexus 7 got celluar ?. if apple doest work on screensizes ppl says apple is adement . if they do ppl say they slowly losing their grounds. ugh !
 
This was at 500 comments earlier when I checked.  Is this your first post hitting the max comment limit?
 
+Eli Fennell Roger that. Still impressive. Great job with the article by the way. Timely and well written I think.  Maybe they'll be quoting your article in 5 years?
 
+Eli Fennell Check out your ripples.  Pretty neat actually seeing the spread of reshares.
 
An android manufacture releases a smaller tablet or something new and its the greatest thing ever, yet apple(who created this tablet market) releases a smaller iPad and there in decline? Really? It's sad people think that way, truth is the iPad mini will sell to millions and apple will still remain the most profitable in the smartphone/tablet industry, market share doesn't mean squat if your not profitable.
 
Apple will still be 2yrs ahead of its main rivals the mini is aimed at the student market shame the didnt bring there price range into students price range
 
Great article Eli. I have an Android 7" tablet and love it. I don't understand Apple's thinking on the mini 
 
+Nicholas Layton maybe not insane. It is (probably) inevitable that Apple will lose it's luster with the passing of Steve Jobs.  If they don't start acting like just another company they'd probably accelerate the reduction of their brand.  I do agree with +Eli Fennell that this is a great indicator of Apple's increasing mediocrity, but I also think by acting like just another company they'll be able to stay large (think Sony).  Their days of glory may be over, but not their days of relevance.
 
+Andrew Vogel That doesn't make any sense at all. You just agreed that they are a better company now because they are just another company. That is obviously a step down from where they were, meaning they are not a better company now.
 
+Nicholas Layton sure it does. Consider that Apple defied many cultural and marketing norms - they had a very limited product set when the US for the past 3 decades has been in a stage of 'the perfect product is multiple products' (e.g. Ragu tomato sauce history going from one sauce type to three).  They also organized marketing attention such that they had traits common to cults or religious movements.  Without Steve Jobs, they are a religion without a leader.  If they don't begin to market and operate as other tech companies, they will be headless and to be seen for the cult that they are.  

To be a better company they must become just another company.  A religion isn't sustainable without vision, and neither is the Apple of ole.  The new Apple may do well by meeting more marketing segments and rushing mediocre products, but they won't do well by pretending to be the same company they used to be.
 
+Nicholas Layton note that the definition of what a better company is, is very temporal. What was a better company last year may not be the same as a better company now.  Yes the Apple under Steve Jobs comparatively is better than Apple today, but Steve Jobs is no longer around.  The choice now is how do they become a better company now.
 
+Nicholas Layton your statement was that calling Apple a better company now is insane.  I'm saying it's not insane.  But, if you say I agree with you.. I must assume you changed your mind?
 
Waist of money it's just a different shape []
(Samsung Galaxy S3)
 
Apple fails once again. You have to remember though, that their products are for seniors or people not familiar with computers or tech. This message was sent from my Nexus 7.
 
Wonderful insight. Apple has fallen, even my Galaxy S2 has the same specs as the iphone 5 and it's a year old. How can they hope to compete with the S3, wich is cheaper and much more powerful?
 
Wow, this is maybe the biggest thread I have ever seen on Google+.Nice job +Eli Fennell!  It seems the topic of Apple vs Google has become the new Crusade. I can't say I'm surprised. Apple users have had this pompous approach to all other platforms for the longest time.

Apple convinces their customers that they are elite and encourage this behavior. Now that the phone wars are almost over and the tablet wars are underway (and seem to be going the same route as the phone wars), it looks like Apple cultists are on the receiving end of the rhetoric and don't care for it much.

I use what works for me and that's Android. I have friends in the Apple camp and that's fine. I just sit and patiently wait for the odd jab from them from time to time since they can't help themselves.....  
 
I think that the desire to maintain a near monopoly through patient threats and litigation show that they are on the down slope more than this rather ordinary product
Wei Loh
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Anyone thinks that picture of the iPad mini resembles the international version of Samsung Galaxy S2?
 
Saravava, most Apple peeps don't know android phones Create mobile hot spots

 
I think the iPad Mini will cannibalize the normal iPad's sales instead of those of competing Android tablets.
 
No +Scott Adams I m not concern with features I m concerning about the user experience  I m using both iOS and Android devices every day life. BTW I'm not a apple fan . I just sharing my experience . U know how many times I need to restart my my galaxy phone which have higher hardware spec than my iOS device. Still there in no single official OTA upgrade I got for my android . where as i got may OTA OS upgrade for iOS. Like this several concerns i have on android . Just a bigger screen size and the AMOLED does not satisfy a user .
 
What most everyone here fails to understand is simple product strategy. The original iPhone was flawed in many ways and we all remember the bad press it got... it didn't have a camera or 3G, it didn't support Adobe Flash, it didn't have native apps, etc. Yet it sold extremely well even though there was initially no contract and sold for $800. Yes, it was flawed but we all now know how truly revolutionary it was. With every iteration of the iPhone these limitations were addressed (except for Flash which in retrospect was a wise decision).

Lets imagine that Apple released the original iPhone without any of these flaws or limitations. There would be little reason for millions to upgrade to the next iPhone year after year. That's would be a bad strategy. There's a deliberate strategy at play here. It's one that takes into account current technological capabilities, global supply chains, and cost controls to make a decent margin on a product that's still within reach – after-all that's what it ultimately comes down to.

The same exact thing happened with the iPad. The name was awful, it didn't have a camera, it didn't support Flash, it didn't have USB ports or an SD card reader. It was bound to fail... I read dozens of stories that said so. Yet it revolutionized the stagnent tablet market which Microsoft had ultimately failed at (and will probably fail at again). It spawned an entirely new multi-billion dollar industry that was non-existant less than 3 years prior. Few companies have done that once, let alone 5 times (Apple II - personal computer, Macintosh - desktop publishing, iPod - digital music, iPhone - smartphones, iPad - tablets)

And now again I've read dozens of stories this past week, including this one, about how Apple has lost its way, it's now defending rather than innovating, how Tim Cook can't innovate like Steve Jobs, and how this is the beginning of the end for Apple. That couldn't be further from the truth on so many levels. For starters lets remind ourselves that it was Steve Jobs who rejected the idea of a 7 inch tablet... that was his mistake, not Tim Cook's. Could they have launched an iPad mini two years ago? Maybe, maybe not – I honestly don't know. Maybe they was just buying time until they could fit the guts of an iPad 2 in a much smaller and lighter form factor. But Tim Cook is now the one remedying that situation.

My point here is that as +Eli Fennell has stated in this post, Apple will sell a whole bunch of iPad Minis. However, this whole idea of playing catch up with a so called overpriced and flawed product is not proof that Apple is in decline. if they would have addressed all of the shortcomings of this first version there would be nowhere to go with the second or third iterations – no reason to upgrade. That's a bad strategy for Apple. If they had included a Retina display to match the 3rd and 4th generation iPad, the cost of the iPad mini would have been prohibitive for most (such a high PPI display at that size might not even yet exist – at least not in high enough yields for a global launch). If they had chosen an intermediary resolution to achieve Retina then they wouldn't be able to claim 250,000 apps from the get go, it would create a huge headache for developers and it would further segment the platform.

With the iPad Mini Apple has ultimately set themselves up for success. There is now plenty of room to improve the next iteration of the product. Putting in iPad 3 guts and Retina display resolution might just compel all of those millions of first generation buyers to upgrade as well as finally attract all of those who were holding off for a better version. Who knows, by this time next year those Retina displays with super high PPI might actually be affordable.

Apple won't stop innovating, they have the DNA, talent, brand presence and money to do so. Just check out what they have planned for the iPhone 9... https://plus.google.com/u/0/101052415474088088042/posts/H3AFdnRDGPV 
 
+Eric Tufts, I'm sorry but I think you missed +Eli Fennell's point (although I'll admit my interpretation may be wrong as well). The decline of Apple that Eli refers to has nothing to do with Apple going broke soon. Apple wil do juuuust fine for quite a while because of the brand recognition and cult following. Nobody is even trying to argue that, however in my opinion, there are signs of "faith" weakening, e.g. http://mashable.com/2012/11/04/iphone-loyalty/. Obviously the loyalty is still tremendous, second to none actually, and the drop is not all that significant but still... early signs of weakening in my opinion. And the reason for this, I believe, is Apple's failure to innovate for quite a while now which starts to sink in with the fan base  Apple is now expected to innovate and amaze people with every new product, it is expected to do so by its faithful legions. Apple itself created and pushed on us this image so it has no one by themselves to blame. But many would argue that it lost its edge lately... not only with the Mini. Thus, said "decline of Apple".

You brought up original iPhone and iPad, as examples of flawed products which upon polishing and improvements became huge. BUT with these two Apple was creating new markets. There virtually was no competition. None viable at least. So yes, they could get away with less than perfect products, do well, iterate and still capture minds of millions.  With these devices Apple has not been trying to get a piece of an existing, established market like it is with the Mini and smalll-tablet market. There's much less room for error and much less time to improve. They are doing catch-up now. And they are not used to do that. Yes, they have marvelous ecosystem behind them... for now. Tablet-optimized apps in Google Play are still few and far between, no question there. But phone section has already caught up with the App Store. Tablet side is bound to do so as well. Soon. There's a legitimate Android tablet market now and developers will recognize it. Google is doing its share more actively lately, so I'm hopeful... and excited.  

But what worries me the most is that you, as a customer, are willing to accept the fact that Apple came up with an inferior product intentionally just so it can improve it over time and simply milk its fans to make more and more money. Isn't that exactly what Eli described? A company once known for true innovation, a company that refused to compromise, that was thinking completely out-of-the-box but which now creates products only to broaden its profit margins? You said it yourself. Apple released a flawed product and counts on the blind followers to buy it anyway so that they can release an improved version along the way and make more money. This is not the Apple we remember, the Apple we used to admire. That Apple is in decline... if not gone...

 
 
+Olaf Borkiewicz I think you captured my point quite adequately.  I even said in the article that it wasn't an issue of whether Apple would financially decline anytime soon.  Microsoft survived Vista, and did great with 7, but the decline technologically was already in the works.  And yes, the excusatory stuff from fans is one thing i was highlighting... there was always be fools willing to buy a brand name even if every objective measure says it's not as good.  But in tech, companies that push the boundaries of innovation win.  Apple counts on the idea that the opponents won't be "good enough", so even if they're behind they can revolutionize the user experience.  +Matias Duarte makes me think that won't work for much longer.  Google now cares as much about design as Apple, and I would argue that in many ways Android 4.0+ is more intuitive than iOS, with some rough spots (and Duarte has said his work on the UI is nowhere near done, so the next few versions will tell us everything).
 
Yes, Eli, I know I have essentially re-iterated your points but I couldn't resist ;) I am really looking forward to the development of the Android ecosystems and I also agree - things have been on the right track since 4.0 release. With Nexus line getting stronger, the future should be good. Cheers!
 
Everything on it is crap. I have an iPad 1, and I tried anipad mini at an apple store, and hell, it sucked! iPad one is better by far if u like mini go die in a hole. EVERYTHING IS COMPLETE CRAP DON'T BUY THE MINI BUY THE NEXUS 7 OR SOMETHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
Yeah but you don't get the lag on the ipad mini that you get on any android tablet, and the battery life and design beats any I've had before.
 
Apple is in decline. But poor's man apple is not in decline , so why u r wasting your time in decline or not in decline , leave it.
 
+John Garcia I use an N7.  Virtually lagless.  What little lag remains will surely be removed by the next version, but I've used an iPad Mini and the experience in terms of lag is comparable.

And I hate the design of the Mini.  Those ridiculously narrow bezels are just silly.  They have to break development to make it work, in fact, because any app with corner controls tends to be negatively affected by the sensors used to detect stray touches.
 
People are still pulling this lag argument out of thin air? Videos all over the place of people using Android devices with no more lag than what I've seen from iOS devices yet they are still talking about it. The only lag I've seen on my GNex was caused by a out of control app.
 
Well I'm just commenting on what I have witnessed. I have owned a nexus which I had to take back as it lagged a lot and eventually wouldn't even charge, I then owned a galaxy tab 10.1 which again couldn't handle day to day tasks... It was sold. I now own an ipad mini and out of all the tablets I have owned this is by far the smoothest operating one, and with less specs. Android is too cluttered in my opinion, however iOS could offer a bit more customisation options. I'm yet to try windows RT, could that os be the piggy in the middle?
 
Just forget the mini thing for a second. The Microsoft keyboard iPad chippy thingy is way better than a mini tablet
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