The iPad mini is the culmination of three years of rumour-mongering. It's a product that probably shouldn't be real, but now that it exists as a whole new line of hardware, everyone knows what's coming next. Count me in and let me lead you in the Apple waltz.
And so the music begins. Between nine months to a year will go by and the rumour mill will build once again for the next iPad mini. People now expect a yearly release cycle from Apple, meaning that it risks releasing products that may immediately slip into irrelevancy as soon as they are released. Why buy the iPad mini of today, for example, if you know that next year's will probably have a bigger battery and a higher-resolution screen?
The iPad mini is like the second act of a romantic comedy: everyone Apple shows a product to, automatically now knows the dance moves associated with it. They know that there's a product release now, sales milestone story in a few months, followed by more rumours and then a better and most-likely cheaper new iPad mini by the end of the dance.
Step, two, three....back, two, three aaaand spin around...
That's the problem Apple is confronted with right now. Despite what the idiots on Wall Street say about the absurdly high profit numbers from last quarter, Apple didn't sell as many iPads as it thought it would. Customers are now savvy to the annual waltz of new hardware, and it's turning more and more people into gadget hold-outs.
Thankfully, Tim Cook is changing the beat. Re-releasing the 9.7-inch iPad into a new generation after just nine months upped the tempo. Apple won't slow down, it'll only speed up. If you were one of the people caught without a chair when the 12-month refresh cycle stopped, that's tough, but it's a change that had to happen.
More products, more often can only be a good thing, right? Hopefully it encourages everyone else to speed up product cycles, too.
Now stop. Hammer time.