iPad mini is Good News for Apple and for Users
I'm excited about today's iPad announcements. In fact, I'm excited about all of Apple's announcements today. My iPad 1 is "showing its age" mainly because Apple doesn't offer an upgrade to iOS6 for the device. But I don't need an iPad. Mine is working well enough. But a smaller iPad? That's something I might just consider. Especially when the price is as low as $329. I think $329 will prove to be a "tipping point" where people considering Kindle Fires and Google Nexus 7 tablets will walk right by and pick iPad which while more expensive is also considerably bigger.
Holding my iPad 1 for reading is a bit like holding a heavy hardcover book. Not comfortable but infinitely more comfortable than reading on a tiny iPhone display or reading on a cumbersome notebook type device. I expect holding the iPad mini to be like a paperback book. Lighter, smaller, easier to hold and still very readable. In fact, it turns out the screen isn't all that much smaller than the full sized iPad 2 and iPad 4. So interacting with apps should still be finger friendly. When will I get one? I'm not sure. But it's a given that I'll be getting my hands on one some time soon.
I'm delighted with my two most recent Apple purchases. One was an iPhone 5, which arrived late last week. The other was a late 2011 15.4 in hires antiglare Macbook Pro. It geekbenches almost 4 times faster than the 2008 Macbook it replaced. And the iPhone 5 geekbenches 4x faster than my iPhone 4. So I'm a very happy camper. I've no interest in an iMac, but I bet my wife would want one. I like the new iMacs and retina MBP models but I prefer to do my own computer upgrades so I'll be sticking with the traditional MBP line for some time to come.
Overall, today was a very good day for Apple though AAPL doesn't reflect it presumably because the oveall market is down. I bet that if win 8 struggles to take off and Apple computers approach 20% market share, AAPL will seek $1000 instead of hovering in the 600's with an occasional spike into the 700's. There is one caveat: Of course some of this depends on Apple's profit margin on iPad mini. If their overall average margin shrinks even as their market share grows, the stock will continue to meander.
So which model do I get? 16 GB wifi? I think not. I think I'll have to consider the At&t 32 GB 4G LTE version. It bothers me that Apple is still peddling a mere 16 GB of flash for a $100 upcharge but I do like the quality of Apple's stuff so I pay it. I was very impressed at how well iCloud brought everything back when I went from iPhone 4 to iPhone 5. It was efortless on my part. Log in to iCloud on the new phone and pick restore. Done. I think it will be this easy when I upgrade from iPad 1 to iPad mini some time in early 2013. Until then I continue to use my iPad 1 which is still a delight to use in almost every way. Still, I do look forward to one day getting more storage, iOS6 and LTE (for those rare times when I need it).