October 25, 2012

You would definitely want the new iPad Mini after you read this.


Oh Conan O'Brien, I swear I don't watch your show enough.

Conan O'Brien takes on the tech giant's latest gadget release with the video above.  It echoes on the sentiment I now have about Apple and their antics, which is just to make money by any means necessary.  I have read and heard people say that Steve Jobs is probably rolling in his grave with what's going on in Apple right now.  In one year Apple have released a 3rd generation iPad, a new MacBook Pro with Retina display, the new iPhone 5, another 13 inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display, a new thinner iMac,  a 4th generation iPad, and now, an iPad Mini???


That's a long list in the past 10 months.  By all indications, Apple has been hard at work.  But just focusing on the iPads for a moment, what are the marked differences with ones released this year and the previous generations?
Retina Display: This has been a huge selling point for folks at Apple; customers swear they couldn't bring themselves to look at a screen with less stellar display.  I'd admit I'd been spoiled.  I have used the iPad 2 and can't help but notice how pixelated the display can be, looks like it could hurt my eyes.  I couldn't bring myself now to use that exclusively.  Apps, web pages and documents look more tangible and crisp.
Siri and Voice dictation: Far from perfect, this voice assistant would make you feel like James Bond or Inspector Gadget; you can talk to your phone and and have it respond back.  On occasion you can even carry on simple conversation, all of that is innovative, but still needs work.
The new Lightning connector: There have been much to be said about the new iPhone 5, one of it being this important factor; you need a whole set of new (and sometimes pricy) accessories; you now need two different chargers for the iPad and iPhone, meaning customers will spend more money to keep both devices.  So Apple responded by creating the 4th gen. iPad and making the 3rd gen. with the  30-pin connector obsolete.
Apps: iOS so far has more apps in the mobile tech market, 275,000 on the iPad alone.  Apple so far makes it's devices with smooth and integrated interfaces that power these apps on both the hard drive and software, that alone makes Apple stand alone in the competition.

These are the few I can think of at the top of my head.  What's Apple's rush to release so many products in one year, and why are loyal fans willing to shell out some serious cash for whatever Apple releases?  Conan O'Brien explains it in the above video.

A commenter on Gizmodo puts it this way: "It's not for people who already have an iPad... its for people who are too cheap to buy an ipad".

Here's from another commenter:
All Apple products sell because of customer mind-think-turned-demand. People didn't want any i-device and then Apple made it - Apple made something, made it fashionable and the sheep followed.

It's all about image - how you look, what you wear, what you carry (e.g., mobile phone, iPad, etc.). It's about making yourself feel good. Psychologists see this as a form of insecurity. I agree.

If you have an iPad, you believe that others see you as successful, hip, and successful. If you have one of the other tablets, you're seen as a copy-cat, geeky, techie, or cheap (or some combination of these). It's not because you're necessarily successful or hip - it's because of the "stuff" you have.
iPhone owners sneer at Android-toting folks, thinking that nothing compares to their iPhone. Android users are seen as uncool, uncouth, and unrefined. This makes the iPhone users feel good about themselves.
But the reality is that Apple has created a following, fed them pretty much milk-toast vanilla devices (this dates back to the original Macs), and sucked them dry. Apple users are like zombies who've had the life drained out of them. Who else would wait in lines days before a new Apple device is ready for sale (an "event" for them) when you could wait maybe a week and just walk in and buy it?
Ha ha ha...

There are a lot more hilarious comments like these.  But seriously, I'm beginning to be turned off by how "condescending" Apple is starting to become.  Is there really a need for the new iPad Mini? Well you be the judge.  By all indications iPad Mini is an iPad 2 Mini me, for at least 50% more in price than tablets in it's class.

Guess you don't have to question Apple's antics, you just buy the product.  It's like questioning why Range Rover, Bentley, Mercedes Benz cost so much more than a Toyota or Nissan; it's all about class.  Apple gizmos are more than just gadgets, they say "I'm just so much cooler than you, with that...I don't know, other Android thing."

However, Apple is now ACTIVELY competing with the rest of the market, which by my understanding, wasn't its style; it followed it's time table, released a product, the product had its run for a while before another would be released.  Not anymore these days.  By being this way, Apple is starting to lower their standards.  I guess Apple released this latest gadget in response to customers who would want something compared to the Nexus 7 or Amazon kindle; cheaper tablets that could handle all your mobile computing needs and still fit in the palm of your hand.  Or maybe they just had to show consumers yet another innovative breakthrough, just ahead of Microsoft, set to release its new Windows tablet.  A closer look at the prices of all the iPads on the market and you notice the differences aren't much.  iPad Mini comes in 3 storage capacities as usual, and with that the prices escalate.  The latest release is by all standards not all that impressive.  iPad Mini comes with a Lightning port, a FaceTime HD camera, 5 megapix iSight camera, a Dual-core A5 chip, it also has Siri integrated.

Compare all iPad models.

Listening to the Keynote address this week, the only feature that stands out about the new Mini is the fact that it now packs all the features in a smaller and thinner tablet that fit in the palm of your hand.  So should you buy it?  Not if you already have an iPad.  Maybe now Apple can target the demographic of consumers who'd otherwise never consider an iPad because of it's price, maybe not.

Maybe it's an emotional, psychological thing; the need to follow Apple like sheep and buy just about any gadget they release especially now that they dish them out like hot potato.  I like my (now obsolete) 3rd generation iPad, it serves it's purpose.  Only time will tell which direction folks at Apple will turn the company or whether they will continue in Steve Jobs' philosophy.  We all have to wait and see.
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