Apple made the front page of the physical USA Today paper on Saturday. But they didn’t actually DO anything.

Some guy, at some investment place, said Apple might make a 7 inch iPad.

A 7 inch iPad is a stupid idea for Apple.

The Google Nexus 7 is $199. The Amazon Fire is $199. Both are 7 inches. The Apple iPad is $499 and 10 inches.

Currently, there’s no tablet market, there’s an iPad market. People don’t want “tablet computers,” they want iPads. But, if Apple admits that there might be anything other than an iPad market, by selling a low cost 7 inch iPad, that invites competition in the form of the Nexus and Fire.

I can’t see why Apple would want that. The iPad is the only 10 inch tablet computer that has any significant market share. Apple owns the market. Google and Amazon see the only way to break into the tablet market is to try to redefine it, where there’s 2 classes of tablets:

  1. 10 inch iPads for $499
  2. 7 inch tablets for $199

If Apple enters the second category, they admit that there’s 2 classes and they’ll have to compete on price. This would be stupid for Apple.

Customers who can’t justify $499 for an iPad aren’t good customers to have. They won’t pay for apps. They won’t pay for accessories. But they sure as hell will whine when things aren’t perfect. And the whining is what will end up in the media and is what will hurt Apple in relation to its competition.

Google and Amazon don’t care about the whining, they have nothing to lose. Apple has everything to lose. Making a 7 inch iPad has huge potential downsides but almost no upside. There’s nothing revolutionary about making a 7 inch iPad.

I really hope they don’t do it.


09 July 2012