ipad and mini ipad Google, Microsoft & now Apple vie for the Second Device Market

Bloomberg announced on July 4th that Apple is releasing a smaller and cheaper version of its wildly popular iPad near the end of this year. This rumor, which has been swirling for months is also confirmed by the Wall Street Journal in an article announcing that production has begun on a compact version of the iPad. With Apple's almost cult-like customer base, this smaller iPad will no doubt rocket directly to 'King of the Hill' status in the second device market. Google and Microsoft are fiercely challenging with 'Nexus 7' and 'Surface.' 

ipad and mini ipad Google, Microsoft & now Apple vie for the Second Device Market

Bloomberg announced on July 4th that Apple is releasing a smaller and cheaper version of its wildly popular iPad near the end of this year. This rumor, which has been swirling for months is also confirmed by the Wall Street Journal in an article announcing that production has begun on a compact version of the iPad. With Apple's almost cult-like customer base, this smaller iPad will no doubt rocket directly to 'King of the Hill' status in the second device market. Google and Microsoft are fiercely challenging with 'Nexus 7' and 'Surface.' 

The upcoming iPad, rumored to be released in October, is reported to be smaller and less expensive than the currently available model. Early reports reveal a device with a screen smaller than 8 inches, screen resolution of 1024 x 768 and falls in the price range of $200 to $250. The currently available model, the 'New iPad' or iPad 3, has a 9.7 inch screen with twice the resolution and prices starting at $499.00.
 
Google plans to release its new small tablet, the 'Nexus 7' this month in the U.S, Australia and the UK. The Nexus 7, no doubt gaining its moniker from its 7" screen, has a 1280 X 800 resolution display and the new Android 4.1 'Jelly Bean' operating system. 
 
Unfortunately, the Nexus 7 doesn't take advantage of the one of the greatest features of the Android OS over Apple's iOS – memory expansion. Android system users have always enjoyed the ability to add memory to their devices by simply inserting a memory card into an expansion slot in their device. The Nexus 7, oddly, lacks such a memory expansion slot. While the Nexus 7 is fully featured, other than the lack of a memory expansion port, the price is competitive with other comparable devices at $199.  
 
Samsung's entry into this market, the 'Galaxy Note' is confusing. With its 5.3" 1280 x 800 pixel screen – is it a large smartphone or a small tablet? Potential customers don't seem to able to figure it out and predictably sales have been disappointing.
 
Microsoft has also embarked on challenging the tablet PC market with 'Surface'. Surface is equipped with Windows 8, a 10.6-inch touch screen and supports a stylus that uses digital ink.  It also supports a full-size keyboard that comes with touchpad which can enable one to use it as a laptop.
 
The price of the Surface has not been announced, but it is expected to be competitively priced with currently available small tablets and slightly less ecxpensive than 'New iPad'. The biggest drawback is that there is no niche established for Windows 8 though.
 
The release of the new small tablet by Apple is expected to solidify its position in the market and pose quite a challenge current small laptop makers.
 
Reference: MT