Originally Posted by joehunt
I wonder who will buy an iPad mini? Those wanting a 7" screen will buy a Fire or Nexus 7 for $199. iPad owners will probably not be interested as there is not that much difference in screen size (2" ?). iPod touch owners really like the portability of a device with a 4" screen. I just can't figure out the market for this.
Hardware decisions aren't made in a vacuum solely off a spec sheet.
"Oooh! Quad core CPU! That trumps everything else!"
Familiarity matters, so iPhone users looking for a tablet are going to go for an iPad over Android. So are iPod users looking to move up.
Then there is the matter of portability; the baby unicorn is supposed to be about half the size of the current iPad. That makes it lighter, too. That should make it more suitable for longer reading sessions.
The rationale for the mini is that there is a clear gap in iPxxx form factors between the palm-sized iPod/iPhone and the two handed/lap-level iPad. This gap is the primary reason the bulk of Android tablet success has been with 7in devices. With Apple determined to wipe android off the face of the earth, they need to hit android tablets where they live.
The main question about the iPad mini isn't why are they doing one, but rather why didn't they do it earlier? The answer to that will determine its success; if they're doing it because of Amazon's success the mini will likely be a me-too product solely for the faithful. If they were waiting for a specific technological development, it might be a market shifter. (But I'm skeptical of the latter, myself.)