Despite many rumours swirreling the past few months regarding an iPad mini, it does in fact look like Apple will announce a 7-inch version of their hit tablet in October. This will be a separate event from their September iPhone announcement. This is great news for people who do not yet own an iPad, or perhaps those who own an older generation model looking to upgrade. The advantages of having a smaller device would include portability and a lower cost (probably between $250-$300 for the base model). Fans of ebooks would likely flock to the iPad mini, and it will definitely be direct competition for other e-readers such as the Amazon Kindle Fire and the recently released Google Nexus 7. The price point will be a huge attraction to prospective buyers, as the prices people are predicting are not much more than the current generation iPod touches. As a device for consumption, such as emails, web-browsing, and games, it is almost a no-brainer for the average consumer (techie or non-techie alike). The lower prices will make it much more attractive to give as gifts to family members. Travelling with a smaller iPad will also be much easier; less likely for a theft to occur as it will fit easily into a purse or small bag.
I can already see kids and parents alike wanting this device. But what about teachers? It will be very convenient to carry around, especially if you do not have your own classroom. Teachers will no doubt be able to display their new iPad the same way as we have in the past. All the posts that are on this blog will still be relevant to the new device. The possibilities of the iPad as a teaching tool will only increase with this product. Students will likely have an easier time convincing parents to purchase it for them.
The lower costs will also make it easier for schools to adopt an 1:1 iPad program.
Pricing of the iPad mini will be interesting to watch. Apple will surely not want to cannibilize sales of the “regular” iPad nor the iPod touch (which in itself is expected to receive a new refresh). Nonetheless, Apple will be doing fine come Christmas time, as consumers will be able to have quite a wide variety of products to choose from.
How about you? Will you be interested in buying the smaller iPad? Will you see new ways to use it in your teaching? Let us know in the comments!