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?

With the announcement about the new iPad officially made, and the well-sought details regarding its attractive new specs and features finally revealed to the eagerly-awaiting public, it only makes sense for everyone to continue their speculations into what Apple will next be introducing to its many offerings of mobile device-related services.

What is the latest item on the rumor mill? It is about a new section in the company’s App Store that will be titled “Catalogs.” The purpose of this section will be to aggregate a host of other apps which in the past have appeared in categories like Lifestyle, according to a TechCrunch article that came out today. The article also reports that news about the App Store’s new category came from a group of developers who had created the app Catalog Spree, which was moved from the App Store due to its similarities with the rumored new section.

Of course, the discovery of new apps in the App Store would be a great main benefit arising from the introduction of a “Catalogs” section. However, what many people are focusing on is the potential avenues for growth in mobile commerce; an App Store section like this could be one more step towards shopping for – and purchasing – physical items straight from a mobile device.

Apple already offers a nicely streamlined and well-managed mobile payment processing service for its own ecosystem, allowing users to make music, app, and in-app purchases on their Apple devices with great ease. Extending this to a service that would allow customers to make all types of purchases through their Apple devices would be a huge step forward in the world of e-commerce. Not only that, if the new iPad sells incredibly well – as it is expected to – this could provide ample opportunities for businesses, as well as Apple, to receive great benefits in profitability.

Of course, this is all conjecture for now. But, it definitely brings one question to the forefront: is your business ready for mobile commerce? With the increasingly-likely advent of the mobile purchasing of goods, all businesses should seriously consider the optimization of their websites for mobile accessibility one of the top priorities in their SEO campaigns.