Monday, March 18, 2013

iPad Mini: Pro and Con:


I’ve followed many analyses of the iPad Mini (which, I understand, is currently outselling the iPad). There is a critical issue about the Mini that analysts never mention! I shall discuss it here.

In general, the evolution of any sort of computer causes earlier versions to become obsolete. Computer obsolescence has been a sharp issue in the Windows world. Apple seems to want to maintain more compatibility for its older hardware, but inevitably older machines become obsolete: their displays are too small or too weak, and sometimes an OS upgrade, required for the newest software, does not work on them.

The original iPad suffers from some of this obsolescence. And note that some versions of the iPad and iPod do not support Siri.

Apple is up to version 4 in the iPad. For how long will the iPad 2 be able to run the most popular apps?

Now let’s look at the iPad Mini. If I were deciding whether to buy one, I would think first about the following Pro and Con:

CON: The Mini has most of the hardware of an iPad 2! When the iPad 2 becomes obsolete, so will the Mini. And with the original iPad already partly obsolete, the iPad 2 (and the Mini) will be next to fall.

PRO: The success of the Mini has placed Apple in a wonderfully awkward position. Think of the bad press they would garner if they made the Mini obsolete within, say, three years. The Mini’s success will force Apple to plan an upgrade path for the iPad that does not obsolete the Mini too soon. This consideration may explain why Apple is (apparently) not about to release an iPad 5. It’s good news to iPad 2 users.

By the way, I own an iPad 2 (with a gorgeous, irrelevant screen crack) and an iPod 5. I do not plan to buy a Mini. I expect to upgrade to an iPad “N” when I need another one of these machines.

This morning I weighed 217.2 pounds. Darn!

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