Apple has unveiled its widely anticipated 5.7inch tablet-o-pod, the iPod Maxi. The device, which is 5.8mm thick and weighs 160g, was announced at an event in California.
The entry wi-fi-only model, with 16GB storage and retina display, will cost $299 in the US and be available on the first of April. The iPod Maxi will compete directly with cheaper similar-sized tablets sold by Archos, Nokia and Sony P series.
Apple’s associate director of marketing Bill Miller told attendees that the device is 45% thinner and 55% lighter than the iPad Mini but larger than iPod touch, in similar scale.
“With the iPod Maxi, We filled a strategic gap in our product line up,” he told the Wadiyan. “This new tablet-o-pod is for everyone who felt iPod touch too small and iPad Mini too large,” he added.
Miller added that, as with any apple product, the new tablet-o-pod will find appealing to its customers. “In addition to the 6 Mega pixel camera, the iPod Maxi has a lighter frame and a more refined look,” he said. The iPod Maxi launch ends years of speculation that Apple was considering launching a new, smaller category of product to fulfill the materialistic needs of millions of gadget buffs.
During the presentation, Miller stressed the importance of being able to hold the device using two fingers and to keep it inside his pant’s pocket- a nod to the more travel-friendly appeal of the smaller gadgets.
However, Adam Schmuck, prominent YouTube geek said iPod Maxi is an indicator that Apple might be nervous about losing its control over a market, which it has dominated in recent years.
He said Apple is moving in the right direction with the new launch. “It used to be that there was a huge gap between the 4-inch Touch and the 7.9-inch iPad Mini. Now there’s a spectrum: 4 inches, 5.7 inches, 7.9 inches, and 9.7 inches.”
The new tablet-o-pod is expected to eat up the upcoming 5.5-inch Samsung galaxy s4 sales. Schmuck added: “This new product from Apple will disrupt the market again. The iPod Maxi is now the new category killer.”
The news about iPod Maxi launch drew thousands of apple fans to the stores worldwide seeking information. “Lining up to be among the first to buy new Apple products is a ritual practiced by hundreds of gadget devotees around the globe,” said Eddy Butts, an average apple fan boy from NY. In China, the news brought out the Apple faithful such as Michael Wu, who want to add the iPod Maxi to his collection of products that include the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and iPad Mini. “I love Apple,” Wu said.