ipad mini travel tablet advertising mobile
5 years ago

Apple debuts iPad mini, moves to dominate mobile ad market — challenging travel companies

Apple unveiled its much-anticipated iPad mini today, a tablet with a screen measuring 7.9 inches on the diagonal, a dual-core A5 processor, a 5 megapixel camera, and 512MB of RAM — with prices starting at $329.

It’s amazing the amount of excitement that an over-sized iPhone can create. But the one-handed tablet category is a huge market for travellers.

Colours: Black and white. It’s 23% thinner and 53% lighter than the previous, fourth-generation device, with what the company claims is a 10-hour battery life.

(The existing iPad range also received an update with a more powerful A6X chip, “twice the computing performance,” and new camera, starting at $499 for the 16GB version.)


ipad mini travel tablet advertising mobile

It’s actually an advertising play

The new tablet is obviously relevant to the travel industry because of its slim size and comparatively cheaper price may make it popular for travellers on airplanes and at holiday spots. Apple claims 90% of Web searches on tablets are done on its iPads.

Yet the larger strategic move by Apple may be its effort to appeal to advertisers with tablet-optimised advertising by becoming the industry standard for tablet-optimised ads.

Spending on mobile advertising campaigns optimised for tablets is forecast to jump about 25% during the 2012 holiday season, overtaking smartphones advertising for the first time, according to mobile marketing agency MC Saatchi.

While advertisers are practised in creating ad units for differently sized screens, they could benefit if Apple a platform that attracts the most users will enable a standardised set of sizes will be the platform that mobile advertisers will covet the most.

Build your ad once, and it’ll reach your target audience without worrying about breaking or failure.

It’s no accident that the iPad mini has a ratio precisely, proportionally smaller than the fourth-generation iPads (9.7-inches to 7.9 inches), so that ads already designed to work well on older, larger iPads will look just as nice on iPad minis.

Tablet devices also lend themselves to country- or city geo-targeting (such as an ad for a candlelight canal cruise when you’re visiting Amsterdam) and time of day targeting (such as a sale on umbrellas when its raining).

The sweetest spot in mobile advertising is video and animation with interactivity, and 7-inch-screen tablets are proving to be the ideal size for engaging users with ads.

Apple also hopes to be a market leader in helping advertisers have a continuity in messaging and user-tracking as customers move between devices.

Apple’s recently introduced iCloud service could help advertisers target someone with a relevant ad for, say, a vacation to Fiji, when they’re using their tablet if computers recognised that the same user had interacted with a Fiji advertisment while playing with their tablet device the previous night.

Related ad developments

Last week, mobile advertising platform Mojiva launched an ad network exclusive to tablet devices, signaling an industry-wide trend that will complicate the lives of marketers at travel companies.

Apple is expected to shortly launch a YouTube app that is both optimised for the variously-sized iPad screens and that include advertisements (unlike the ad-free version of the YouTube app that has been standard to date).

ipad mini travel mobile advertising

Actions to think about

How well do your webpages look in the standard or landscape versions of an iPad, compared with the websites of the Yelp, TripAdvisor, and the Guggenheim Museum which were showcased by Apple during its presentation today?

If nearly 30% of e-mail message openings now happen on mobile and tablet devices, are your marketing messages tailored to be easily read on mobile devices.

Remember that about half of users of social networks access these networks from their mobile and tablet devices. Is your marketing message optimised to encourage a customer to quickly share it?

More broadly, are your calls-to-action and links mobile-optimised? Do you need to tweak your search campaigns for tablet users?

Google, of course, is also interested in mobile-optimised advertising, and has an ad-network that runs across all Android devices.

The company is rumored to be debuting new tablets on 29 October. For insight into its views on the shifting market, read its online slide deck “The Mobile Playbook.”

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Sean O'Neill

About the Writer :: Sean O'Neill

Sean O’Neill had roles as a reporter and editor-in-chief at Tnooz between July 2012 and January 2017.



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  1. Sean O'Neill

    Sean O'Neill

    Some readers have pointed out via e-mail that this is good news for apple maps, which uses yelp. Presumably apple is putting pressure on yelp to increase their database.
    Who knows.

    Any insight on the financials in this deal?

  2. Edward - LoungeUp

    Nice overview, Sean. Every time Apple releases a new device, it has an impact on all manner of industries. The iPad mini is no exception.

    I can see that advertising hotels via platforms like Airpush’s SmartWall on mobile devices is a good opportunity, and I agree with the benefits it can bring.

    However, I am convinced that having an in-house mobile hospitality solution that guest can access on their smartphones or tablets is also something that can provide a significant boost to revenue. With a mobile portal in place providing local information (e.g. nearby sights of interest, restaurant recommendations) and upselling additional services, hotels can improve two crucial elements of their business: guest satisfaction levels, and revenue.

    Essentially, I don’t think the relevance of advertising for hotels stops at enticing potential guests to make bookings. There is also a fantastic and largely unexploited opportunity to advertise additional services to guests during their stay.

  3. Michael Essany

    I should have set a timer to see how long it would take for comments about Apple and mobile advertising to emerge after the iPad mini was unveiled. It is beyond ridiculous to me that this new pint-sized but still overpriced iPad is being hailed as the vehicle that will drive Apple’s growth as a mobile ad platform. Spare me this argument, please! At least for now. Just as with iAd falling short as Android surged in popularity and mobile ad profitability, Apple has not convinced me that it truly understands how to monetize the mobile space from an advertising standpoint. Look at Android’s top mobile ad networks… Airpush is one great example. Airpush’s SmartWall – in my opinion – is probably going to do more for mobile advertising in the next twelve month than any Apple-backed hardware or software. I am a bigger believer in following trends… and Android and its ad networks are where the most money is being made today. And probably tomorrow too.


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