The Wifi version of the iPad Mini has finally gone on sale in more than 30 countries today. Cue footage of Apple fanboys – and girls – camping outside Apple stores, fighting over who gets to buy the very first one, and emerging triumphantly with said hardware held aloft.
While it’s undoubtedly a thing of beauty, the iPad Mini represents the first time in Apple’s recent history that it has followed someone else’s lead. This alone could show its uncertainty in the face of Android’s threat, which we demonstrated in our Q2 2012 Adfonic Global AdMetrics report when Android overtook iOS to become the dominant advertising platform. Now, instead of creating entire new markets, Apple is following the success of smaller Android-powered tablets such as Samsung’s Galaxy S3 and the Nexus 7.
However Apple wants to move forward, when viewed from the advertising perspective, the seven-inch form factor could occupy a new niche, offering the smartphone’s portability with the tablet’s larger screen size and bigger advertising real estate, with intriguing new possibilities for ad formats and audience engagement.
The iPad Mini and its competitor seven-inch models also signal a change in consumer behavior and a shift in eyeballs from TV and traditional computer screens to different devices. More eyeballs means more advertiser audiences, especially those who cannot afford the more expensive iPad, which means more opportunities to view – and all just in time for the Holiday shopping season.