All signs point to Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) selling truckloads of its new iPad Air to enthusiastic iAddicts. I won't be among them.
More on why in a minute. First, let's talk about expectations. As my Foolish colleague and proud Air owner Daniel Sparks points out here, roughly 75% of launch day purchases of the device were made by those with an earlier-generation iPad. Upgraders like what they see in the Air.
Fisku, a specialist supplier of mobile analytics, told TechCrunch that 0.88 percent of those using its apps three days following launch were doing so via the Air. That compares with 0.15% for the iPad 2 and 0.22% for the iPad Mini. Next quarter's report could see a huge bump in iPad unit sales as first and second-generation tablet owners opt for the Air.
For its part, Apple hasn't released sales figures. We also don't know if there's a strong correlation between overall sales and enthusiasm among early upgraders. All I know for sure is that I won't be purchasing the Air.
Why? Because, unlike Dan, I love the Mini. Form factor and software matter more to me than screen brightness and processing horsepower. Comics read well on the Mini, Netflix and YouTube render well, and enhanced apps such as KAYAK get just enough space to give me extra travel information.
Just as important, the Mini's 7.9-inch package easily fits in a handheld portfolio or cargo shorts, and has proven indispensable when I needed to knock out a bit of writing work in a tight time frame and tighter quarters. Google's (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) Docs supports dictation via Siri in iOS.
Such situations are the exception, of course, which is why bleeding edge upgrades don't matter as much to me as comprehensiveness and simplicity. In keeping the Mini, I know I'll be able to get access to a huge library of games and apps and the greatest variety of streaming services of any tablet. Whether they play back on a Retina Display is unimportant.
None of which is to say the Air isn't a remarkable or worthy product. Clearly it is, but so is the Mini in its current form. Which is why I believe the rumor that Google is working on a Nexus 8 tab that roughly mirrors the Mini are spot-on. The search king would be small-f foolish to leave Apple unchallenged in the mini-tab category, especially now when supply constraints threaten to put a lid on sales of the forthcoming Retina version.
Now it's your turn to weigh in. Have you bought the new iPad Air? What about the Retina Mini? Please leave a comment to let us know where you stand.
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