With the release of the widely discussed 7.85-inch iPad, Apple will step onto a territory in the tablet market that is controlled by Android products – and successfully challenge those companies. When the iPad first hit the shelves, it had the market to itself and totally dominated it. Some vendors tried to rival Apple, but realized fast that the iPad’s roots were just too deep.
What Apple’s competitors did to gain a fighting chance was to launch tablets with smaller form factors, while the California tech giant opted to stick to the 9.7-inch size. The strategy worked and eventually allowed other tablet designers to take some market share in the segment.
The ‘iPad mini’ will extend Apple’s influence to this smaller tablet market, and it isn’t going to be easy for the iPad to win ground from its more established competition. However, the company isn’t used to defeats either.
This won’t be the first time the iPad maker has used this approach to take on its rivals. After entering the MP3 player market with the original iPod, Apple later expanded its lineup with new variously sized iPod models. What the company has done was essentially squeezing competing vendors out of the markets it set a foot in.
By launching the 7.85-inch tablet, Apple isn’t only looking to steal some market share points from other players, but rather cement its firm grip on the tablet space and entirely control it with the iPad. The device has grown to be a huge, easily recognizable brand, kind of a standard every other tablet device is measured by. Aside from high brand value, Apple also has the iTunes and iCloud infrastructure playing into its hands. Access to TV shows, movies, music and apps synced across all devices is a very powerful advantage, and it will surely help the company monetize the ‘iPad mini’ when it debuts in October.
So, once the product is out of Apple labs, it will immediately allow Apple to grab an impressive chunk of the 7-inch tablet market. At the same time, the company will keep controlling the 10-inch sector as it currently does. While the ‘iPad mini’ launch isn’t expected to significantly affect Amazon’s sales, other vendors will likely see their share drop to a certain extent.
Essentially, the release of a smaller iPad will drive Apple’s rivals into a dead end. If they further reduce the size of their products, the tablet will turn into a smartphone. Making a tablet that is bigger than the 9.7-inch iPad would be impractical, as well.