Comedian Billy Connolly used to tell a great joke about how he thought all Mexican food was the same thing, just folded differently. If you ordered fajitas at your favourite cantina and were served a burrito, the staff would whip your plate back to the kitchen and quickly refold your meal.
Some might say the same thing about Apple's range of iOS products. The iPhone, iPad Mini and iPad are like the three bears in a tech version of Goldilocks. First she tried using the iPhone, but its puny 4-inch screen was too small. Then she tried the iPad, but it was too heavy to hold up in bed and watch Gossip Girl. So how about that iPad Mini, then?
Did she even bother?
With all of this rewrapping and repackaging of iOS, is Apple finally rubbing the polish off its magic lantern? (OK, I know I'm mixing my classic childhood story metaphors here, but bear with me).
This morning in Australia, Apple launched its next big thing, and despite being the iPad that seems "just right", it wasn't met with the same great enthusiasm by the tech-hungry community as the iPhone 5 was just a little over a month ago. The queue at the Apple flagship store in Sydney was much shorter, and only took an hour to extinguish the excitement and return the store to business as usual. Friends on social media are cancelling orders for the iPad Mini after being told about short shipping delays. Aren't these delays supposed to make the unboxing sweeter? Not when it comes to the iPad Mini, it seems.
But then, these people — the Apple-friendly iPad queuers, or the social-media friends who pre-order Apple products before seeing them — have probably already bought a new iPad and iPhone this year already. Is there room left after an entrée of nachos and a main-sized serving of enchiladas? Is the fatigue setting in? After all, a new iPad Mini, once unboxed, powered and synced to iCloud, is going to do exactly the same thing as the iPhone in your pocket and the iPad staring jealously back at you from the coffee table.
The latest smartphone share data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech supports this shift in Australia, too. While iOS gained ground in the US and the UK, it dipped nearly 5 per cent in Australia over the past year. You can download the report via this link.
These are mere observations, and sales data for the iPad Mini may tell a different story, especially over Christmas. The iPad Mini seems like the perfect Christmas gift for the person who wants an iPad for leisure, kids for playing games or girlfriends for tweeting in front of the TV. But for the tech-savvy crowd, Apple may need to serve up something a little spicier to keep us interested next year.