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September brought bad news for me: the Galaxy 10.1 tablet I'd come to rely on for consuming TV, books, and comics died. Fortunately, the doldrums didn't last long. Sadness turned to anticipation when I realized that I'd probably be replacing the Galaxy with a new iPad.
Then, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) introduced the iPad Mini and I got more excited; I'm a bargain shopper when it comes to tech and the palm-sized Mini looks to be every bit the awesome replacement I'd been hoping for. Millions seem to agree: Apple sold 3 million tablets combined during opening weekend sales of the Mini and fourth-generation iPad. Initial reports suggest the Mini was the biggest benefactor.
But as Monday rolled around I began to have doubts. Why? I navigated to Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG ) Play store for movies and TV and found something interesting. Shows I'd been subscribing to on iTunes are now available at Google Play. Notably, series 7 of Doctor Who and season 3 of The Walking Dead . Passes to the current standard definition runs of both shows are now available.
Gutting my argument?
My predisposition toward the iPad over the Nexus or even Amazon.com's (Nasdaq: AMZN ) highly capable Kindle Fire, which I find to be an amazing tablet for $199, is that Apple aggregates content like no other. Amazon Instant Video is available on every iPad via a new app.
But the lines are blurring, as the additions to the Play Store illustrate, which makes me more interested in the new Nexus 10 tablet than I might have been otherwise. The 10-inch Wi-Fi tablet costs $399 if you opt for 16 GB of storage -- with access to Google Drive, I don't see why you'd pay more -- and includes a sharp HD screen. I'm also a heavy user of Google's services, which the 10 promises to handle deftly. There's a lot to like, especially the price.
Which brings me back to the Mini. Much as I respect Google's and Samsung's efforts with the 10, I'm jonesing for a Mini because of the value it offers. Bigger than the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 and offering substantially more content -- and with iTunes, in a package that ensures I get access via my Mac or Apple TV -- the mini cuts costs without making too many compromises, which is why I just added it to my holiday wish list.
Will I have plenty of company? So far, Apple has remained coy about Mini sales. Yet its component commitments suggest a record-breaking quarter is in the works, which leaves investors with a lot of information to digest. To help, we've added two bonus reports to our premium Apple research service. Each one addresses a different area of the Mac maker's business, and they're included -- right now -- at no additional charge. Learn more by clicking here.