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The Ongoing Saga Of The IPad Mini: A Tech Toy Hiding In Plain Sight

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Finally! An article that makes creative sense regarding a smaller version of the IPad.

Computerworld.Com hit all kinds of personal nerves and buttons. It is brilliant! It is genius! And like many innovative solutions, basking in simple and obvious rationale.

Here is a summary of Computerworld.Com’s article:

“One month before Apple shipped its first touch tablet, I predicted in this space that the iPad would become the “Children’s Toy of the Year.”

That column was somewhat controversial, because people were viewing the iPad as a high-end luxury item for technology fans, not a toy for children.

It turns out that the iPad was a combination of the two: It became the “toy” of choice for the children of technology fans who buy high-end luxury items.

iPads for children became a surprisingly huge phenomenon, which toy companies and others jumping on board with apps galore.”

The article goes on to say:

“In fact, the appeal of iPads to kids is the biggest problem with the phenomenon. Go into any Apple store, or check out the Apple section at Best Buy, and you will always see very small children mesmerized by the device.

Apple clearly encourages this. They tend to have a “kids table” at Apple stores, which “have iPads tethered to the table. I call this the Ronald McDonald approach to future sales. Teach very young kids that your brand is associated with fun, and they’ll become lifelong brand loyalists.”

I can say without hesitancy that this is the absolute truth. I have seen my grandchildren devour iDevices while their other toys sit in the corner, longing for their company.

And, perhaps, just perhaps, Steve Jobs was toying with us when he said that the consumers would need sandpaper to file down their fingers in order to manipulate the apps on the 7″ iPad screen.

However, he was talking about adult consumers, not children and, certainly, not toddlers. Their little fingers are the perfect size for a ChildPad.

Over the past few months, my 18-month-old grandson has discovered the notification center, the home button, the volume button, the “on-off” button, various apps that he loves and can start them without assistance. It is incredibly mind-boggling to watch the process.

And the size of the preferred device is directly proportional to the age of the child. For instance, my 18-month-old and 2.5-year-old grandsons prefer the iPhone while my 6.5-year-old granddaughter prefers the iPad. The smaller iPhone fits more comfortably in smaller hands and is not as heavy.

Oh yes, an iPad Nano or a ChildPad valued at under $200.00 would sell gangbusters at Christmas, especially with the launch of iOS 6 this Fall, enabling a parent to add restrictions on which apps a child can access.

Leave it to Apple to create the obvious. A best-selling tech toy hiding in plain sight. Could this have been Apple’s plan all along? Was Steve Jobs merely trying to discourage competitors from beating them to the ChildPad launch via his sandpaper comment? Hard to say – but it makes for juicy discussion.

Update: Another name for this children’s iPad? The iTot (taught)

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