Analysts differ on the iPad Mini's chances in the enterprise. What do you think?
Wiens: I have another company called Dozuki, which has been providing both 7-inch and 10-inch tablets in the enterprise. Dozuki is software that helps manufacturers use tablets on factory floors. Manufacturers use tablets to provide instructions to workers for assembling machines and to document service equipment.
Kyle Wiens of iFixit.
With the iPad Mini in this environment, the cost is the issue. When you're talking deploying hundreds of these things, the iPad gets expensive. We've seen industrial customers prefer cheaper Android tablets over the iPad because of the cost.
(For a contrarian view, check out iPad Mini Not Likely to Follow New iPad's Enterprise Success.)
Will the iPad Mini open doors to the single-use case scenario?
Wiens: There might be some cases where it's more convenient. Imagine a waitress [taking orders] where a phone might be too small and an iPad too big. The iPad Mini could be good as a hand-held, walk-around tool. Managers walking around the factory floor prefer the 7-inch form factor.
As a kiosk in front of a retail store, you might want to go bigger than the iPad.
I'm excited to see tablets get more pervasive in industrial environments. A variety of form factors helps because there are a lot of different situations.
The iPad Mini is still speculation at this point. On the consumer front, how will an Apple offering fare against the Kindle Fire and Google Nexus 7?
Wiens: The Kindle Fire really isn't good at anything except for consuming Amazon-purchased content. So the question is whether or not the iPad Mini can beat the Kindle Fire on price. That's really the challenge. Apple is trying to make money on hardware, and Amazon isn't.
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The 7-inch tablet that I like is the Google Nexus 7, the first Android tablet that is anywhere near as good as the iPad in terms of usability. It runs the latest version of Android. It's elegant and has fluid performance, whereas the Kindle Fire is jittery and runs an old version of Android, which is really obnoxious for developers.
It's going to be interesting watching the race between the iPad Mini and the Nexus 7. Not nearly as many people know about the Nexus 7, and so Google faces an uphill battle.