Newzoo has followed up on the report on the iPad Mini yesterday. Peter Warman, CEO of Newzoo, sees potentially broad support for the device, but he’s still not keen on the name.
“We were guessing and actually hoping the name would be iPad Air. It would give the device more flair and supporting the appeal towards kids in a family situation,” wrote Warman. “Now the kids wanting their own Apple device are continuously reminded they have the ‘mini’, not the ‘real’ thing. Sometimes I doubt if Apple truly realizes the situation in family households. Parents rather do not want their kids playing on their iPhone (for various reasons) and the iPad has earned its place as an essential ‘floating’ screen that fills the gaps when it comes to accessibility via other screens. The unexpected high intensity of use of this new screen is now not available enough to satisfy the desire of the kids to play games.”
“For the kids there is the iPod Touch and now the iPad mini,” he continued. “They both are a direct alternative for a Nintendo DS or PSP. Nobody talks about the iPod Touch but sales and use is huge for a large part because of the fact parents do not want their kids to play on their iPhone and decide to get an iPod Touch. The positioning of the iPad mini will cannibalize on this. It will cannibalize more on the iPod Touch than on the iPad.”
Warman also notes that they were hoping for a sub-$300 price on the system; the price starts at $329 instead. “The price certainly is not ‘mini’ and a bit disappointing,” said Warman. “Disappointing for families because it is considerably higher than handheld consoles, making the decision for parents a difficult one. Disappointing because it leaves the door wide open for Google, Samsung and especially Amazon to increase market share. Amazon is rolling out at an enormous pace in ‘price-sensitive’ Europe in six countries at once with 600 staff in their EU HQ in Luxemburg.”
“Apple only talks about functionalities justifying the price,” he added. “Personally, I believe they are correct, but they are hiding the fact that they had no other option than to price the iPad mini this high. The device is caught between the iPod Touch and the iPad and especially the iPad 2. The only way to have a lower price for the iPad mini was to restructure pricing on their complete portfolio. And I think they should have done that. They missed a golden opportunity to show that they realize there is a recession out there and life is not easy for everyone. Even if they only lowered pricing of all products about $20, the effect on the feeling of sympathy fort heir consumers would have been enormous.”
In the end, Warman realizes that despite certain gripes, Apple will probably win in the short term. “But of course, the device will probably sell like crazy and stock will go up. But do realize that growth of total Apple revenues is fueled for a large part through newcomers in emerging markets and Asia. Apple is taking a risk by not having a specific (second) focus on the Apple believers that were there from the start. Consumers, call them early adopters, that expect surprising innovations and cool and sympathetic moves from ‘their’ Apple. I am one of them. I am waiting. Meanwhile I will talk with my wife if we can afford two iPad mini’s for the kids for Christmas. I think one at most. Or two Kindle Fires,” concluded Warman.