The next big thing
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Will the iPad Mini replace the iPad?

I’m sad to say that I will no longer be writing for Lean Back 2.0, and as such, this last post will be on a new survey that’s very much relevant to this blog’s raison d’etre: tablets!

A frequent question tech critics have raised is whether the iPad Mini will cannibalize sales from the original iPad. However, Cowen and Co’s survey of 1,225 US adults—featured on AllThingsD yesterday—reveals that of the 12 percent who plan on purchasing an iPad Mini in the next 18 months, 52 percent have not previously owned a tablet. In addition, only about 17 percent say that the Mini will replace another device. 

When it comes to which devices will be supplanted by the iPad Mini, 29 percent said they will replace an original iPad with the Mini. A whopping 42 percent said the Mini will replace a Windows PC—which is not surprising as fewer and fewer PCs are being purchased—while 13 percent said it would replace a Kindle Fire.

Cowen’s data confirms what we hypothesized when the Mini first launched: the Mini will compete with similarly-priced, 7-inch tablets. As John Paczkowski writes on AllThingsD, “With the iPad mini, Apple isn’t wooing consumers who might have otherwise purchased a larger iPad, it’s jacking into an untapped market looking for a smaller version of the tablet it first uncrated in April 2010”. The fact that Kindle owners are deciding to switch to the Mini will undoubtedly thrill Apple, particularly as Kindle devices have helped contribute to Apple’s decreased market share in the tablet space.

What remains to be seen is whether iPad Mini users have the same behaviors as original iPad users. Will the more portable size encourage more in-depth reading, or will the smaller screen deter users from reading?

For me, my Kindle will still be my go-to device for my morning commutes. Despite the more diminutive size of the iPad Mini, it is still a bit too big for commuters to comfortably hold with one hand. However, the Mini will start to replace my PC. It is much more convenient to sit in front of the television with a tablet than it is with a big clunky PC if both can serve the same function as a second screen to surf the web and read.

Are there any Lean Back readers who are planning to purchase an iPad Mini? If so, is it replacing a device? Or is it your very first tablet?