Gone are the days of Apple's dominance in the mobile market. Yes, the company led the way. Yes, the company still makes fine products.
But Apple isn't alone. Not anymore.
Case in point? 7-inch tablets. Steve Jobs proclaimed them "dead on arrival" as a concept, but the public disagreed judging by their buying habits. Surprisingly enough, people did want a cheaper tablet that still delivered quality.
This article isn't about picking on the iPad Mini. We've already shown how the specs match up between the Nexus 7 and the iPad Mini. We clearly love the Android ecosystem here, so we're going to side with the Nexus.
What's interesting here is not a matter of opinion over exactly which device is better, it's the fact that an iPad Mini even exists. Apple created a smaller tablet in reaction to consumers' behavior. And while the company touts it as the best thing ever, it's actually... well, comparable. More expensive, sure, but the device is comparable to other products out there.
The guys over at Phandroid pointed out at that Apple is not just reacting on tablets, either. Despite Jobs' proclamation that a "3.5 inch handset size is the 'sweet spot' for mobile phone design," the iPhone 5 was 4 inches.
Apple's focus for a long while has been that the company did not want to fragment its offerings. It made one phone and one tablet, yet here is an additional tablet. As Phandroid said, "Cook can backpedal however he likes, but do not believe for a second that Apple wanted to make the iPad Mini."
Things are changing, folks. Apple is having to evolve in order to stay with the market. Let's not kid ourselves, Apple is a massively profitable company, and it's not in any danger of losing its rabid fanbase anytime soon. But, the company does need to examine its position in attracting new customers. Apple fanatics are going to buy any device that comes out, but what about the college student looking for the next sleek device? The competition is stiff.
Brand loyalists on both sides of the tech divide will buy whatever is next, but it's the new market that decides which brands live or die. And the new market hasn't made up its mind.