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iPad Mini Is Pointless, Survey Says

Apple is widely expected to debut a smaller version of the iPad alongside the iPhone 5 next month. A new survey points to consumer disinterest--but the logic doesn't work for me.
10 Tablets To Shake Up 2012
10 Tablets To Shake Up 2012
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Apple's yet-to-be-announced iPad Mini could be an epic failure, if we're to believe the results from a survey conducted by CouponCodes4u. The online coupon site polled 1,873 American consumers about the iPhone 5 and the iPad Mini. Shockingly, 78% of the respondents indicated they'd skip the iPad Mini in favor of the iPhone 5.

The results, published by Cult of Mac, could be skewed by the fact that 77% of the respondents already own an iPhone of one variety or another. Even so, this sampling might be cause for concern for the iPhone and iPad maker.

The survey asked respondents why they'd prefer an iPhone 5 over the iPad Mini, and 46% of people said the iPad Mini is "pointless." Slightly fewer people, 39% of respondents, said they'd simply use the iPhone 5 more. The survey didn't allow respondents to elaborate on their decision-making processes.

[ Hardware is one thing. What about the software? Read iOS 6: 10 Things Worth Knowing. ]

The Apple iPad owns about two-thirds of the overall tablet market. Apple's grip on consumer tablet market is strong, to say the least.

Of the 22% of respondents who said they'd pick the iPad Mini over the iPhone 5, 52% said they already owned an iPad. That means many of them would double-up on iPads. Again, the survey doesn't tell us important data points, such as whether or not those respondents would sell their larger iPad, or why they'd want a large and small iPad in their house.

Another reason some respondents would pick the iPad Mini over the iPhone 5: 69% believe that the iPhone 5 won't be that much different from than iPhone 4/4S.

That logic doesn't work for me, and points out several flaws in the study.

First, it means consumers are assuming that the leaked iPhone 5 shots, images, and specs are accurate. Though some of these details probably are in the ballpark, Apple always manages to surprise in some way, shape, or form with its hardware. Second, it ignores the fact that, other than size, the iPad Mini would likely not be all that much different from the larger iPad.

One last data point of interest: 41% of the respondents believe that the smaller tablet craze is a trend, and that Apple shouldn't bother with a smaller version of the iPad. This directly contrasts with the popularity of the new Google/Asus Nexus 7 tablet, which has been a strong seller during its first few weeks of availability.

At the end of the day, it is important to point out that the poll asked people to rate the desirability of products that don't actually exist. In other words, I'd love to see this poll conducted all over again once we have some facts on hand to help with our decision making.

Apple is expected to debut the new hardware next month.

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