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The iPad Mini: Does the Investment Live Up to the Hype?

Kerin Foster

The highly sought out iPad mini has finally made its debut into the tablet world not long after the release of the iPhone 5 and just in time for the holidays (apparently Apple is in a rush to maintain their slot as one of the top retailers for such products). But the question remains: is it really all it’s cracked up to be? The iPad mini has officially gone on sale in Apple stores and on the Apple website as of today (timed to perfection, I just received the launch e-mail to my Inbox) and has apparently drawn much smaller crowds than the company has grown so accustomed to.

Already, news sites are relaying that those that have reviewed the product thus far aren’t all that thrilled with the low screen resolution encompassed within its 7.9 inch display and corresponding higher price of $329 versus its competitors’ price tags in the $159-$199 range. However, many find it to be much more attractive than other tablets of its size and capability. According to Tech Crunch, the competing 7-inch Google Nexus tablet is nearing 1 million sales per month. It remains to be seen if the iPad mini is going to perform the same way that the original iPad did when 60 million iPads were sold in its 2012 fiscal year as today is only the very first day of official sales in 34 countries. With the economy the way it is and consumers being a bit more frugal, it is quite possible that the iPad mini may be in a bit of an unforeseen dilemma.

Google Nexus 7

Google is, of course, an extremely popular household name that has expanded into allowing their loyal consumers to have “the best of Google” right in their hands, literally. Of Google’s Nexus products they are offering the Nexus 7 tablet which is their smallest version. Comparable to the iPad mini, the Google Nexus 7 has a 7” screen (the name is oddly appropriate just as the Nexus 10 has a 10” display) and the oh-so-popular Android platform.

As a general search term,the keyword google nexus displays 256 million results with an average search volume of 40.5 thousand searches per month and has a CPC of $0.91, but this keyword is relative to all Nexus devices (the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10), and not solely the smaller tablet.

In contrast as displayed by the screenshot above, google nexus tablet has a lesser amount of results with 122 million and an average volume of 14.8 thousand searches per month, and this might be relative to either the 7 or the 10, but as we can see from the phrase match report, google nexus 7 inch tablet has a miniscule search volume of 210 per month, so public interest seemingly may be within Google Nexus as a whole rather than the smaller tablet itself.

The nexus tablet keyword on Facebook is mostly being bid on by companies in India and Malaysia, which is a bit surprising especially seeing as how Google is not one of those companies. Hence, Facebook ads for the Google Nexus tablet are rather geographically diverse. Additionally there are ads that are directing Facebook users to win an e-reader which could consist of the Google Nexus tablet or the Kindle Fire.

Dissimilar to Facebook ads, Google is bidding on the keyword google nexus tablet in addition to the lesser expected Sam’s Club (I for one would never even think to purchase a tablet at Sam’s Club) who is offering free shipping to those who order the tablet. Amazon has also bid on this keyword as a method with which to advertise their Kindle Fire. Google is utilizing the keyword to advertise the Nexus 7 on its own rather than employing the ad to incorporate promotion for all of their Nexus products and has put a focus on the purchase price and the fact that it is “light and portable.”

Amazon’s Kindle Fire

The Kindle from Amazon has been available for quite some time and is an extremely popular, affordable, and smaller tablet. When it first came out, the Kindle was mainly an eBook reader that was geared more toward the purchase of books on Amazon for reading on the tablet itself. While the eBook reader is still available, it has also now developed an Android-based tablet with a color touchscreen that has been named the Kindle Fire.

The keyword kindle fire has a meek CPC of $0.24 but boasts 492 million results and 823 thousand search queries per month, making it very large in public interest. Relative keywords are those of reviews for the Kindle Fire and various accessories for the tablet itself. Additional relative keywords also consist of comparisons between the Nook and the Kindle (with a very significant amount of searches for these terms), so it seems as though the public may be overtly interested in the actual comparison between the two. Perhaps the public is being keen in making the attempt to compare two similar products prior to making a purchase. Amazon is the only company that is bidding on the keyword kindle fire, utilizing it to make the public an offer to purchase the product for only $159 while also including free shipping.

Amazon has also invested some of their budgeting funds into running ads on Facebook by advertising the Kindle Fire 8.9”. There are also ads promoting the sale of the Kindle Fire HD that have geographically varied locations in the Ukraine and India; this being extremely comparable to the Facebook results that were discovered for the Google Nexus 7.

iPad Mini

Now for the be all and end all, the long-awaited iPad mini; the keyword term itself has 502 million results total with 49 thousand searches per month and a CPC of $1.31. The public seems to be rather interested in the iPad mini which may be due to the overall popularity of Apple as a whole. Relative keywords consist of mini ipad, ipad mini release date, and ipad mini price (this being a source of concern for consumers due to the fact that the iPad mini is priced significantly higher than its competitors). It has also become apparent that the iPad mini was given a low “score” for a screen with low resolution, whereas its competitors above have even smaller screens but a greater amount of pixels. However, there are positive factors to the iPad mini such as the ability of the user to hold it in one hand. Since today was the initial day of sale after its release, it won’t be long before user evaluations will become available either confirming or refuting these initial reviews.

If we look further into ipad mini release date, we can see a CPC of $1.11, results at 44 million and an average search volume of 1,900 per month. It can be easily assumed that much of the public was intrigued by Apple’s newest product and interested to find out when the actual release date was going to be for the iPad mini, regardless if the purchase outcome was as expected.

Apple is allocating a portion of their advertising budget to Facebook ads for the iPad mini. These ads consist of ad copy promoting news for the iPad mini as well as a more generalized ad that promotes a number of items from the Apple product line, both of which direct the user to their homepage. Additionally, others are bidding on the Facebook keyword such as Australian and Chilean websites selling keyboards for the iPads as well as websites who sell accessories. Just as with the comparable tablets, the Facebook ads for the iPad mini are also geographically varied.

Upon completing a search for ipad mini in Google, we can see very clearly that there are 2 main bidders for the $1.31 CPC keyword: Apple and Amazon. Amazon is utilizing the hype around the iPad mini to advertise their Kindle and specifically, to relay the lesser cost which is of dire importance to consumers. Of all of the three mini-tablet competitors, Amazon outwardly devises the most unique bidding habits by engaging the strategy of bidding on their competitors’ keywords and promoting the differences, and benefits, of the Kindle Fire.

Ah, the joys of rivalry; the iPad mini has finally arrived and the coming days and weeks will be the true test of the interest and overall response to its influx into the Apple product line as well as how it owns up to its competition. Something to take into consideration: many factors may have also affected the results of the iPad mini release including the massive devastation that hurricane Sandy caused on the East Coast only a mere 4 days prior. Perhaps Apple should have considered producing and releasing their newest tablet a bit sooner but its better late than never, Apple fans.

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