Arriving stylishly late to the party, Apple this week endorsed the marketing viability of a tablet that can be held in one hand. The iPad mini has the feel of the original iPad in roughly the same footprint as the Kindle Fire. The comparative specs of the mini, Kindle, Nexus and other entrants were provided by Gizmodo. The Microsoft Surface, also announced this week, is 3 inches taller and 1.5 inches wider than the iPad mini. MacWorld did a hand on analysis of what it is like to use the smaller iPad, which they felt effectively carries the high iPad standard.
Maintaining a good user exerience on a smaller screen presents some challenges. Apple had to modify the operating system to detect accidental touches along the edge of the thinner bezel. Mobify offered a list of five best design practices for the mini, warning that standard desktop design just isn't going to work. Campaign Monitor looked specifically at email considerations. High expectations for advertising on the smaller tablets were the subject of an Online Media Daily post.
A Q1 2012 study by Viacom found that the larger tablets were used at home 74% of the time. The key takeaway of the iPad mini is that it could turn the tablet into a true mobile commerce device. The prospects look good. Piper Jaffray is already forcasting that the mini will be taking a big bite out of the larger iPad's sales.