One thing that’s become apparent about the iPad mini during my past few days with it is just how well it fills the role of a second-screen device. The iPhone and the iPad both have their merits as a companion while lounging around and watching TV, but the iPad mini hits the sweet spot of portability, power and connectivity for that use case. Fellow TC writer MG Siegler already explained why he thinks the iPad mini will eventually overtake the full-sized iPad as the sales leader for Apple, and I agree 100 percent, but zeroing in on its second screen suitability might help convince those who still doubt that the smaller iPad will eventually take the crown.
Second screen experiences are increasingly common; startups like Fanatix, GetGlue, MOVL, and countless others are developing platforms and apps to help users get more out of their TV viewing experiences, and networks are encouraging hashtag campaigns and turning to Twitter to leverage the conversations already happening there. A recent Nielsen report showed that 86 percent of smartphone owners and 88 percent of tablet owners use their devices while watching TV, and smartphone ownership in the U.S. recently crossed the 50 percent threshold, meaning a huge number of TV viewers are dividing their attention. Second screen isn’t a trend to watch; it’s a living, breathing phenomenon that’s already arrived.