|Jimmy Lin with a normal sized iPad and an alleged mini (From: iPhone Life Mag, fair use)|
This will of course go head to head against the 7" Android, and there is speculation that this will move Apple from 75% domination of the market with the 10.1 inch iPad, to 90% of the overall market. This, in a context where 100 million units are shipping and in maybe three years, 400 million will be shipping per annum.
Does this kill the market for smaller Android tablets?
No. Precisely because the Android OS is open, it will thrive.
Similarly, a lot of the expected growth to 400 million units will come in the small-to-intermediate range, where the iPad is going to look like a netbook screen without the rest of the netbook.
There is going to be an opening for education tablets and e-readers [and -- sigh -- game playing machines], with Amazon's Kindle as flagship. Probably by next year also, there will be a version of Open Office for the tablet sector, with an Android version.
The recently discussed low cost chipsets look like opening up room as well.
The US$ 100 or so education and light productivity machine based on Android is still looking good. if anything an iPad mini at US$ 250 or so putting pressure on Amazon with the Kindle at US$ 199 looks to put a broad downward pressure that will go to low cost chipsets and open up a much wider market, bringing down screen costs with them.
Good performance in an open system with low consumer price, is the likely outcome. END