Chinese net portal, NetEase, has a story on a rumored new mini Apple tablet. NetEase claimed that the device will be released around the third quarter of this year to “counter attack” the upcoming Windows tablets. The report further claims that the devices will cost anywhere from US$249 to $299 and that there will be an initial 6 million units ready for launch.
We’ve always been sceptical of the iPad mini rumours since Steve jobs felt 7.85 inches was too small for a tablet and Apple generally keeps its product range very tight. The main thoughts of the moment are that Apple will be launching the tablet to directly compete with the kindle fire and other similar tablets. If so, this seems like more of a tactical business decision and not a very Apple ‘product centered’ one.
If the iPad mini is to be released, it may be a sign of the ending of the Job’s era (which launched Apple to its current market leading status) and towards the standard profit centred business model employed by Apple’s (less successful) rivals. Then again, it could be ‘one more thing’ to surprise us.