Posted by: Brett
When Google began offering their 7-inch tablet at a fairly low price-point this past summer, Apple loyalists were left wondering whether Apple would do the same, even though Steve Jobs once said Apple would never make a 7-inch iPad. We’ve seen numerous leaks over the past few weeks and months suggesting a smaller iPad was in the works and once Apple announced an October 23rd press event, it pretty much sealed the deal. Keep reading to find out everything we know so far about the iPad mini.
First off, the iPad mini is expected to be razor thin – almost iPod touch thin – and very light. It isn’t expected to have the same tapering as the current generation iPad. The side bezels are said to be thinner and more slimmed down than the iPad 3 due to it being slightly easier to hold in one hand. It’ll also give the illusion of the display being larger. The iPad mini will without a doubt feature the new Lightning port at the bottom and speakers will likely be positioning on either side of said port like on the iPhone 5.
Processor-wise, the iPad mini will likely have a dual-core A5 chip rather than the A5x or A6 mainly to keep manufacturing costs down and the overall price down. It’ll also have 512MB of RAM and the same GPU as the iPad 2. In addition, while it’s not expected to carry a back camera, it should have a front camera as it should be more portable and easier to handle while doing a FaceTime chat or a Skype video call compared to an iPad 3.
The iPad mini display has been rumored to measure exactly 7.85 inches diagonally with a resolution of 1024 x 768. That will give it the same resolution as the iPad 2 but the display will appear sharper due to the smaller screen size. MacRumors goes into great detail about how the peculiar 7.85″ display will essentially allow for most full-sized iPad apps run on the smaller iPad with virtually no alterations needed on the developers part. It’s important to note that the iPad mini will not feature a Retina display like the iPad 3 to, once again, keep costs down.
All in all, the iPad mini is not expected to be some vastly different product from what Apple already sells, which is likely why there isn’t much to say about it. The biggest differentiator between the iPad mini and the iPad 2 or 3 will be the screen size. It’ll be more portable and will offer a better reading and gaming experience than the current iPad. It seems Apple is looking to appeal to three different types of customers with the iPad mini:
- Customers that want an iPad but can’t afford a full-sized one
- Customers that want an iPad but the current model is too large
- Customers that want an e-reader that’s not a Kindle or Nook or a gaming device bigger than an iPod touch but is still portable
So, price-wise, the iPad mini is expected to begin at $329 (that being for the 16GB, WiFi only model) and will increase $100 more thereafter for the 32GB and 64GB models. Apple is also expected to offer WiFi + cellular models with each respective storage capacity an extra $130 over the WiFi only model (would start at $459 for the 16GB model). This should prove to be a fairly compelling offer especially when you look at the variety of apps for iPad and the large selection of books. In addition to introducing the iPad mini, Apple is reportedly set to phase out the iPad 2, which they’ve been selling at a reduced price-point since the release of the iPad 3.