iPadillo? iPadette? iPad Mini?

There are rumours swirling around Apple releasing a 7″ tablet, in order to compete with the newest up-and-coming area of mobile superiority, a smaller, more handheld tablet.  While there is the Nexus 7, the Playbook, and the Fire, Apple is missing out in this area.. But is it a wise decision?

Apple is one of the most important companies in the world of consumer technology and one that has changed the destiny of the smartphone and the tablet. It came as a big surprise when the Cupertino, California-based company announced the iPad more than two years ago. In 2010, Apple made waves with its first tablet generating $9.566 billion in revenue from the iPad alone, and in 2012 it’s making headlines again with a smaller, seven inch tablet it hasn’t even announced yet.

 

Developing a new product doesn’t happen overnight, and Apple has already had ample opportunity to look at its competition before developing a new product. Being in a privileged market position shouldn’t really cause any concern especially when you’re valued at more than $530 billion, and it doesn’t give any reason to go after competing products to make room for their future ones. I believe the saying “pick on someone your own size” is applicable here.

Despite claiming that Android is the source of all evil, they can only go after manufacturers. They are focusing their “thermonuclear war” on two Android device manufacturers at the moment: HTC and Samsung, and no combination of those two companies ends up spelling “Google.” In the most recent trial of Apple v. Samsung, the Cupertino, Calif.-based corporation managed to obtain an Europe-wide ban for the Galaxy Tab 7.7. The Duesseldorf Higher Court (Germany) ruled that the Samsung-made tablet infringes upon Apple’s design rights while its appearance is too similar to the iPad. The ruling prevents the distribution of the Galaxy Tab 7.7 in the European Union, except in Germany. The decision excludes Germany because there has already been a ban on the tablet since October 2011.

The most important product that’s able to make a dent in Apple sales numbers comes from Google. The Google Nexus 7 is a $199 tablet with a 7” 1280×800 display, 8 or 16GB of storage that’s running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and what’s very important is that it has almost exactly the same quoted battery life as the new iPad. The quad-core Tegra 3 chipset powering the ASUS-made Nexus 7 is very fast and because of the speed no one can complain about being underpowered. It’s a very popular product, which because of high demand even sold out last week. This is the true opponent for a 7” iPad, not the early-to-market Samsung tablet. The low-priced, but nicely specced Nexus 7 could force Apple’s design and marketing choices.

Back when the iPad was released, Apple didn’t have direct opposition, and that was one of the key elements to their success. Now, the 7″ tablet market is a race between Google and Amazon, and Apple has no momentum in the space.

Based on Apple’s litigative track record, with a favorable ruling in Germany that prevents Samsung from selling their tablet in the European Union, the question becomes what Apple’s next move will be.

Is suing Asus the next step?

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