iPad Mini : The day Apple has become boring

I won’t comment the pros and cons of the iPad Mini. What struck me is that it isn’t an innovation and Apple isn’t the first mover in this category. The 7’’ tablet segment is already occupied by the Nook, the Kindle Fire, Galaxy Tab 2 7, Nexus 7, etc.

They will for sure sell loads of this iPad mini as they did for the iPad. But the introduction of the iPad mini is just a non event as it is a follower move. I think Apple has lost his mojo and starts to be as boring as a standard manufacturer.

Why Apple should stop making Macs

I was making a BCG matrix for a client of mine the other day. And I just wondered what it could reveal on Apple’s product portfolio and its future decisions.

As a reminder a BCG matrix a strategic tool to identify the growth and profit potential of each product or business unit.

You first determine the growth of the market and the market share of the product. You end up with 4 categories of product:

  • Stars: Profitable and growing product. Usually companies pour more money in it to push them further. In Apple’s case, the star products are the iPhone and iPad
  • Cash cows: extremely profitable product, no extra effort or investment is needed to maintain them. Here one finds the iPod, where Apple enjoys a huge market share in a stable market.
  • Question marks: These products have an uncertain future. No apple product fits in this category.
  • Dogs: These products should be stopped if unprofitable. If profitable, no investment should be made. This may mean selling the product operations. In Apple’s case, the MAC operations.
Apple BCG Matric

Apple BCG matrix

Will Apple sell its MAC operations? I don’t think so, but surely Apple won’t invest much in the development of the next Mac generation. Bur will surely focus on its iPads and iPhone star products.

Apple breaking away from a PC centric era

Steve Jobs mentioned in one of its famous key notes that we were entering the post PC era. Nice talk. But when you had to set up for the first time any iOS device out of the box, you had to plug it into a PC/MAC USB port and sync the device with iTunes. Meaning that you actually couldn’t use an iPhone or an iPad if you hadn’t a PC !

This is now over with iOS5 the new release of iPhone and iPad operating system. And I believe this feature is the most innovative compared to the iCloud, iMessage and iWhatever.

Apple presents it, this way:

With iOS 5, you no longer need a computer to own an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Activate and set up your device wirelessly, right out of the box. Download free iOS software updates directly on your device. Do more with your apps — like editing your photos or adding new email folders — on your device, without the need for a Mac or PC. And back up and restore your device automatically using iCloud.

iOS going PC Free

This feature was available from the start on Android and other mobile operating systems. But the signal here is that Apple is shifting smoothly form a PC (MAC) centric company to a Mobile computing company. Macs are no longer at the core of Apple strategy.

Android tablet price cuts have started

I mentioned in a previous post that people were most probably not ready to pay a premium for an Android 3 tablet.

> Why the first Android Honeycomb tablets should fail

Obviously, the guys at Motorola thinks the same as they have aligned the price of the Xoom to the price of the iPad2 3G (32GB):

Xoom price cut

Xoom price cut

and the price of an iPad 3G 32GB at CarPhoneWareHouse is at the same price of £579.99

iPad2 prices

iPad2 prices

Will it be enough ? I don’t think so. There is a premium people want to pay for the “original” tablet. Is it a €50 premium? a €100 premium? The next weeks will tell.

Like that. But better.

I found this ad from Best Buy on the Internet. I love it because it is a bit like the Netbook hype a few years ago.

Best Buy ad for eeePad Transformer

Everyone loves the tablet concept but one has already a laptop in the bag. And you can’t replace a laptop by a tablet when you need to write a document or make a presentation for the next steering committee.

This kind of hybrid approach is the future of personal computing and will invade all the laptop range at every manufacturer. It will definitely be a hit at the condition that Microsoft succeeds in making a compelling touch experience on Windows. They succeeded in making their own revolution in the mobile space migrating from Windows Mobile 6.x (yuk!) to Windows Phone. Their next challenge is there.

The clock is ticking.