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Apple Would be Stupid to Release an 8GB iPad Mini

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Apple will announce a smaller tablet, likely called the iPad Mini on October 23rd, but despite the need to compete with cheap tablets Apple would be foolish to release an 8GB tablet.

Rumors of a cheap 8GB iPad Mini continue to surface as we approach the iPad Mini announcement. This 8GB iPad Mini could help Apple compete with the $199 Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HD, both of which start at $199 with 8GB of storage.

With no ability to increase storage size after purchase, increasing app sizes and larger HD video files there’s no room for an 8GB iPad Mini in Apple’s lineup or in the hands of consumers.

Apple is already in the process of increasing the storage size of portable devices. With Apple’s focus on the user experience it is more likely Apple will avoid an 8GB iPad Mini and the hassles that come with smaller storage size.

App Sizes on the Rise

The average size of iOS apps increased 16% overall and 42% for games since March. ABI Research found the average app is now 23MB in size, an increase of 16%, and the average iPhone and iPad game grew to 60MB.

App Sizes

App sizes are one reason an 8GB iPad Mini is a bad idea.

The increase in app size isn’t a trend we expect to see reverse, especially as developers work to deliver better looking games and apps.

The iPhone 4 8GB offers 6.4GB to 7GB of usable storage, barely enough for a handful of apps, photos and an HD iTunes movie. The iPad Mini will be sold as a perfect portable device for reading, gaming, watching movies and showing off photos, activities that are cramped by an 8GB size.

A problem we encountered on the 8GB Nexus 7, even with smaller app average app sizes.

Apple Abandoning 8GB Devices

Apple is already in the process of abandoning small storage sizes for devices that run iOS. The iPhone 4S is now available at $99 with 16GB of storage. When the iPhone 4 dropped in price, storage dropped as well. The new iPod Touch starts at 32GB and even the iPod nano starts at 16GB.

Apple says no to 8GB

8GB devices don’t fit in Apple’s lineup anymore.

Even with connectivity and the cloud, Apple understands consumers want to store apps, movies and media locally. With app and media file sizes increasing and mobile data plans dropping unlimited plans, the available storage on mobile devices, like the iPad Mini, must keep up.

Read: iPad Mini Release Date – What Not to Expect

Apple is expected to announce the iPad Mini on Tuesday October 23rd, and may start taking pre-orders later that day or by the end of the week. November 2nd looks good for the iPad Mini release date in stores and online. We anticipate Apple will announce several other products at the iPad Mini event.

Josh Smith is Editor of GottaBeMobile and Notebooks.com. He's always looking for ways to help you get the most of your gear and loves to talk about tech on radio and TV. Josh uses an iOS and Android devices as well as Mac and Windows Computers. Josh Smith on Google+ Email: [email protected]

3 Comments

  1. JeffGr

    10/17/2012 at 5:52 pm

    The entry level ($199)Kindle Fire HD has 16GB, all the more reason why trying to compete with an 8GB iPad Mini wouldn’t be too wise.

    • Edward Reyes-Draper

      10/18/2012 at 5:00 pm

      yeah i’d really like to see at least 16gb for $199-249 and 32gb for $249 to $299

  2. No

    10/21/2012 at 7:48 pm

    The increase in app size isn’t a trend we expect to see reverse, especially as developers work to deliver better looking games and apps.

    Correction:
    The increase in appsize is not likely do reverse as developers get LAZIER and
    A) Do not compress their Software (and make texture maps rather than individual textures for superior texture compression and memory handling)

    B) Include videos, songs, or exceedingly large images (uncompressable data)— especially in sizes larger than the device can render. (In point, desktop gaming tends to include Engine Rendered videos; or “Powerpoint Videos” (which, while this could be compressed quite well; often use inferior compression techniques for the type of video.)

    C) Counter their lack of basic programming knowledge with including as many libraries as possible. This will quickly bloat your executable (and if the library uses external files; cause software bloat [this is the point of "shared files."])

    D) Fail to optimize, at any level what-so-ever.

    Now, texture compression is a two edged sword. If you are SMART, you can easily manage your texture loads and unloads such that the extra time it takes to decompress is minimal. But more than likely people will handle this poorly and spend more time decompressing a texture — that they decompressed 5 seconds ago and should have kept in memory — than rendering it.

    Videos rather than realtime rendering is more of a crutch. Sometimes, you can say the complexity of the scene is too much for the device to handle… othertimes it is just so you don’t have to debug the cutscene engine. But nothing is worse than an “HD Video” of text. Text alone is a few kilobytes; but a video of text or “still / sliding photographs” is a massive waste of space. Won’t stop people from doing it, but it is a common source of bloat.

    And of course, to point out some “somewhat unethical software” of uTorrent, which use to be released at under 200kB only points out how massive software bloat has become, with the competitors ranging around 10MB to 20MB. Same or similar features… but better programming with less reliance on libraries.

    Moral of the story?
    I hate what we’ve done to society and quality control. Not only could many of these apps be smaller, but they could run faster and on weaker devices. The NEED to upgrade is artificially created, the device is not too old or too slow… the PROGRAMMERS are too LAZY to learn how to program!

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