The iPad Mini-The iPad Enterprises Have Been Waiting For

The iPad Mini-The iPad Enterprises Have Been Waiting For

Summary: The much-rumored 7.85-inch iPad could be the one that CIOs finally, wholeheartedly embrace. Here's why.


Bigger ain't always better. Ask anyone who's watched the world's greatest soccer player, the 5'7" Lionel Messi. Or anyone who's regretted snarfing down a Supersized meal.

Despite Steve Jobs' public trashing of smaller-than-10-inch tablets, an iPad Mini seems, based on the history of Apple rumors and my own reporting, to be not only inevitable, but a likely hit, too, especially with big businesses.

(Here's my 'reporting,' by the way: the driver who took me to the San Francisco Airport a few weeks ago told me his previous passenger was an Apple executive who told him - and this was before the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg articles came out - that an iPad Mini was definitely coming. By the way, the driver's wife works at Google. Only in Silicon Valley...)

As we've all had beaten into our skulls by now, form factor is key with mobile devices. Partly, this is due to how it affects weight and whether or not it can fit into a lady's purse. But mostly it's because of how it crucially it affects the usability of touch-based screen interfaces.

shutterstock_102397144 (1)

Supersize my tablet? No thanks.

Credit: Shutterstock

So I do buy the argument that the iPad Mini creates a new category, distinct from 7-inch Android tablets and 10-inch iPads. As pointed out by Twitter user, trojankitten, a 7.85-inch iPad Mini would be 30 square inches. That's 40% larger than a Google Nexus or Amazon Kindle Fire, and 33% smaller than a full iPad.

That screen will likely be the 1024x768 resolution of the iPad 2, and, here's my guess, use the iPad 2's dual-core A5 processor.

Why? The new iPad's faster A5X with quad-core graphics is overkill for a 1024x768 screen.

Going with older components also lowers power usage and heat emission, and boosts battery life.

It would probably also allow Apple to match the Google Nexus and the rest of the Nvidia Kai-based tablets on price. Though knowing Apple, it will start at $249 for 16 GB of storage, instead of $199 for 8 GB.

In this way, Apple is copying what it's done successfully with the iPhone in the last 2 years: sell what are essentially older versions to the price-sensitive mass market and avoid cannibalizing its high-end while stealing away users from Android.

How About Enterprises?


Topics: ÜberTech, Tablets, Mobility, IT Priorities, iPad, Google, Enterprise Software, CXO, Apps, Apple

Eric Lai

About Eric Lai

I have tracked technology for more than 15 years, as an award-winning journalist and now as in-house thought leader on the mobile enterprise for SAP. Follow me here at ÜberMobile as well as my even less-filtered musings on Twitter @ericylai

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Mini Ipad

    I am dying to buy this...Can you please let me know the price of this ipad mini & where can I buy this?

    Cady SEO
    Cady SEO
    • Dear Cady SEO

      Apple Thanks You for your impromptu fan post. As per agreement, your check is in the mail.

      Kind Regards,
      Apple Corporation - Marketing & Corporate Brand Advertising
      • Yes!

        Thank you for the interest in Apple's vaporware. We will keep you up to date, but don't call us we will call you.
        • Not Apple Vaporware

          Because Apple has made no mention of it.
    • Dear fanbois,

      The iPad Mini is on hold. We are busy copying the Samsung Galaxy Note and inventing the stylus. We are hoping to release the item for Christmas so the general public can beta test it for us. We will then release the firmware update 3 months later and then your iNote will be almost fully functional.
      • You have it all wrong hater

        Of course anybody that has read any of your posts regarding anything Apple has come to expect you to be wrong, it's pretty much a given at this point.

        Why would they copy the Note when they want a real hit product.
  • There will be no Ipad Mini

    I think that all of the leaks and predictions are wrong, for the following reasons:

    1. A 7" ipad would be just a toy and media device, not for any serious work like a 10" tablet. Apple already makes an ipod touch for this purpose, which is perfectly useful for games and media. A 10' tablet has the potential for getting real work done such as word processing or making slides. You can type reasonably fast on it, too, without an external keyboard.
    2. Apple has always focused on making great products in a small product line. They don't like to spread themselves too thin, just to compete with every possible product. Why aren't they making printers? or large screen TVs?
    3. Steve Jobs made his opinion clear on the matter, and I don't see any reason that they would switch directions. In my humble opinion, 7" tablets are a fad-- too big to put in your pocket, but too small to create content or really enjoying browsing the internet. For reading books, a sub-$100 e-reader is fine.
    4. Samsung has a lineup of ipod touch clones of various sizes-- 4 and 5 inches, and I don't see too many of those around.
    5. I own an Ipad. I can't see any situation where it being smaller would be an advantage. I also own an ipod touch, which is good to carry with me in all situations. The 7" would satisfy neither situation.
    • Agree, but there is a bigger reason.

      I don't know if Apple will or won't jump on the 7" bandwagon but the biggest reason why I would never get a 7" tablet is overlap. For most people people who already have a smartphone (myself included), we already have the functionality of a small tablet. And the newest smartphones have very large screens, some approaching 5". A 7" tablet only gives you a small improvement of additional screen size with the same basic functionality. A full size tablet however allows you to do things that you simply can't do well with a smartphone. That is real added value.
      On the other hand, if you don't already have a smartphone at all then a 7" tablet may be an economical entry into the tablet market. But i'm not sure the econo-line is the market Apple should be going after.
      • incorrect size

        Yes, but isn't it nearly 8", not 7"?
        • Awkward size

          The 7.85" screen that is suggested is still just a possible size cited by some tech blogger.
          Obviously an 8" tablet would be better then a 7" tablet, just as a 10" tablet would be better than the 8". Did you follow the link to the source of the 7.85" size? Most of that larger size is in the width of the tablet rather than it's length. That raises the question about portability. How easy is it to hold in one hand and can you fit a squarish 8" tablet in a pocket too? That's one big pocket.
    • I agree with your assessment but not all of your points.

      A 7" tablet is definitely easier to put in a sport cost pocket than a 10" tablet (which is what most road warriors still wear to work). But, screen resolution is a big deal to the content creator. And, unless the device uses a stylus, fingers are just too big for detailed work - even on a 10" screen.
      M Wagner
      • Really?

        Most road warriors wear a 10" tablet to work?
    • I thought Apple was being pretty arrogan and bullheaded when they announce

      that according to their research that their was no market for a touchpad smaller than 10 inches. The market appears to have ignored their research and their are plenty of 7 inch touchpads selling and for each one their is likely a ten inch touchpad that won't be purchased. It is conceivable that, in light of the market ignoring Steve Job's proclamation that they would never want a smaller touchpad that Apple might just have to build one after all. That's a lot of profit going to other companies if they don't.
      • What they h$%#! ZDnet, fix your flippin' site!

        It has been weeks and my comments are still "User name not displayed". I can't edit after posting. I don't like downvoting being removed and the top rated comments was nice but is now gone and the rating not being easily visible in the corner makes voting for comments obsolete. Whats the point anymore?
        • Growing pains

          I don't know why Zdnet feels the need to keep changing the format either. But I think getting rid of down-voting was a good idea in my opinion. Like Youtube, down-voting comments into oblivion was just a way for fanboys to swarm an article and silence arguments that they don't like. Too many valid comments were being removed by down voting simply because the commentator had an opinion the fanboys didn't like. An argument should be able to stand on its own.
          • I actually read a lot of the down voted posts...

            Esp. when there are a lot of replies to it even after its been down voted to oblivion. Most of them really have earned the down votes. I have, however, helped to up vote a few posts back onto the board but perhaps only two.

            You are right on an argument standing on its merit but the down vote, up vote system allowed the readers to democratically vote on its merit. Only allowing up voting allows for invalid comments to be elevated by swarms of fanboys with no recourse for anyone else to vote the comment back down where the majority are against it.

            Frankly, having a voting system at all means that comments won't stand on their own merit but will be ranked according to popularity of the ideas expressed. So I ask again, What is the point of a voting system at all if users aren't allowed to both vote for and against comments?
        • Try this

          Change your default user name.
    • A 3.5" screen is not nearly as good as a 7" screen!!

      I have both an iPhone and a Kindle Fire. Games and media certainly work on the phone, but they are much more enjoyable on the tablet. After owning the Fire for a while I found it almost painful to look at the small graphics on the phone. And the tablet -does- fit in some coat pockets. I think the 7" form factor has a significant market segment for people who find both the price and size of a 10" tablet to be prohibitive.
  • Who will buy?

    With Win 8 being released this fall, only few enterprise folks will go for an iPad... Win 8 tablets are general purpose machines and applications written even in the seventies will run on it.

    iPad is nothing but a toy, get over it.
    • Agree

      A nice play thing versus a fully fledged, business ready, business-app capable tablet in the Surface.

      It would be the height of folly for enterprise to take the iPad Mini over a Surface tablet / hybrid - built specifically with mobile enterprise applications and functionality in mind.