While Apple products have always been cool among college students (even back in the Stone Age when I was an undergraduate), the company really became a mainstream presence when the iPod, and then iPhone, became hits with high school students, then tweens, and even elementary school kids. (If you don't have children, trust me on this.)
Children also love the iPad, though due to its higher price, they are more likely to be "borrowing" their parents' tablet than learning -- i.e., playing games -- on their own. And that fact alone may explain while Apple appears to be readying a smaller iPad, despite Steve Jobs' infamous diss of 7-inch tablets. (Though privately he may have been more receptive.)
Proof of that sentiment comes in a recent poll by CouponCodes4u. While an overwhelming majority of respondents -- 78 percent -- said they'd rather get the forthcoming iPhone 5 (or whatever Apple plans to call it) than a mini iPad, 21 percent said they would consider buying a smaller iPad for their children. Of those surveyed, 39 percent already had an iPad, which might explain why many aren't keen about a 7-inch iPad -- but also explain why more than a fifth of respondents would think of buying one for their kids.
You might not think a company as chic (at least in tech circles) as Apple would lower itself to making product decisions based on 10-year olds, but it makes perfect sense in terms of growing its market share. Look no further than the iPod Nano for a cheaper, smaller version of a pricey Apple product that would more likely be a child's Christmas or birthday present than its full-sized sibling. Even if there wouldn't seem to be huge consumer demand for an "iPad Mini," the company doesn't want to see more kids playing their own Amazon Kindle Fire or Google Nexus 7 tablets instead of grabbing the iPad away from their parents.
Would you buy a smaller iPad for your child? Do you think a mini iPad would be a big hit among younger users? Let us know your thoughts in the Talkback section below.