If you are in the market for an iPad, get your pen and paper ready and answer the following -
- What's your budget?
- Big or small?
- Retina display? TouchID? Storage Capacity? Camera? What about a Barometer?
- WiFi or WiFi + Cellular?
or compare all the iPad models available for purchase.
Need more details? Of course you do.
There is a distinct possibility that you come out of this exercise with a model launched 3 years ago. Then, Apple's last two years in iPad improvements mean nothing to you.
The iPad has not been performing well since the last few quarters. Sales are flat for this magical device. In addition, the iPad's exceptional build quality and usage patterns impact existing customers who will buy a new one but already have an iPad.
This has forced Apple to become strange bed-fellows with IBM and focus on the enterprise. The other big idea is to broaden the product mix and address every price point in this segment.
But what about product simplicity? What about making the best product? This bewildering array of iPads confuse customers. The huge performance gap and complexity drive developers away.
The A5 chip has proved to be more resilient than the floppy disk and the optical drive.
Can this be simplified? Of course. Apple is the king of simple.But how? My 2 cents...
The iPad Mini has to be the first one to the slaughter house. This device is so old, it is nearer to the original iPad than to the latest one. And at this price point, consumers may incline more towards Android tablets. I have not heard of anybody buying an iPad Mini recently.
Moving on, the Mini 2 can be scrapped and the Mini 3 can be offered with and without the TouchID, only through certain distribution channels (Apple Stores, Apple.com). Rinse and repeat for the iPad Air/Air 2.
This leaves us with the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3.
Now we have a much simpler product lineup for the iPad. Displays are awesome, cameras are great and performance is fantastic all around. After deciding the size, the user gets to choose the color, TouchID support, storage capacity and cellular option.
This leaves the prospective iPad buyer with concrete yes/no, this/that decisions. Far less confusing and easier to make.
Now Apple, if you don't mind, please exchange my iPad 4 with an iPad Air 2 16 GB WiFi-Only Space Gray.