iPad Mini Still Coming This Month?
Apple is pretty good at doing integrated hardware and software. And it is even better at generating consumer buzz. Which is why you might want to circle October 23 on your calendar. One often well-informed website is reporting that day as the launch date for the iPad Mini.
True that one reported launch date already passed with nothing from Cupertino. But if Apple really was not setting up to launch its officially-unnamed but much-rumored smaller iPad, it would find ways to let us know. Part of the art of hype is not raising expectations you aren't even trying to meet.
The device itself will probably not have much direct impact on the IT world. But that could be just the point. For all the talk of the consumerization of IT, the worlds of consumer and business computing are not coming closer together. Instead they seem to be drawing further apart.
One alleged iPad Mini launch date, October 10, has come and gone. Even the August Fortune magazine website got pulled in by that one. And another rumor mill has it that Apple is having manufacturing problems with the smaller iPad.
But John Paczkowski reports at AllThingsD, with what sounds like confidence, that the launch will indeed take place this month, on the 23.
The date may remain uncertain, just as the official name does. If Apple is a long way from a smaller iPad release, however, it would be a big mistake to leave the tech world hanging on in anticipation. And Apple rarely makes that sort of mistake.
The same can be said about the few reported details of the new device, such as its 7.85-inch liquid crystal display screen and Lightning connector. Especially given the way Android vendors are starting to hammer on suggestions that the iPhone 5 wasn't quite All That, Apple has a strong interest in managing the rumor cycle.
Parting of the Ways?
From the perspective of the IT community at midsize firms, the most interesting thing about the prospective smaller iPad is what it isn't. It is not a device designed for, or very well suited to, the consumerization of IT.
Another much-talked-about device, the Microsoft Surface hybrid tablet, may well be suited to business use. But contrary to the consumerization hype, the big trend of the mobility era is that the consumer and IT world are on opposite sides of a widening gulf.
Not so long ago, most consumers went online using lower-priced PCs running the play-at-home version of Microsoft Windows. They could run business apps if they wanted to and run them pretty well.
But--driven by Apple and followed by Android--the mobility generation of consumer Internet devices are optimized for casual use. They are great for the bus stop, not so much for the workplace, other than for the simplest tasks. Which is one good reason for IT managers at midsize firms to be wary of all that consumerization-of-IT talk.
A smaller iPad, when it comes out, may help drive this point home.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.