How I Think Apple Screwed Up the iPad Mini Design

Two days ago, Apple introduced a new, smaller iPad, the iPad Mini. It is my considered opinion that they screwed up, and for that I’m grateful. It means my purchase of a Nexus 7 two weeks ago was not a mistake.

So… What is it I think they got wrong? There’s the price! But, if I was looking for another expensive Apple product that integrated flawlessly with my existing hardware ecosystem, the iPad mini might be a good choice. I have a 10" iPad for that, though. The big thing that I think they got wrong is the size. It may fit in your hand well, and it may fit in a medium sized purse, or a coat pocket, but it does not fit in many sports coat, or suit jacket inside pocket, and it does not fit in my pants’ back pocket. The new iPad Mini is just too wide, and the Nexus 7 is exactly right.

Further, if I’m carrying a tablet onto a customer site in my back pocket, I want it to be something I’m not too worried will go walkabout. I’m less worried about my relatively inexpensive Nexus than I am about my $1000 iPad, or than I would be about my $400 iPad Mini.

Also, my Android-based Nexus 7 is connected in different ways to some of my accounts, whereas my iPad is “automatically” connected to my entire collection of accounts, hardware, and software by the nature of the way these Apple products are set up. Certainly I can control which devices access what in my world, but having the Nexus working in a different way makes the division of purpose, and control of access just a little easier.

On the other hand, the new iPad Mini is cheaper than the iPad, so it is a less expensive entrée to the Apple ecosystem, and that will most certainly appeal to some, and that will extend the Apple influence into more psyches.

To sum up, I’m happy Apple is playing in this market, but I think the design, and the price point, are mistakes on Apple’s part. I think they’ve just flashed their hand at a table full of sharks – those hardware manufacturers installing the Android operating system, and, the biggest shark at the table, Google.