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Posted by Ted Schadler on October 23, 2012
Apple mastered the role of mass market volume and the role of the content ecosystem when it took iPod down market with the iPod Mini in 2004 and iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano in 2005, even as it steadily improved the iPod itself. Apple thus staved off competition from competitors like Creative, iRiver, Samsung, and Sony by offering a player at every price point. The result is a persistent domination of the MP3 player market and its attendant ecosystem: app store, customer base, and content portfolio. In other words, iPod Mini, iPod Nano, and iPod Shuffle made the Apple ecosystem powerful and momentous.
But while Apple created the modern tablet market, its dominance was not assured with a single form factor. Despite that the App Store has 275,000 iPad-specific apps. Despite the fact that already 200 million people are running Apple's latest iOS6 operating system. Despite the fact that Apple has paid $6.5 billion to developers building iOS apps so far. (These numbers all crush the Android and Windows mobile ecosystems.)
Despite all that, our Forrsights Workforce data shows that Apple's share of tablets in the workforce shrank from 67% in 2011 to 53% in Q2 2012. Samsung and Kindle Fire, took the bulk of that shift: Samsung has 13% of the global workforce tablet installed base in Q2 2012 and Kindle Fire has 5%. Both brands rely on small form factor tablets.
Apple needed to respond to this consumer and employee demand for smaller tablets. It's no surprise, then, that Apple took a page from its own iPod playbook and shipped the 4th generation of its seminal iPad tablet and kept the cheaper 10" iPad2 while at the same time introducing the iPad mini, a 7.9" diagonal screen with a $329 base price. The refreshed iPad and new iPad mini will be good for businesses and for CIOs. Here's why:
What are your thoughts? Will iPad mini and iPad 4th generation stave off competition from Win RT and Samsung and Amazon and others in the enterprise? (I say, yes.)
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