Apple Fears iPad Mini Clones?

Well, Apple should.

Dig it: With zero marketing done outside of China, the Chuwi V88 is known internationally. See the sidebar at the right of this blog for Top Posts — the Chuwi V88 has been dominating that. While Apple has spent millions pimping the iPad Mini, Chuwi has spent just about nothing. Apple probably spends more on cafeteria food in a week than Chuwi has in advertising and marketing.

The Chuwi V88 has 1GB of RAM compared to the iPad Mini’s 512MB. There’s also a 2GB model. It also has a miniHDMI port, microUSB, and microSD card slot. For less than US$200.

That is competition.

If “trade dress” issues didn’t prevent from it being sold everywhere, the iPad Mini would be in serious trouble, judging from how Android phones are doing.

And today, two pieces of a puzzle snapped together.

Apple & Samsung’s “Profit Share” Trap contains this insightful quote from Steve Jobs:

What ruined Apple was not growth … They got very greedy … Instead of following the original trajectory of the original vision, which was to make the thing an appliance and get this out there to as many people as possible … they went for profits. They made outlandish profits for about four years. What this cost them was their future. What they should have been doing is making rational profits and going for market share.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

We can argue that the point is moot since Apple dominates tablet sales. But that’s right now. And in a market it has managed to deform by bringing lawsuits over “trade dress” issues.

As for the price of the iPad Mini, I raised my own objections over the price when it was introduced. That price seems even more wrong now, with the iPad Mini clones.

And the second puzzle piece: Apple said to be under pressure to release $200 iPad mini

Specifically, Yeung says that he and his colleagues “expect Apple to launch a lower cost iPad Mini” over the holiday quarter that will have a “similar screen resolution with a cheaper mechanical design” and will be “priced at around US$200-250, to defend its market share.”

I don’t know what “cheaper mechanical design” specifically means. But again, the iPad Mini clones offer the same design, nearly the same materials, and they’re more than US$130 less than the base model of iPad Mini.

Over the course of the months it’s been out, the components that comprise the iPad Mini have become less expensive for Apple. So their profit margins have increased. That sounds to me like the very thing Steve Jobs talked about with the “old” Apple. Greed versus ubiquity.

And it’s just not the iPad Mini clones Apple faces. There’s the Archos 80 Titanium. It’s gotten good reviews (aside from its crap cameras) and it’s an eight-inch tablet that escapes the “trade dress” issue. And it’s just US$169.

Others have already shown that an iPad Mini clone can be done for a lower price. How long before Apple does it with the iPad Mini itself?

One more thing: The iPad Mini, even for US$199, will need a spec bump. That 512MBs of RAM doesn’t cut it. See: Google Books PDF Death Match 2: iPad Mini. That’s a test all of the current iPad Mini clones would not fail at.

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2 Comments

Filed under Android, Apple: The Company, Marketing

2 responses to “Apple Fears iPad Mini Clones?

  1. Ahem, did the clones offer the same apps?

    Time to rethink your logic train.

    • mikecane

      Do the phones offer the same apps as the iPhone? Better rethink your premises before engaging in “logic.”

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