The iPad Mini will become THE iPad in 2013

Posted on January 21, 2013

On November 2nd, Apple launched the iPad Mini, a smaller, cheaper version of their incredibly popular iPad.

The current iPad version 4 has a retina quality display with a size of 9.7″ whereas the iPad mini is smaller, lighter with a lower resolution screen with a diagonal size of 7.85″.

Each iPad has its merits, and at Digital Possibilities we’ve previously argued that each iPad has its merits and that depending on what the principal use is expected to be, each iPad will find its audience.

Indeed, in conversation with a potential purchaser today, they stated that a primary use for them would be to view boat navigational charts, and that the extra space on the iPad 4 would be more than welcome.

Yet, the question that is important for anyone developing applications for the iPad, is which one will have the greatest market share and what the impact on apps will be.

According to a report by Business Insider, Citi has reported that Apple has ordered 12-14 million iPad minis for Q1 2013 and 5-7 million iPad 4s. This would suggest a roughly 2:1 sales of the mini. Of course, this will take a few years to be reflected in the installed base, but the trend and tendency is very clear.

Hence, when companies are designing their iPad applications, they should design them taking into account the smaller physical screen size of the iPad mini. This means that buttons must be much larger than on the iPad as fingers do not become smaller as tablet screen size decreases.

An interesting example of this is the new twitteriffic application that has an arguably inefficient use of screen estate on the iPad, but which would be wonderful on the iPad mini.

Another impact for business is that with the increased portability of the iPad mini, many more applications and use cases can be foreseen. This will be witnessed both in the consumer arena and in business to business uses.

For example, the iPad mini can be more easily used to complete paperwork; whether it’s when the piano tuner comes or the telephone repair man is fixing issues in an exchange.

The big question for businesses now is:
• how can I profit from the increased use of the iPad mini?
• how can the iPad mini make my business more efficient?