A weird thought came to mind recently. There are a lot of rumours floating around the Internet about this potentially new entry into the iPad range – a smaller version to compete with the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7. A 7-inch device to compete in a marketplace that’s growing at a rapid rate.
If you look at the iPod range, the convention was to make the iPod smaller for a new market (gym goers, those who don’t want that much music, budget buyers, etc.). The naming convention was cute and obvious: iPod nano. A tiny companion for everyone. And the Nano has done very well for Apple, and continues to introduce people to the ecosystem with it being a Christmas hit, etc.
Now look at the Mac range. Apple’s Mac is a very easy to view for those who don’t yet know Apple. The iMac is the big flagship desktop, but it’s all-in-one. The MacBook is a laptop. Easy. Except there’s another Mac in that range, the Mac Mini. A “nano” of the Mac world. It’s smaller, lighter, cheaper but still as useful & powerful as it’s big brothers.
So that’s the iPod nano and the Mac mini.
So where’s this iPad going to fit into the naming convention? It’s important to look at because Apple say the iPad is a whole new category of device, which they have most certainly proven true. But where does this category lean? Hardcore computing or lightweight computing? Most rumour sites are flirting with the “mini” convention, proving true that this is a heavyweight device on the Mac side rather than the iPod side. iPad nano might sound too weedy to consumers, so “mini” makes it sound like a serious device but with an even more serious bigger brother.
I’ve no real conclusion to this post. But I thought it was an interesting point in the Apple world to see exactly where the iPad leans in terms of people’s thought process about what the iPad actually is.