Capturing the Rest: The 7 Inch iPad

There’s a lot of talk lately about an upcoming 7 inch iPad from Apple. I think the pundits are having a hard time wrapping their minds around this because it doesn’t seem to have a place in the Apple product family. After all, Apple makes small phones and large tablets. They don’t make large phones and small tablets. I think the point is that the pundits are not the target audience for this device. If Apple were to make the 7 inch iPad – I think they will – it would be primarily for those people not willing to plunk down $500 for an iPad. There are a lot of those people and right now their only option is a competing operating system. Don’t you think a company so willing to jump into the meat grinder of patent litigation with its competitors to keep them out of the marketplace would also release a product that could be so much more effective at capturing market and mindshare?

I think a 7 inch iPad in the $250 price range, along with the app store and all the other great things that Apple has built, would be devastating to competing tablet manufacturers. Apple employed a similar strategy in the iPod market and the rest of the MP3 player market never recovered. I don’t know whether Apple calls it the next generation iPod touch or the iPad Mini but the result would be the same either way, a lot of units sold to customers that would otherwise have gone to Amazon, Samsung, and others.