It’s Boxing Day here in London and I spent the morning boxing up my retina-display iPad grande. Three weeks ago, when I reviewed the new iPad mini, I put my March 2012 “New iPad” on death row. If, I said, I had not used the bigger retinia-display iPad before Christmas it would be doomed. No such use took place, therefore the execution is confirmed.
The arguments over retina display versus non-retina are a pure sideshow. The real battle is being won on size and weight, not to mention cuteness.
I knew that the iPad mini would become my iPad of first resort. After less than a month in my hands, it is the only iPad I want. Sure, it would be nice to have a retina display, but not at the cost of weight or battery performance. I have absolutely no doubt that within twelve months at most I will be able to upgrade to a retina-display mini. But I am not fretting over it; the iPad mini is just right for the moment.
In the months before the mini arrived, I seldom thought of carrying the bigPad around. It was just too heavy and cumbersome and far too big to use on crowded public transport. Instead, when out and about, I made do with an iPhone, especially for reading. I have been one of the biggest proponents of using the iPhone as an ebook reader.
In the past weeks, not surprisingly, the new iPad mini has been my constant companion, fitting in the smallest of day bags or even in the pocket of a winter overcoat. As a result I am now making very little use of the iPhone 5. I make at most one call a day and, apart from calls and text messages, a phone does nothing that the iPad mini cannot do better. In fact, if the iPad mini had phone capabilities I could and would manage without a mobile phone.
It you want to hear more heresy, what about an iPhone Grande? I like the look of the bigger Android phones, particularly the Samsungs, and I could quite see myself opting for an all-in-one device with a screen somewhere in size between that of the current iPhone 5 and the new iPad mini. Given that the making of phone calls is now a minority pursuit, a middy phone makes a lot of sense. While we are at it, we can perhaps finally bury the very word. Phones are yesterday’s gadgets; what we now crave are pocket computers. As the Germans say, hand me my Handy, Helmut.
When I reviewed the mini I said that it would become the definitive iPad and I stand by that initial judgment. We know it has been selling in huge numbers and, when results are announced, I will not be surprised to find the mini exceeding the sales of the bigger models. It will succeed despite the perception among experts that the screen is inferior, which is something the vast majority of buyers do not know about. Nor do they seem to care even if they do know.
The iPad mini on the way to pushing the bigger iPad into the back row of the stalls. Its ultimate victory can only be hastened by the inevitable addition of retina in 2013.
by Mike Evans, 26 December 2012