Ahead of the Microsoft Surface Tablet and iPad Mini release date announcements, the world was gripped with the incredible excitement of what was likely to prove a revolution in the Tablet PC market place. While the first ever Surface Tablet from Microsoft heralded the birth of an all-new ecosystem, Apple’s iPad Mini was expected to run circles around the Amazon Kindle Fire and wipe the floor with the Google Nexus 7.
However, neither has been met with anything close to the expected hysteria and Apple’s mini-tab in particular is facing a relatively lukewarm reception.
The arrival of the Microsoft Surface Tablet was greeted with something of a “cautious” welcome over the course of the weekend, as consumers swarmed to dozens of pop-up stores across the US though proceeded to actually buy the tablets in much smaller numbers. However, the most surprising turn of events came in the form of lackluster response to the unveiling of the iPad Mini, which has a release date scheduled for November 2nd.
Rather than obliterating everything that made the Amazon Kindle Fire appealing, the iPad Mini seems to have driven thousands of would-be buyers right into the arms of Android for one reason alone – its purchase price. According to Amazon, sales of Kindle Fire tablets spiked by 300% in the 24-hours following the announcement of the iPad Mini, which at $320 is a considerably more serious purchase than the sub-$200 Amazon Kindle Fire.
And then of course comes the Google Nexus 7, which is already priced well-below the $200 mark and is rumored to be expecting a $99 little-brother in the very near future – as early as today, in fact.
What all of this adds up to is clear and concrete proof that the most important element of all to the lower-end tablet market is affordability – not the prestige that comes with owning an Apple-badge. Both Google and Apple are yet to release any official figures as to how their own min-tabs are performing since the release date announcement, though it seems now that the long-awaited Apple mini-tab destined to annihilate each and every rival may in fact find itself struggling to compete.