Books & Review
Updated: Sep 26, 2012 11:27 AM EDT

The new iPad Mini

Many reports say that Apple will unveil the new iPad Mini on Oct. 23.
(Photo : Reuters)

With the release of the Kindle Fire HD, many customers are still waiting around for the highly anticipated iPad Mini.

The new Kindle series has many attractive features.

There is an updated Kindle Fire for $159, and a new line for Kindles, the Kindle Fire HD, starting at $199 (16GB 7-inch), $299 (16 GB) to $499 (32 GB) for the 4G LTE Wireless. It has an 8.9-inch screen, which has 25 percent less glare, two antennas for Wi-Fi, which gives a stronger signal. The Kindle HD will also have MIMO, which adds up to Wi-Fi that should be way faster than the competition, 41 percent faster than the iPad and 54 percent faster than the Nexus 7, according to Amazon.

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The Kindle Fire HD features Whispersync for Voice, which Amazon syncs all your books across all your gadgets, that syncs your words-book with your audiobook. You can also sync up your progression in games. Another feature will be Immersion Reading. You can listen to the narration of your book while you read it. It has over 11 hours of reading, surfing the web on WiFi, watching video or listening to music. Of course, battery life depends on users' personal settings and factors such as downloading content and how much they browse the web.

These look like features that many book readers, and those looking for a good cheap tablet, would want. However, a new survey shows that many are still waiting for the iPad Mini and would rather Apple's smaller tablet than the Kindle Fire HD.

According to TheBorneoPost, CouponCodes4U conducted a survey of 2,103 consumers. When asked whether or not they were happy with the latest Kindle Fire HD, and shown details of specs if not aware of the new device's offerings, 55% of respondents said they liked the look of it, while 45% admitted that they were 'unimpressed' with the latest tablet.

Those who said they liked the look of the tablet were asked to stipulate what they liked the most, to which the majority of respondents, 51%, said the "competitive and affordable price", while 27% said they liked "Amazon's powered content library" and 13% cited the ability to set parental controls on certain apps, like video games, as a good selling point. Under a tenth, 9%, of respondents felt that the overall improved spec made them like the new Kindle Fire HD.

Respondents who said they were unimpressed by the new Kindle Fire HD were asked to explain why, to which 45% admitted that they preferred a "larger screened tablet", while 39% said that the Kindle tablet didn't blow them away due to 'not matching up to competitors'. In addition, 11% of consumers said the tablet "didn't offer enough apps" to keep them interested.

When all respondent were asked whether or not the new Kindle had enough to hold their interest if and when the iPad Mini was released this year, 39% of respondents said it would. However, 54% of respondents said they would be more likely to opt for the iPad Mini when it is released, while 7% of respondents admitted that they would "consider" both tablets.

Books & Review also did a poll between the Kindle Fire HD and the iPad Mini. The Mini got 1,000 votes while the Kindle got 171 votes. In another poll with the two tablets and Google's Nexus 7, the iPad Mini came in first again with 1,935 votes. The Nexus 7 had 303 votes and the Kindle had 190 votes.

Why is it that many want the iPad Mini over the Kindle Fire HD, even though Amazon's tablet offers many attractive features?

One big factor is brand loyalty. Apple has many fans that, even if something better might come out, they would still opt for an Apple product.

Mark Pearson, Chairman of CouponCodes4u.com, said, "What was surprising was how many consumers, even though they were happy with the look of the new Kindle tablet, were still curious enough to say they would be more likely to opt for the iPad mini. While many people have voiced a negative opinion about Apple and the products of late, you cannot deny the power of their marketing campaigns and products. What will be interesting to see is whether or not the tablet will be able to live up to people's high expectations."

TabletBlorge reported: "If this were any company other than Apple then entering a market with a device more expensive than the direct competition would spell disaster. But Apple can rely on its millions of loyal customers remaining completely ignorant of the competition and buying an iPad Mini regardless. Steve Jobs will certainly not be spinning in his grave right now, but he probably will be smiling."

Brian Marshall of the ISI Group said, "While Amazon's new products look impressive, we believe Apple remains the dominant vendor/platform of choice for smartphones/tablets."

Apple will have to add more reading apps to the iPad Mini to make the smaller tablet a good e-reader also. The current iPads have iBooks, which feature "the best of what's new right at the top of the page." There is over 1.5 million books, including new Multi-Touch textbooks. "Since iCloud keeps track of what you've previewed, you can start shopping on your iPad and continue on another device."

There are also reading tools, such as highlight or underline text, make notes, look up a word in the dictionary or on the web, or search inside the book. You can even use VoiceOver to have iPad read to you. With iCloud, the books you buy on your iPad appear on your other devices, ready to read.

In terms of price, one analyst says that Apple might launch the iPad Mini at a $250-$300 price point, cheap enough to convince customers that the iPad Mini is a Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire alternative. Some say it will not have Retina Display.

Many believe that the iPad Mini will be priced similar to the new iPod Touch.

According to Ewan Spence at Forbes.com, he believes also that it will be around the same price as the Touch.

"From the evidence today, I'd expect to see a 16GB iPad Mini with Wi-Fi connectivity to launch at $299, with a 32GB model at $399, and a 64GB model at $499."

According to ZDNet, an iPad Mini "would ideally need to be priced at or below $299 in order to remain competitive in the face of the iPad 2 and 3."

Many reports say that Apple will unveil its smaller iPad at an Oct. 10 event, just a month after they unveiled the new iPhone 5, which was Sept. 12. Then, Apple will release later in October.

Which tablet would you buy: the iPad Mini or the Kindle Fire HD? VOTE NOW!


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