Opinion: Why an iPad Mini might be the right tablet for you

The iPad Mini is rumored to be imminent, and if it's anything like it's larger sibling it could be a game changer for the tablet market.

Apple will host an event on October 26 ostensibly to announce a smaller iPad model. The Apple iPad Mini as it's been dubbed by the rumour mill, is expected to be a 7 or 8-inch sibling of the iPad, designed to compete with smaller tablet rivals like the Google Nexus 7, or the Amazon Kindle Fire HD.

There's never a shortage of gossip and rumours when it comes to mysterious new Apple products, but there does seem to come a point where the speculation reaches critical mass and it seems more likely than not that there's truth behind it. Assuming an iPad Mini is, in fact, impending, it will probably be a game changer.

Despite initial claims that the iPad is strictly a "media consumption device" not suited for business, the tablet continues to be widely adopted for business use across a variety of industries. Reports earlier this year indicated that 94 percent of the Fortune 500, and 70 percent of the Global 500 corporations were already testing or deploying the Apple tablet.

The sheer volume of quality apps has helped drive the dominance of the iPad, and the dominance of the iPad has helped drive interest from developers to create quality iOS apps. It's a self-feeding circle that has resulted in apps to perform virtually any business function you can think of.

Since the launch of the iPhone, and the original iPad, iOS integration with Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync has evolved significantly. IT admins can exert a great deal of control over iOS devices through Exchange ActiveSync policies.

The reason that an iPad Mini could be a game changer is that it is expected to cost $250 or $300 tops. Other 7-inch tablets are available in the $200 to $250 range, so it makes sense that an iPad Mini would be around $250 in order to be competitive. As great as the iPad is, businesses are going to be inclined to get those same features and capabilities at half the cost if the iPad Mini pricing estimates are accurate.

For businesses that are already deploying iPhones and iPads, or allowing employees to use their own iOS devices in a BYOD (bring your own device) scenario, an iPad Mini will make perfect sense. The iOS platform, the apps, and the culture will all be consistent with what everyone is already used to.

Businesses that are more Android-oriented, or using Windows Phone or BlackBerry devices may need to look more closely at the potential value of an iPad Mini, and weigh the features and capabilities against Android equivalents, or the upcoming barrage of Windows 8 tablets like the Microsoft Surface.

Granted, this is all pure speculation. Why? Well, because officially there's no such thing as an iPad Mini, and nobody really has any clue what the features and capabilities of such a device will be if it does exist. As of right now, all we have are "leaked" images and information that might be fake, and hints of a possible Apple press event that was originally rumored to be this week, but pushed back to next week when no invitations arrived to confirm the first rumor.

So, maybe there will soon be an Apple iPad Mini. Maybe there won't. If there is, though, I think it's safe to assume it will have a seismic impact on the 7-inch tablet market. More importantly, if the price is right and the capabilities are remotely similar to those of the larger iPad, the iPad Mini could be an ideal device for business use.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tony Bradley

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?