Apple has released their smaller tablet version of the iPad, the mini. The mini is available today for sale however does the price defeat the purpose? The mobile and tablet market is thriving and virtually exploding! In fact, tablets are set to surpass notebook growth in 2016. Research conducted by Display Search indicates that tablets are expected to be the driving mechanism for the mobile market over the next 4 years. With this extreme growth and demand for mobile and tablet devices, Apple decided to launch the iPad mini to compete with lesser expensive and smaller sized tablets. However, many consumers feel the price they offered is a bit too aggressive for the mini tablet.
The full size iPad right now ranges from $499 to $829. In order to stay competitive in this market and challenge the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (starting at $249), Kindle Fire HD (starting at $199) and the GoogleNexus (starting at $199), Apple released the iPad mini, ranging from $329 to $659. With Apple’s product priced much higher than the competition, consumers are asking each other if Apple is asking for too much for the mini and furthermore if this is a sign the tech giant is becoming slightly over-confident in their pricing models.
When we look at the market share of the mobile and tablet market, understandably so we acknowledge that Apple has a commanding lead. This lead, however is slipping away to Android-based devices. According to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, Apple had 81 percent market share in 2011 however that has been reduced to 52 percent for 2012 while Android-based devices have climbed to 48 percent for 2012.
The growth in competition has led Apple to release a smaller version of the iPad however the aggressive starting price may defeat that purpose. Simply put, consumers are able to purchase the GoogleNexus (Android-based device) for more than $129 less than the iPad mini.
We want to know, do you feel the Apple mini is priced a bit too high and are you more inclined to purchase the iPad mini or another mini tablet device?
The US Justice Department interceded in the business affairs of Apple and Amazon lately, ruling on the side of lower-priced e-books. The Department posed an antitrust suit on Apple and five other large book publishers. The government felt the group of publishers was strategically attempting to raise the prices on e-books, prices which Amazon has lowered to $9.99 for new and popular books.
Obviously there must be some limits to how brands treat consumer wallets. As the Times article highlights, the economically-priced e-books of the Amazon brand is fueled by its interest in selling its own e-reader, the Kindle.
Publishers, who want more money for books from suppliers, looked to Apple to charge more money. Kindle is able to ‘take a loss’ on book sales to leverage the market, a market it controls 60% of at present. When Amazon fields enough leverage, it can then dictate ‘its own terms.’ Publishers are looking to recruit more money from e-book sales due to the waning sales of physical books. Publishers fear if Amazon widens the price gap between physical and e-books, the former group will lose even more of a hold on the physical book market as they also get defeated regarding e-book sales.
When Apple came out with the first iPad, it seemed publishers had another vehicle. As the government suit reflects, it seems publishers were resentful toward the evolution of relations with Amazon. The suit quotes David Shanks: “I am now more convinced that we need a viable alternative to Amazon or this nonsense will continue and get much worse.”
As the article relates, the government’s decision will aid consumers at present. A publishing consultant sees a different dynamic. “But in the longer term, competition erodes as the spread between e-books and physical books grows greater. There will be fewer retail stores.”
Book retailers fear for their livelihood and the fate of major publishers. “My fear is that the major publishers won’t be able to stay in business just selling e-books. You can’t bring in enough money to support the infrastructure. If that happens there goes the marketing, the editorial, the author tours, the expertise of the book industry,” says one bookstore owner.
The plaintiffs are the consumers who were suddenly charged $14.99 rather than $9.99. Hagen Berman, the firm representing the plaintiff is housed in a Seattle office space, one also housing Amazon, though the former party denies any affiliation or connection.
Publishers, at present, are keeping a firm stand, not wanting to be bullied by Amazon and falling prices of e-books. Curt Matthews of IPG asks, “Why should publishers cede all of their power to this new player in the book business?”
Announced today, Google purchased Motorola Mobility (widely known as the builder of Motorola’s cellphones and tablets) for $12.5 billion. Motorola Mobility significantly helped the company return to stronger revenue with its line of Android based smartphones. Some analysts say this shines light on future plans for Google (including the development of Google Tablets), however most say that this move is more about securing patents.
The company has gotten itself in to some patent lawsuits and has since been buying the rights to various patents across the board. CEO Larry Page discusses “We recently explained how companies including Microsoft and Apple are banding together in anti-competitive patent attacks on Android”. Page further states that “Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.”
Google competes against Apple in the smartphone industry by making smartphones on Android open-source. Apple’s iOS is closed-source. By doing this, Google wants Motorola, Samsung, and HTC to allow them to customize the software to their liking. This has led to a bitter battle between Apple, Google and Microsoft. Since Google gives the operating system free to smartphone manufactures, Apple and Microsoft are seeking a way to make them pay $15 licensing fee for all smartphones made on the Android system.
The acquisition of Motorola Mobility acts as a hedge against this and tries to give the company more patents in its on-going dispute with rivals Apple and Microsoft.
Today, at the Google I/O Developer conference in San Francisco, CA, Google plans to announce an online music locker service that will allow users to digitally purchase, store, and access their online media wherever they are. The idea of a “cloud” based music service was first announced earlier this year by Amazon.com, and Apple Inc. has been in the talks of launching a similar music service.
When Amazon launched their service in March 2011, they did so without securing any licensing agreements with major music companies, including EMI, Sony Music, Warner Music, and Universal Music Group. This created some commotion in the music industry. Google is apparently following in their footsteps by not making any prior licensing deals with music companies either.
Next, comes Apple’s response to this. Reports have surfaced since the beginning of 2011 of Apple Inc. interested in launching their very own version of a cloud based music service. In fact, Apple reportedly purchased the domain iCloud.com sometime in the past couple months. AppleInsider reports that the company has been using the iCloud name and will most likely name their music service just that.
Yesterday, we reported that Apple recently surpassed Google as the world’s most valuable brand. Now, as Google announces their music service as direct competition to Apple’s iTunes and approaching launch of iCloud, it appears the competition in the tech titan battle is heating up.
In a report released today, Apple has surpassed Google as the world’s most valuable brand. Apple is reportedly now worth $153 billion, de-thronging Google who held the rank for 4 consecutive years. The report, released today by BrandZ, who conducts a study of the world’s top 100 brands each year, was released in London, U.K., where WebiMax recently
Apple’s world renowned product portfolio includes the iPh
On Friday, Apple reportedly filed for lawsuit against Samsung for “copyright infringement” in the development and production of their Galaxy tablet and phones. Apple is seeking punitive damages which could certainly be a whole lot, since their Galaxy products have generated over 11 million units sold since their release last year.
Although Samsung’s products are Android based, Apple feels as though they infringe on their iPad patents, and they claim that the Galaxy phone resembles the iPhone too much.
Apple has not officially released (nor has the courts) the amount of damages they are seeking in their suit, but experts are suggesting that Apple may tell Samsung to pull their devices off of the market.
Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for Apple Inc., said that “We need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when people steal our ideas”.
More information to follow as story develops. In the meantime, let us know if you’ve used the android based Galaxy, is it better than the iPad tablet?