The iPad mini is a Game Changer

Written by
Matt Gillis, President of Platform

Every holiday season there seems to be one particular item that stands out as the “must have gift” of the year, and in 2012, early figures lead us to believe that this could be the iPad mini. Truth be told, don’t tell my kids but there are already two sitting under our tree at home.

Tablets have carved out a unique position in the mobile ecosystem, and whether they are being used for gaming, shopping, productivity, music and entertainment, social networking, or countless other actions, they now have an essential role in the day-to-day lives of many consumers.

When looking at the overall tablet landscape, the introduction of the iPad mini is especially notable, as consumers now have options at multiple sizes and price points, no matter what OS they feel is right for them.

While we expect a massive amount of iPad minis to be received as gifts (and not opened until the end of the month), it appears that many folks couldn’t wait for the holidays to come and have rapidly embraced the newly sized iPad.  Specifically, we have already seen a noticeable number of impressions on our platform.

In the first weeks after the iPad mini went on sale, we saw an average daily growth in impressions of 28 percent. Last holiday season, Amazon launched the Kindle Fire to much anticipation.  As a comparison, we saw Kindle Fire impressions grow at an average daily rate of 19 percent in the first two weeks after it went on sale last year. So, by our math it looks like Apple could have itself another massive holiday season.

The early success of the iPad mini is certainly exciting from the developer perspective, and in general, we see a few main takeaways:

  1. The overall number of consumers who use tablets and connected devices should significantly increase. Rather than cannibalizing other tablet sales, we see the iPad mini as a device that will simply expand the overall tablet market. Based on Nielson data from November – kids are asking for Apple products this holiday season.  The number one requested gift is the iPad and  48% of American kids want one for Christmas.  The iPod Touch and the iPad mini are close behind with 36% of American kids hoping they find one under their tree.  If these numbers hold true, Santa could be very busy this holiday season – and there could be a lot of happy kids, and happy developers.
  2. There is a desire for tablets of multiple sizes. Tablets like the Kindle Fire and Samsung Galaxy Tab have already shown this to an extent, but the early success indication of the iPad mini is confirmation that consumers are eager to engage with tablets of multiple sizes.  Whenever possible, developers should make sure their apps are optimized for all sizes.

We’ll continue to monitor how the iPad mini performs on our platform, and we will report new data as we monitor activity around the holidays.

In the meantime, for all iOS developers, we recommend downloading our latest SDK to make sure you are prepared to monetize this influx of new consumers.  With the App Store lock down coming fast, you’ll need to move fast to be in a good position to capitalize on all of these new consumers!