Why I Won't Buy an iPad Air

Apple's new iPad Air. Source: Apple.

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.

Could this be a mock-up of a new Nexus 8? Source: Android.com.

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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Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On November 05, 2013, at 5:33 PM, longdoc wrote:

    I upgraded from an iPad 2. $20 off at Target plus 5% Red card discount. Then a $200 trade in for my old iPad. Writing off the cost of the new ipad on my taxes for business purposes means that the upgrade was essentially free.

    What is amazing is how well my old ipad functioned and now how we'll it was made. I will miss it. It felt heavy and solid in my hand. Just like I miss the rounded, plastic case of my iPhone 3. It felt great in my hand.

    The high retained value of older Apple products drives down replacement costs. Considering this, Apple doesn't make the most expensive equipment. It makes the most affordable equipment. There is no end of software and hardware upgrades coming from Apple.

  • Report this Comment On November 05, 2013, at 7:09 PM, garysund wrote:

    I bought a total of 3. One for myself and one for my wife and daughter. I will be buying two of the new mini ipads as soon as I can order them. I use both for my small business. Love the products and I am sticking with apple come hell or high water.

  • Report this Comment On November 06, 2013, at 8:52 AM, ninderad wrote:

    It is a pleasure to watch films or play games on a bigger screen of Ipad Air than on Ipad mini.

    Maybe you Tim Beyers have small eyes?

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