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How Will Amazon, Barnes & Noble Survive the iPad Mini?

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the add-rear-facing-cameras-dammit dept.

Businesses 354

redletterdave writes "For about a year, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble were almost completely alone in the 7-inch tablet market. It was nice while it lasted. The past few months have seen Google and Microsoft unveil their 7-inch tablet offerings — the Nexus 7 and Microsoft Surface, respectively — and it looks like Apple is about ready to get into the mini tablet game, too. If Apple releases its first 'iPad Mini' next month, what can Amazon and Barnes & Noble do to keep the Cupertino colossus at bay, as well as the other new competitors in the 7-inch tablet game?"

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Who cares? (5, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964715)

I get really tired of this frame of stories that assume Apple is the alpha and the omega.

Who cares about a possible iPad Mini that isn't drinking the Kool-Aid already? Just another iOS device, they already come with a range of displays, connectivity, etc. If you have already bought into the iOS ecosystem you might want one, otherwise not so much. What other OEM adding a new screen size would be a major story on /.? Newsflash! Dell adds new display option to their laptop line, discuss.

And for that matter, I don't really care about the Amazon or Nook tablets because they are trying to run the same Apple game plan, poorly. I don't want to semi-buy a tethered device that is more a tethered window into it's owner's cloud than a computer that [I] control. And to a great extent I toss the new Google Nexus 7 (by Asus) into the same pile.

Look around and you can buy tablets in any size, build quality and price that can be unlocked, accept removable media, even boot from that external media. Want one with a keyboard? Yup. Good cameras, sensors, etc. How much ya willing to pay? In other words, tablet computers instead of iPad clones. You can keep your subsidized[1] media players; I'm a nerd and I buy computers.

Just don't expect to buy a computer from a media company and get anything useful. Which is what B&N and Amazon are, Apple is in the process of becoming and Google is greatly desiring to be.

[1] Well not subsidized from Apple of course, there you pay more for the chains... but they are just so stylish!

Re:Who cares? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964767)

I get really tired of this frame of stories that assume Apple is the alpha and the omega.

yet you post a hearty reply the same minute the story is posted

Re:Who cares? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965433)

Just you wait until Sloppy gets his knickers in a twist

Re:Who cares? (2)

bob zee (701656) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965457)

jmorris's reply was very descriptive, intelligent and made several good points. if i had mod points, i would have mod'd OP up.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965499)

Slashdot didn't let people like me post early. And the article shows pitiful journalism. They should call themselves iDot.

Re:Who cares? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964771)

Amazon and Barnes & Noble are retailers not "media companies". Amazon's main competitor is Walmart not Google or Apple.

Re:Who cares? (2)

SScorpio (595836) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964815)

When people purchase an iPad they can buy all their music, movies, and books right from iTunes. Amazon would really rather these people buy their digital media directly from them. Sure Amazon offers apps to let you use your Amazon purchases on iOS and Android. But they would much rather you have their tablet which has purchasing media from them front and center.

Re:Who cares? (1)

fiziko (97143) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965107)

I know a number of people who went with a Nook or Kindle instead of an iPad as a book reading device based solely on size, not prize. If Apple puts out a similarly sized device, it will cut into the Kindle and Nook markets. I would anticipate Apple's product will also be the most expensive device available at that size, so it's not going to kill the competition, but it will hurt them. This is valid competition.

Re:Who cares? (2, Informative)

peragrin (659227) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965181)

Why would you assume Apple would be more expensive?

I bet if they do it Apple will be $25 less than a kindle , nook or google tablet.

it is called supply chain Apple has been buying massive quantities of tablet parts the reason the ipad was the cheapest 10" tablet for 2 years was because apple bought up all the screens. When the original ipad was announced everyone thought it would go for $999. when it was listed at $499 a lot of CEO's shit their pants as it was way under priced at that time.

Similarly I expect if an mini iPad is sold it will go for ~$150. just to fuck over the competition. And worse Apple will make more profit per unit than everyone else too.

Re:Who cares? (2)

fiziko (97143) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965285)

I assumed it would cost more because I assumed that it would be priced in accordance with the fact that it is unlikely to be just a book reader, as other devices are, and would have full access to the App Store. As you point out, I could well be wrong.

Re:Who cares? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965327)

Yeah, that sounds totally believable. Apple has a long history after all of undercutting the competition and selling their devices cheaper than the competition.

Bwahahahahahahahaha....

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965415)

That's pretty funny. Since we are pulling numbers from places the sun doesn't shine - how about my number? $299 - for the base model (maybe that will be 16 GB). Add on more money for more storage. Although at least I know I am just pulling a number out of my a$$, I think it is more in line with the Apple price model than $150.

Re:Who cares? (5, Informative)

Papaspud (2562773) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965419)

iPod touches are $199 +, no way they are going to be less than that. I'm thinking more along the lines of $299+.........

Re:Who cares? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965221)

I went with a kindle instead of an iPad not for the price and not for the size, but because of the eInk display. It makes for a much nicer reading than any display I had sofar. Of course this makes the kindle solely a book-reading device. But for this, it's close to optimal.

Re:Who cares? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964791)

People care about what Apple is doing because Apple has historically set the trend for pretty much every market that they have entered

Re:Who cares? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964793)

Microsoft Surface is not a 7 inch tablet and is still vapor ware. If there is an iPad Mini it will probably come out before any windows offering anyways.

Re:Who cares? (1)

Mavus (2703617) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964817)

Ultimately I think you're right. I don't really think it's possible for Apple to make any waves with an iPad Mini. What's it good for? I guess you can hold it in one hand and it's gonna be all Retina'd up. I've been thinking about getting an tablet to replace my laptop but I don't really want to loose the use or any applications on my laptop. Not all of which are available in App form on either Android or iOS so I'll probably wait for a well priced Linux netbook/tablet.

Re:Who cares? (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964855)

First of all I do agree that not every single Apple story needs to be posted especially this one which has been a rumor every year since the iPad was launched. Until Apple announces it, it's a rumor. Just like the iPhone mini. However when Apple does launch it, it will be newsworthy more so than Dell releasing a new display. For the very simple reason Apple is a big player in tablets. Just like I expect that AMD or Intel introducing a new class of processors gets news.

Re:Who cares? (5, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964951)

Who cares about a possible iPad Mini that isn't drinking the Kool-Aid already?

Pretty much everybody, because whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, Apple defined this market with the iPad. You say it yourself, all the major competitors are basically following Apple's lead. Every tablet from every competitor is compared to the iPad in reviews. The tablet market was practically non-existent before the iPad was released. It's not so much a tablet market as an iPad market with a few hangers on.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965135)

An iPad market? A few hangers on? Sounds like you've already had some Kool-aid.

Re:Who cares? (3, Interesting)

bazorg (911295) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965335)

I would only add that it's a new market with lots of margin for growth, therefore I do expect a lot of people to be interested, regardless of kool-aid drinking history. I'd expect the Windows tablet market share to grow a lot when they get MS Office to run on it, and I'm sure there's other players like Nintendo who will get a slice. Apple will probably remain the leader in the high end, Android the overall leader and who knows what follows.For me, the mini iPad is more meaningful if thought in terms of price rather than screen size. If they sell it for just above the Nexus or Kindle price, it will be yet another awesome success for them.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965357)

Just enlarge an iPod Touch 3 times and you have a total new market ;-) ... Glitter and magic all over the place.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965449)

JooJoo was out before the ipad, the company ran out of money.

Re:Who cares? (4, Interesting)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964961)

"Who cares about a possible iPad Mini that isn't drinking the Kool-Aid already? Just another iOS device, they already come with a range of displays, connectivity, etc. If you have already bought into the iOS ecosystem you might want one, otherwise not so much"

And this is where a lot of people (no offence) fail to understand how Apple really operates. Apple will make it their job to ensure that you must have one, that you cannot live without one, that you are a social outcast without one.

They want people to say "Oh, look! A smaller iPad! I didn't want one before, but now that it's smaller, fits in my handbag, and is cute, I want one!"

What will they use it for? Nothing that they can't already do on a computer or a standard iPad, that's for sure. But the fact that it's yet another Apple Fashion Accessory[1], they will buy buy buy buy buy! Because if you don't have one, you're weird.

I don't have an iPhone or an iPod. I have an HTC Desire and a Sandisk Sansa (with Rockbox). What do people say to me?

"Why do you use that? Why don't you get an iPhone/iPod? Everyone else has one."

And when the iPad Mini comes out, it will be like no 7" tablet existed before it, and that Apple has reinvented the market again. Everything else will be a copy (like those copycat Asians at Samsung). We all know it to be true - this is what the general public will believe.

[1] - I don't believe there actually is a tablet market. Just an iPad market. No one wants tablets, just something that makes them look cool and hip. Like everyone else.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965005)

You're absolutely right - Apple won't price their new iPad as competitively in relation to Google's Nexus 7 ($199), and will lose market share.
Of this I have no doubt.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965053)

You seem a little cranky. From your ID, I can't say 'are you new to /. ?', so I'm not sure the purpose of your diatribe other than "Damn it, will they (Apple) control every market? I don't like that!"

So perhaps a tad of your own advice is due.

And my personal opinion is: Must we discuss rumors? There's other sites for that.

Re:Who cares? (1)

noh8rz6 (2689737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965115)

dude, the real story here is about nexus 7 vs ipad mini. everybody's excited about the 7, but ipad mini will eat its lunch. amazon and b&n will be just fine, because people choose it for the feature set not the form factor.

Re:Who cares? (1)

cripkd (709136) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965307)

You are simplisticly overreacting. No matter what you think about the ios environment it does exist and It is a phenomenon both in market share (a market they arguably created) and fan base. The article is not about technical supremacy but about what will happen to the market amazon had before Apple (presumably) decided to enter into. Discuss.

Revenge of the Psuedo-Nerd (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965453)

I get really tired of this frame of stories that assume Apple is the alpha and the omega.

When you start out like that you just look uninformed [thenextweb.com] .

The fact is you should care if Apple is entering a niche because it means that other options may well dry up.

I don't really care about the Amazon or Nook tablets because they are trying to run the same Apple game plan, poorly

Poorly? Both seem to have done really well. Amazon has a tablet that lets people easily hook into the benefits of the media Amazon provides, and they have done a good job of selling devices.

I don't want to semi-buy a tethered device that is more a tethered window into it's owner's cloud than a computer that [I] control.

All of these tablets are computers you can easily control. Why then ignore the very real benefits that derive from the tablet maker also offering a hook into convenient cloud services?

iCloud will happily back up a jailbroken iPad as easily as a non-jailbroken iPad...

In other words, tablet computers instead of iPad clones. You can keep your subsidized[1] media players; I'm a nerd and I buy computers.

You claim you are a nerd, yet you discard the best hardware on the market (not just Apple), hardware that as you admit is perhaps cheaper through subsidization - that you don't even have to use!

A true nerd doesn't care what features a device ships with, just how much control they have over a device and what the hardware is. The iPad is as controllable a device as anything after jailbreaking - which even non-nerds can do, yet it seems to be too intimidating for you.

Weak sauce man. If you want be a nerd or hacker, be that - but don't proclaim some hardware is beyond your nerd-love simply because of extra features targeting the masses that you don't even have to activate.

This is an easy one. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964735)

The iPad mini will have fewer features and older technology than the Nexus 7, and will cost twice as much. That's par for the course for Apple.

Yet still, the Apple automatons will buy it up in droves, because they like being prisoners of a closed platform, and being told how they can and can't use their own stuff.

Re:This is an easy one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964983)

The current full iPad already has fewer features and older technology than the Nexus 7 and costs three times as much.

Re:This is an easy one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965281)

Are you guys drinkin' already this morning? The 'Apple automatons' are becoming too numerous to dismiss with trite dismissives. Perhaps you could say. Boy I don't want one! Perhaps you could say I can't imagine why anyone would want one! But to say the 25-30M a quarter they sell is to Apple automatons? Ummm, then there must be more of them around than you realize.

Re:This is an easy one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965511)

i wasn't aware that the number of customers a product has could magically make the technology behind that product better.

seriously, learn to read or lay off the booze yourself

Surface is 10 inch. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964753)

"The past few months have seen Google and Microsoft unveil their 7-inch tablet offerings — the Nexus 7 and Microsoft Surface, respectively"

Nope. Surface is a 10 inch tablet.

Re:Surface is 10 inch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965309)

Slightly closer to 11 inches, if we're being pedantic. But it's definitely in the iPad neighborhood, not the Fire/Nexus 7 neighborhood.

Surface: 10.6" (wide)
iPad: 9.7" (4:3)
Fire: 7.0" (wide)
Nexus 7: 7.0" (wide)

Surface is not a 7 inch tablet (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964757)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Surface

And besides, I'm sure Apple will sell a bunch, make money. A half year after that I'm sure stories will appear about a new Samsung, Kindle, or Google tab (or the combination of the three) that will offer something new or just enough of something new to move interest back away from Apple for a while.

Eink (5, Insightful)

sehryan (412731) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964763)

Put the focus back where it belongs for their particular devices - Eink.

There are a ton of people who don't want to look at yet another computer screen when they are reading, which is why those people (me included) go for the Eink devices instead of the 7" tablets.

That is the space that made them popular, and that is the space they need to put the focus back on as a differentiating - and positive selling - factor.

Re:Eink (4, Insightful)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964915)

And battery life.

These Kindles may not continue forever, they do last very very long on a charge - Amazon claims up to two months, based on half an hour reading a day, so about 30 hours of constant use.

The iPad 3 is reported to last only around six hours.

Re:Eink (0)

andy16666 (1592393) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965195)

My iPad 3 pushes 12 hours of web browsing. Enough to not have to think about the battery if I charge it at night.

Re:Eink (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965249)

And my e-ink Kindle gets recharged every few weeks. I can't imagine living with the hassle of having to recharge the damn thing every night.

Re:Eink (5, Informative)

Havenwar (867124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965399)

I'm almost ashamed to mention but you might not have noticed the slight flaw in your comment there. 12 is actually less than 30. The point of the E-ink devices are the longer battery life, specifically because they don't have to be recharged every night. You might be tied to an outlet yourself, but some of us actually leave such luxuries behind for more than 12 hours in a row at times, and then a less power hungry device for a very low-tech task is quite appreciated.

You can bring an e-ink device with you camping for a week and get a few hours reading in every day. Can't do that with a tablet. Plus you can read it in full sunshine! And yes, it doesn't have a backlight so it's useless in the dark... but then a separate little campinglight works quite well and uses a lot less energy per hour used than all the extra power a tablet uses just to keep that screen glowing.

So it's no contest, really, if all you want to do is read OR if you want to be able to stay away for a few days without having to hit a power outlet... then it's E-ink all the way. It's apples and oranges.

Re:Eink (2)

a_nonamiss (743253) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965293)

Believe what reports you want, but my iPad 3 lasts 10-12 hours. Maybe an hour less with LTE turned on. I charge mine only at night, use it all day, and I've yet to run out of battery when I need it. (I have gotten low a few times.)

Re:Eink (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964943)

Bingo. The size matters not at all, its the screen that makes the difference. I like Pearl technology, but the contrast still isn't as good as paper in less than optimal light conditions. When they improve that, I'll sell all of my books.

Re:Eink (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965311)

This is Slashdot's 2012 version of "I just want a plain cellphone that makes calls and nothing else."

Re:Eink (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965509)

If tablets used e-ink and had the color depth and refresh rate as current backlit tablets, then maybe you might be on to something.

But they don't. People who prefer e-ink e-readers over much more functional tablets aren't Luddites. They often just want something easier on their eyes to read for extended periods of time.

I want an affordable 10" - 13" lightweight device with color e-ink at a decent resolution. It does not exist yet.

Affordable 10" tablets with backlit displays and decent refresh rates do exist, but they don't allow me to do what I want to do, which is read for an extended period of time without destroying my eyes.

Re:Eink (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965353)

Indeed, I wish as much effort were being put into color eink (research, engineering, marketing) as yet-another 7" backlit tablet.

Quite honestly, it's 2012 and we still don't have a sensible or mainstream non-backlit color e-ink reader.

For crying out loud, it's not a flying car.

Re:Eink (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965485)

There are a ton of people who don't want to look at yet another computer screen when they are reading,

Except you are doing that right now. No body complains about the lack of an eink version of slashdot.

Idea (0, Flamebait)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964779)

How about we stop caring about Apple and just make the better product. Apple sells because of fan base they have, that is the only reason. They don't have better build quality, they don't have better hardware and they don't have better software, they just have fans. So instead of worrying about Apple, how about a company like Google just works hard and releases a better product. The better product wont always sell more but at least you can feel good knowing you did your best, you'll sell enough to make a profit and at the end of the day it wont matter. Of course if you really want the big numbers just stick a sticker of an Apple on the back and paint the tablet white, trust me your sales will double and people wont even turn the damn thing on.

Re:Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964931)

Asymco says there were 410 million iOS devices sold. That's a lot of fans

Re:Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965393)

Back in the early 2000s, I looked at the sales reports and guesstimated there were about 500,000 "Apple Fanbois" that Apple was ruthlessly exploiting to stay in business. Last quarter alone, Apple sold 12 million iPads.

Slashdot is clearly full of people who cemented their opinions in the mid 1990s, and can't get away from their preconceived notions about Apple (and Microsoft and the rest of the IT industry). Anyone who thinks Apple is still selling "lame" devices to their tiny hardcore fanbase hasn't left the basement in quite a while.

Re:Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965463)

Indeed. Let's see, ipad, ipod, iphone. What else runs iOS? I really have no clue? Any of the macs? Oh wait, there's an ipad2, so that as well. How many generations of iphones now? We're at four, so... let's say at least 2.

So that's what, about 4-6 devices per person, and I'm not even counting any destroyed ones or replaced stolen ones or anything like that. This is a fanboy culture we're talking about. So 410 million iOS devices, well, let's count low, let's say 4 devices per person and we've got 100 million fans.

That's a lot, indeed. It's 1.4% of the population of earth. I tried googling things that are that common, the only thing that popped up was schizophrenia. I guess the comparison isn't entirely unflattering to the apple crowd.

Re:Idea (4, Insightful)

andy16666 (1592393) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965217)

Most Apple customers these days aren't part of the fanbase. They're just regular people lately.

Re:Idea (0)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965287)

So instead of worrying about Apple, how about a company like Google just works hard and releases a better product.

Right. Like the Q. Such a 'better' product that they pull it before it ships.

Guess Goog needs to work even harder.

E-Ink (0, Troll)

petteyg359 (1847514) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964787)

They'll survive because nobody with two brain cells to rub together enjoys reading on a backlit and always-refreshing screen.

Re:E-Ink (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964843)

They'll survive because nobody with two brain cells to rub together enjoys reading on a backlit and always-refreshing screen.

Spoken by a person reading slashdot on a "backlit and always-refreshing screen".

Re:E-Ink (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965095)

By "reading" GP clearly meant reading books, not browsing websites.

Re:E-Ink (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965207)

Which is exactly the same thing.

Re:E-Ink (3, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965339)

No, it's not. Books - especially fiction books - are 99% text with the most basic layout possible, and minimal typesetting differences throughout the book. Your typical website has a far more complicated layout and typesetting requirements, often uses color, and generally requires scrolling (rather than page flipping) to conveniently read. Not to mention the whole interactive angle with clicking links; books only have an occasional footnote.

Re:E-Ink (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965443)

Fundamentally you are reading text. So browsing the web and readying an ebook are exactly the same thing.

Re:E-Ink (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965475)

Whether you're strolling on a sidewalk in a city, or climbing a narrow mountain during hike, you are fundamentally walking, so these are exactly the same thing - and clearly dress shoes are the most convenient form of footwear for both.

Re:E-Ink (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965523)

Whether you're strolling on a sidewalk in a city, or climbing a narrow mountain during hike, you are fundamentally walking, so these are exactly the same thing - and clearly hiking boots are the most convenient form of footwear for both.

Hiking Boots = Back lit LCD screen.

Re:E-Ink (2)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965127)

They'll survive because nobody with two brain cells to rub together enjoys reading on a backlit and always-refreshing screen.

Spoken by a person reading slashdot on a "backlit and always-refreshing screen".

There's a big difference between spending 30 minutes browsing the web and spending hours reading an eBook. I always use the eInk Kindle instead of my 7" android tablet for reading a book - it's just easier on my eyes. And while I can browse the web on the Kindle, it's not really the best platform for web browsing so I use the tablet (or my laptop) for that.

Re:E-Ink (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965171)

Spoken by a person reading slashdot on a "backlit and always-refreshing screen".

That's a bit of an assumption, but even if you're right as you probably are - as opposed to what? One of the countless e-ink tablets on sale right now?

Why should they care? (4, Insightful)

Ami Ganguli (921) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964801)

The Kindle hardware is just a channel to sell e-books. If Kindle hardware sales dry up due to competition from other tables, it's not a problem as long as the other devices that people buy support the Kindle App.

Re:Why should they care? (5, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965123)

If Kindle hardware sales dry up due to competition from other tables, it's not a problem as long as the other devices that people buy support the Kindle App.

The problem is that Apple has slowly been making it harder to make its devices sale channels (unless you're willing to pay the Apple tax). Not only they forced Amazon to remove in-app book purchasing, they even made them to remove the button that would take the user to Amazon's Kindle web store in the browser. Right now Kindle app on iOS is a plain reader only, and you have to know where to buy the books on your own.

On the other hand, there's iBooks, which is more prominently there (every iOS device bugs you to install iBooks as soon as you open the app store), and lets you browse the books and buy them, not just read them. I suspect Apple is diverting quite a few iOS users who'd otherwise go to Amazon that way.

What can they do? (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964809)

Sue!

Bad analysis: no market (2, Interesting)

mveloso (325617) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964823)

There is no tablet market per se. There's an iPad market, an e-reader market, and a grab bag of every other manufacturer.

The Samsung Tab? Apparently it sold 37k units in the US last quarter, which makes it a total non-competitor to the iPad.

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/08/10/apple-sold-5-7-million-tablets-in-the-u-s-last-quarter-court-documents-show-samsung-sold-37000/ [cnn.com]
http://fortunebrainstormtech.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/screen-shot-2012-08-10-at-7-33-07-am.png [wordpress.com]

So anyway, what does it matter? There are Nook and Kindle readers on iOS - that revenue stream should be fine. By not selling the hardware both companies save money, but lose on lock-in. The impact will probably be marginal, or possibly a small plus as more people move to nook/kindle and away from books.

Of course, it depends on the price. If the iPad mini comes out at $199 it's game over for everyone else. I doubt that price point because Apple generally doesn't sell its hardware at a loss or close to a loss. They just need to make it close. $300 sounds more realistic - that's $100 less than the Ipad 2 and overlaps well with the iPad touch pricing.

Re:Bad analysis: no market (1, Troll)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964995)

You are a Apple fanboy. You are completely out of touch with reality. I submit the fact that there are in existance of Android fanboys as proof there is a market for tablets outside of iPad, and that the release of a 7" iPad would not remove the market for 7" Android tablets.

So, based on you comments, you are now faced with deciding whether you are a slavishly deluded Apple fanboy, or that slavishly deluded Android fanboys don't exist, and every criticism of Apple has nothing to do with others being fanboys.

I would bet on the former.

Re:Bad analysis: no market (1)

noh8rz6 (2689737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965163)

i agree with you that there is a market of deluded android fanbois. so I guess that means you have the ipad 95% market and the android fanboi 5% market. maybe they have too much money so they throw some away on inferior hardware and software. more power to them.

Re:Bad analysis: no market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965169)

Phew. So the Kindle Fire being Amazon's best-selling product is just an illusion.

Nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964831)

and we shouldnt care. Amazon is a distributor, B&N is a retailer, when it comes to books. tablets are a publishing medium. I dont think we want more vertical monopolies, which is what amazons goal is, and b&n's is now. let apple and other hardware makers provide the platform, and publishers provide the product. and let b&n and Amazon either stick with selling, or move entirely into platform design.

It's all about the content (4, Informative)

HTMLSpinnr (531389) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964835)

Amazon and Nook are all about consuming content. Initial tear-downs of the Kindle Fire purported them to be built at a loss, or at the very least, sold "at-cost". The profits are in App sales, Kindle books, Newsstand subscriptions, and Music/Video content.

Thus, if their consumers are running iPad minis, Amazon already has most of that taken care of. There's a Kindle app for iPhone and iPad, and they've recently released the Cloud Player (music) for iPhone and Amazon Instant Video app for iPad. Those loyal to their content will still be consuming it, regardless of the device. Amazon doesn't have a foothold in all facets of iPad like they do in Kindle Fire or other Android devices (i.e. Appstore), but it's "good enough", right?

To a lesser extent, same applies for B&N. NOOK apps are available for both.

Now the risk for both of these companies is those who aren't loyal to a content provider and the default presence of iTunes.

Re:It's all about the content (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965151)

The problem is that iOS makes Apple services - and specifically iBooks - preferential to users compared to everything else. Sure, people who already own Kindle books and/or the device will find out how to install the app, and will probably keep buying from Amazon, but that doesn't help them grow, only keeps them where they already are. And, of course, every now and then you might see people "defecting" just because iBooks offers a better experience on their iPad (with integrated store etc - things that Amazon simply cannot do).

what's the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964871)

I don't get the appeal of a 7 inch tablet at all. If you want to read novels on a 7" screen, go with e-ink. For comic books, technical articles, web, etc. a 10" screen is WAY more appropriate.

The kindle fire, etc. kind of made sense in that tablets were too expensive, and the fire offered an inexpensive (though inferior) alternative. But there's a lot more competition now, and 10" tablets can be had for about $250. So why bother with the 7" now?

Re:what's the point (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964917)

7 inch tablets are more portable while still performing enough viewing area to be useful for most tasks a tablet does.

Portable FTW in the portable mobile device landscape.

Re:what's the point (1)

green1 (322787) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965173)

And my 4" phone is more portable yet. and better still, I'm already carrying it!
If I want a tablet I want it big enough to use, 10" is marginal, but workable, a little bigger would be better (ideally the same size as an A4 sheet of paper (or 8 1/2x11 for the americans, close enough to the same)) If I want ultra portable I'll use my phone, I see no advantage whatsoever in a device half way between those 2... 7" is too small for anything requiring large amounts of detail and yet too big for being tossed in my pant pocket and forgetting about. It is just an utterly useless size.
I was extremely disappointed to discover that Google's tablet was a 7" offering, I had so looked forward to it until I learned that it was a useless size.
For now I'll keep my phone for reading ebooks, quick emails, and all other things that I want with me at all times, and keep my 10" tablet with it's keyboard accessory for any serious work when travelling (has completely replaced a laptop for me)

Re:what's the point (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965531)

It had to be said... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964889)

Now I'll be embarassed to go pick up an iPad for the wife. "Umm, do you need mini or maxi?"

Re:It had to be said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964945)

haha, "wife".... really slashtard?

Perhaps they'll open it up a little (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964921)

It would be nice tohave a more open Kindle Fire.

At least enable Bluetooth.

iPad Mini (1)

unlucky ducky (2525132) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964923)

I read that as iPod Mini and became confused

MiniPad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965157)

I just call the iPad Mini the "MiniPad" - it's one syllable less to say and it rolls off the tongue nicely.

Re:iPad Mini (1)

raftpeople (844215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965431)

Thanks for the update. I'm going to get another bowl of cereal, I'll be back in a couple minutes.

Simple (0)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964937)

By costing 1/3 to 1/2 less then the iPad Mini. There's still a lot of people out there that don't want to pay the Apple Tax.

This is just stupid. Look at how many 3rd party MP3 players were on the market before smartphones took over that role for most people. It's the same reason why people went out and bought a $50 Sansui instead of the $150 iPod Nano. Despite what the average fanboy would believe, price is still a motivating factor for a lot of people. I know many people that specifically went out and bought cheap-o MP3 players because they didn't want to risk losing/breaking the iPod which cost three times as much. For all intents and purposes, they both perform the same functions, after all, regardless of the price tag.

Just funny (0)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964965)

The impression is that Apple releasing a specific sized device is some how unfair to the competition and yet there was no question of this when Microsoft announced their device. People can argue specs all they want but when it comes down to it the iOS devices deliver the best user experience for most people. Android is popular mostly because the other companies have little choice but to pick it for development. If Apple opened up iOS for development Android would likely die overnight. No danger of that happening I'm just making a point. The point isn't that iOS is inherently superior it's just overall people are happy with it. There's talk of tablets taking over for desktops, not likely but the point is for most people they are good enough so there is a decline in desktops. Tablets will never be adequate though for most people doing serious work on a computer. I have a new iPad and I still spend 98% of my time on the desktop and do no actual work on the iPad. Look at it this way for all the fancy new input devices and overall improvement in computers I still work on an IBM style keyboard, I'm working on a Mac but I hate their keyboards, and I use a $10 Logitech mouse, I'm hard on mice and can kill a Mac one in less than a month and the cheapie Logitechs last 10X as long as the expensive ones. Basically how I use a computer hasn't changed that much in 25 years. I find touch pads clunky and hate using them even. I bought my first one 15 years ago and hated it so I went back to a mouse. I tried trackballs and hated those as well, I do computer graphics and trackballs are only good for editing film and spread sheets. The point is for all the attempts at reinventing the wheel the wheel still works fine. Okay we have an iPad mini coming out, so what? It'll fill a nitch and the desktop will soldier on. I expect an iPad "Maxi" eventually with a 15" or 16" screen. They'll probably come with that cover that doubles as an keyboard/display. Guess what? Back in the old days we called those notebooks and laptops! Try as you might to remake the wheel you eventually come back to round with a hole in the middle it just looks fancier.

iPad Mini? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964991)

Are they talking about the iPod Mega?

in a word: price (1)

cynop (2023642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965031)

The biggest advantage any android tablet has right now, for a non-geek consumer, is the price: Will the ipad mini cost 200$? Considering the iphone still costs about 600 to 700$ and the ipad 2 still goes for 400$, i don't see apple bothering to release a 200-300$ tablet any time soon.

As such, those that cannot afford a 400$ tablet, would head to amazon, barnes&noble and google.

re What happens to e-books? (1)

jelizondo (183861) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965059)

Slightly off-topic... But I haven't been able to find good answers.

Anybody has a link to an authoritative source about what happens to e-books if the publisher/seller goes out of business?

Are there any safeguards that will prevent the publisher/seller from pulling out an e-book already sold and installed in my reader?

Finally, are the e-books complete editions or are they abbreviated?

Thanks

Re:re What happens to e-books? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965201)

DRM-free e-books continue to work. DRM-ed Kindle e-books would continue to work but you can't transfer them to a new device without removing the DRM.

e-books are usually the same as the print version, but sometimes they contain extra stuff.

E-ink (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965073)

Amazon, B&N and all the others will survive because they have E-ink screens, which are far superior (and, sadly, more expensive) for their specialized purpose.
If people wanted a color 7" tablet to do more than just reading, e-readers would have been gone from the market already. The only benefit a dedicated e-reader has over one of those cheap 7" no-name Android tablets is the screen. Even the cheapest Android tablet outperforms an e-reader in every way... except the screen.

E-ink is shit for other purposes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965521)

Some of us purchase art books, comics, graphic novels, manga and full color magazines; for those e-ink is shit.

B&N Should Sue Apple (0)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965125)

Just like Samsung so obviously copied Apple when they created the Nexus, Apple is obviously copying B&N by creating a 7 inch design. Just like making a reasonable graphical and physical user interface on a tablet, there are so many alternatives if they wanted to make a smaller tablet. They could have made a seven inch circular shaped tablet, or triangular. Making a seven inch rectangular tablet just smacks way too much of theft of intellectual property. You'd think Apple would recognize this by now after how people copied them when they invented the windows GUI, the mouse, the internet and HTML, digital music, tablets, and all those other things we all know (OK, what Apple fanboys, fangirls, and fan(girl)judges believe) they came up with.

Trick question? (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965129)

They'll survive it the way they've survived the iPod Touch all this time.

I honestly don't understand the 7" tablet market. If I want small, I've got my smartphone. If I want big, I can use a 10" tablet. WTF am I supposed to do with something that's too big to fit comfortably in my pocket but so small it's still hard to read?

Re:Trick question? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965273)

Bought an iPad 1, and soon figured out it was only comfortable to use in certain postions. Then I noticed all Apple's display advertising showed people leaning back on the couch or lying in a hammock, rather than trying to hold the thing out with gorilla arms or hunched over a desk.

Figure a 7 inch model will be far better for ebooks or note-taking (with stylus), while the 10 inch is better for games & web pages. We're moving into a future where everyone will own 3-4 different "screens", so might as well get on the bus.

The Playbook (2)

GoJays (1793832) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965149)

"For about a year, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble were almost completely alone in the 7-inch tablet market. It was nice while it lasted."

The Blackberry Playbook is a 7" tablet and has been on the market for over a year now. How come it is never mentioned? I mean, it had it's flaws when first released but has been patched up for the most part now. When the playbook was first released everybody was saying 7" was too small for a tablet. Amazon, Google have each released their 7" and now Apple has been rumored to release a smaller version of the iPad and all of a sudden the 7" is the sweet spot?

iPad Mini (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965229)

Currently I have an iPad 2 and I love it. If that’s drinking the Kool-Aid then give me some more! I would be highly interested in getting a 7 inch iPad, because of it being more portable. I prefer the iOS to the Android system and I’m really hopeful that they release it next month. I first heard a rumor of it from a coworker at Dish, because my girlfriend and I normally only use our iPads to watch live TV on the Dish Remote Access app, since my DVR is Connected to a Sling Adapter. It lets me stream live TV and recordings over the internet to my device. It would make it much easier to carry for me and even easier for my girlfriend’s small hands to hold it up!

How will Apple survive the price drop in tablets? (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965257)

Tablet computers are becoming a commodity. A 7" tablet from China is only $70. [alibaba.com] On Amazon, you can now get Android tablets from $60. [amazon.com] Since the Allwinner ARM system on a chip came out for $7, with no US intellectual property to run up the price, the compute power in low-end tablets has been quite impressive. Tablet computers are going to be something you buy in a blister pack at the convenience store.

How will Apple, with all their expensive stores on expensive real estate, and a business built on huge markups, deal with that? Their pricing is around $400, over five times the price of the competition. They can't maintain that margin.

There's a market for luxury items. The CEO of Rolex says "We are not in the watch business, we are in the luxury business. The volumes are small. Apple is too big a company to take that route. Apple may have to try coming out with lower-priced lines to compete.

Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965391)

Just not charge $500 dollars like Aplle.

Both the summary and TFA are wrong (2)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965407)

Microsoft Surface is not a 7" device...

The ipad mini too heavy? (1)

goffster (1104287) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965435)

The ipad mini will have to be a *lot* lighter.
If they are to compete with kindle they will have to sacrifice much
of the ipad experience unless they have some slam dunk
power consumption strategies/hardware that allow for a much lighter battery.

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