The Macalope: iPad mini doomed yet again


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You smell that?

Smells like …

No, not teen spirit.

Something burning. Or the Macalope’s having a stroke. Is he having another stroke?

Oh, no! He’s not! It’s the iPad mini!

Yes, that’s right, stick a figurative fork in your mini and you will find that it is, in fact, toast. (Do not stick a literal fork in it, as it may cause a shock and void the warranty.) Two out of two pundits surveyed agree!

CNet’s Brooke Crothers says the “Nexus 7 finds Apple napping” (tip o’ the antlers to Guy Umbright).

Napping on those giant piles of money it makes off of iPads.

NBC’s Rosa Golijan, meanwhile, thinks “Google’s new Nexus 7 forces Apple’s iPad Mini into a corner” (tip o’ the antlers to the Jony Ive parody account on Twitter).

Fortunately, it’s the corner with all the sales in it.

Since its release in late 2012, many have considered Apple’s iPad Mini to be the 7-inch tablet to beat. Now Google’s new Nexus 7 makes it look beaten.

Well, since Apple’s never going to release another iPad mini ever again, the Macalope guesses that’s that, then. Oh, well! It was a good run while it lasted!

Apple needs to step up this fall or it risks being left in the dust.

Hmm, say, rhetorical question, but how many Nexus 7s did Google sell in the last year? Turns out it was about 7 million. Apple doesn’t break out iPad mini sales separately from iPad sales, but it surely sells at least that many iPad minis a quarter.

Of course, a better Nexus 7 will sell better than last year’s middling effort (the Macalope owns one, so he knows of which he speaks). But better than even the currently shipping iPad mini? Doubtful. And will it sell anything like an updated iPad mini, whenever it comes out?

Ha. Ha. Haaaaaaa.

That’s perplexing to particular pernicious pundits because they see all these specs and they immediately think Apple doom. Mostly because that’s what they’re thinking all the time, but also because they just have a spec-based mindset. However, while the Nexus 7 is a nice improvement on the previous model, Google still faces some hurdles that have nothing to do with the device itself. First of all, it doesn’t have the storefronts that Apple has. Second, Android still lacks the breadth of tablet-optimized apps iOS can tout. The predictions of Eric Schmidt notwithstanding, Apple continues to have an solid ecosystem advantage.

You know, Apple enjoyed a good couple of years where Android tablet makers tripped continually over their oversized clown shoes. The fact that they’re finally selling some units by pricing them at cost is not exactly a huge win.

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