iPad Mini Price, Release Date, Features: Google Making Two New Tablets, Barnes & Noble Nook Video to Compete with Apple
With Apple about to unveil the iPad Mini reportedly in October, other tablet rivals are making sure they stay in the game.
New reports say that Google is fixing up two more tablets that offer a competitive price against the iPad Mini.
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According to Digitimes, Google is working on two new versions of the popular Nexus 7 that are expected to be thinner, and will use TN panels made by Taiwan-based panel maker HannStar Display, according to industry sources.
"One of the models will be priced at US $199 while the other will be priced US $99, and both models are expected to hit markets by the end of 2012, added the sources.
The sources speculated that Google is preparing for increased competition from Apple when the reported 7.85-inch iPad is released in the fourth quarter of 2012, and wants its device to maintain growing sales.
Meanwhile, HannStar has also reportedly entered the supply chain for Apple's iPad series but has yet to comment on whether it will be working with Google or Apple."
However, Asustek has denied the reports.
Barnes & Noble recently announced that the company is launching Nook Video this fall in the U.S. and the U.K.
Content will come from major studios including HBO, Sony, Starz, and Warner Bros, and Disney.
"Like Amazon Instant Video, Barnes & Noble's Nook Video will allow you to stream or download videos you've purchased. At this point it's unclear if Barnes & Noble has additional studios on board, and the company hasn't provided many details on the service, so the announcement is a bit of a teaser.
'Through deals with these and other major studios, the Nook Video catalog will offer something for everyone in the family to enjoy, including Disney-Pixar's Brave and Toy Story 3, Marvel's The Avengers, 21 Jump Street, Awkward, The Artist, Breaking Bad, Dora the Explorer, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Spartacus, Magic City, The Walking Dead, True Blood, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter movies, The Dark Knight, The Hangover and many more.'
Barnes & Noble is planning to launch free Nook Video apps that will allow you to view Nook Video content you've purchased on other, non-Nook devices, including TVs and smartphones (purchases are stored in the Nook Cloud).
Barnes & Noble says Nook Video 'will also integrate a customer's compatible physical DVD and Blu-ray Disc purchases and digital video collection across their devices through UltraViolet.' In other words, you'll be able to link your Nook Video and UltraViolet accounts and access your UltraViolet movies from any Nook Video app. Barnes & Noble already sells physical discs in its brick-and-mortar stores. It also offers the Netflix app in the Nook app store, but does not offer HBO Go yet."
Some would think that Apple has a lot to do to keep in the game, especially pricing their next highly anticipated device.
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 don't think Apple has anything to worry about because of brand loyalty.
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.
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 2,098 votes while the Kindle got 183 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.
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."
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."
Reports say the iPad Mini will be more affordable and come with a powerful processor. It is also assumed that the new tablet will feature Apple's upcoming operating system, iO6, which includes a new, Google-free Maps app, and Passbook, and promises better Facebook integration, better maps, and better video conferences that use cellular data and Siri. It is also said to have a smaller dock connector, two speakers, and thinner bezel. It may also feature a music service similar to Pandora radio, Retina Display, and FaceTime.