Monday, 21 May 2012

iPad Mini: 52% Would Be Interested

Price, portability cited as main reasons for interest.

Most of the talk about Apple’s long-rumored iPad Mini has centered on the same sorts of things that other Apple rumors focus on. What would be be like? When will it release? How much will it cost? What features will it have? Will Apple release it at all? The one question that industry watchers have tended to ignore is whether people would actually buy it.

While that might seem like a pretty big oversight, it actually makes a fair bit of sense: Apple’s other iOS products have been wildly popular, so if Apple releases an iPad Mini, there’s a pretty good chance that people will buy it just as greedily. That assumption, however, was not enough for PriceGrabber. During the last week of April, they conducted a survey to try and discover whether anybody would actually be willing to buy an iPad Mini, and the results are pretty interesting.

The survey starts with a few basic assumptions about the tablet: a 7-inch display, a $249-300 price point, and a 2012 release date. With those basic specs, they polled 2,603 online shoppers about their interest. Over half of all respondents – 52% – said that they would consider purchasing an iPad Mini. The other 48% said that they would not. Of those who responded, 22% currently own a tablet. Of those who own tablets, 68% have either an iPad or iPad 2, while 10% have the Kindle Fire.

Those respondents who expressed interest in an iPad Mini were asked to select the reasons why they would be interested. The top two features that interested people were the lower price point (64%) and the smaller size/increased portability (54%). Nearly a quarter – 24% – said that an iPad Mini would make a good gift, while one in five admitted that they just loved Apple products and would buy anything. Just over half of all respondents – 51% – said that they would consider buying an iPad Mini as a holiday gift.

Rumors of the iPad Mini have been circulating almost since the launch of the original iPad in 2010. Steve Jobs’s famous declaration that 10 inches was the lower limit for a good tablet experience has often been used to put such rumors to rest. Since Jobs’s death last October, though, rumors have begun to increase again. A month ago Daring Fireball’s John Gruber claimed to have gotten some hands-on experience with a 7.85-inch prototype in Apple’s labs, though he expressed doubts as to whether it would ever actually be released. Numerous rumors before and since have placed the iPad Mini in the 7- to 7.85-inch range. A price point somewhere between $250 and $300 has also been widely rumored, along with a third-quarter release date.

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