Will a ‘mini-iPad’ dethrone the recently launched Nexus 7?

When Apple first released the iPad they managed to cast themselves as the role of innovator, unleashing a new product onto the world that paved the way for other electronics manufactures to release something similar. However, one area that competitors have managed to differentiate themselves is with the release of smaller, 7″ tablets.

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With Apple so far out of the picture, manufacturers have battled to win the 7″ war. The three 7″ tabs making the most waves are the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Google’s newly released Nexus 7. With the Galaxy Tab being in competition with its larger 10″ sibling and the Kindle Fire being underpowered in comparison, it looks likely that the Nexus 7 will be a big winner for Google.

However, with rumours abound that Apple are set to announce the arrival of an iPad mini could Google’s anticipated dominance of the market be misplaced? A cheaper iPad model could prove too much for many competitors, as one of the main factors that have stopped Apple selling even more iPads has been its price.

Ebuyer.com reported that initial sales of the Nexus 7 were strong, but Google will have to capitalise on this if they want to position themselves as the kings of the 7″ tablet. To do this it will have to emphasise the differences it has with any potential iPad mini. These differences will lie just as much in the software as the hardware.

Saying that, Google and Apple now share one big similarity when it comes to software and hardware. Apple used to be able to market itself in a way that no competitor could because they not only make the hardware, but also the software. This enables the hardware to get the most out of the software and vice-versa. However, the Nexus 7, which was developed by Google in conjunction with Asus and runs on Google’s Android operating system, can also claim perfect synergy between hardware and software.

One of the areas that the iPad currently trumps the Nexus 7 is in its screen resolution. The Nexus 7’s HD display isn’t sluggish by any means, but put next to the iPad’s Retina Display there is a clear winner. Apple is likely to want to make sure that any smaller model retains the impressive visuals. Another area in which a new iPad-mini could outshine its rival is with a camera; the Nexus 7 doesn’t currently have a rear-facing one, and the omission is obvious.

While storage capabilities and processing power is important, the immediate difference consumers see is the operating system. For many people their preferred operating system comes down to what they are used to or personal preference. Google must convince users that are currently happy with iOS that, if they want to experience Google apps such as YouTube and Chrome at their best, they must do so on one of Google’s machines. Only then will Google be able to carve itself out as the 7″ leader.

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