The 4th generation regular iPad was also launched, with lightning connector and improved processor and screen resolution.
The new iPad Mini is very close to just being a 7.9-inch version of its big brother. The only real differences are the lack of Retina Display – Apple tells us that The iPad mini display uses the same LED backlight technology as iPad to give you plenty of brilliance per square inch. So, not Retina but good enough for most people and purposes.
The chip is the A5, not the shiny new A6, but with a smaller screen it can get away with it.
Price wise, it is right where you would expect it to be – it starts at $329. Expensive enough to claim best in class (and substantially more expensive than the Amazon and Google Android devices), and cheaper than the larger iPad for those who actually want a more compact device, or for those that can’t afford the full-size model.
App creators will be pleased to know it has the same screen resolution as the iPad 2.
This would be extremely easy to fake, so who knows if it is real of not:
The page — in German — lists pricing for various configurations in Euros, presumable with Europe’s 19 percent value added tax already factored into the price. Prices will start at 249 Euros ($322.60) for a Wi-Fi-only 8 GB iPad Mini, with other memory configurations of 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB also available. The high-end 64GB cellular version is listed at about $650, presumably with 4G LTE capability. [More at CNet]
Admittedly, given that the iPad Mini might never exist, and certainly with no official specs, it is impossible to work out what the cost to make it would be.
However, many of the specs are easy to guess – and a wrong guess wouldn’t affect the numbers too much.
The following is (from Tech Thoughts) based on the build cost of the Google Nexus, the current iPad, and the kindle Fire. These are the products that the iPad Mini will be compared to, and will be competing with it for consumer dollars.
The big presumption is the profit margin. Apple has never sold products at a loss. But they have never needed to compete with Amazon, who are. And without Steve Jobs on the scene, Apple are daring to be different, like releasing an unfinished maps app.
The numbers that are really interesting for me are:
Manufacturing cost – $8.15 – that includes getting the parts to the factory, putting them all together, and then shipping them to Apple. A good reason to thank China for their low-cost workers.
Touchscreen $32.37 + Display $48.54 – that’s almost half the cost. I had been wondering how such a durable product could be so touch sensitive, and while I’m still none the wiser it makes sense that it is expensive
Camera – $2.50 – that’s extraordinary. Soon they’ll be free in a box of cereal. Adding a higher quality camera would only increase the build cost by a dollar or two.
What would I do if I ran Apple?
I’d bump up the RAM memory to double what the opposition have – 2GB. And I’d offer 128 GB storage, to really reinforce that this is the must-have media device.
I’d have the finest camera for a few bucks more.
I’d charge $229, run at a slight loss, and sell millions. Apple would then dominate the small form tablet space, and still make a lot of money from apps. Apple know that movie consumption is rapidly shifting to downloaded, and they will sell a lot of movies. By highlighting the Apple TV / iThingy integration, they will have a very attractive offer.
Fortune magazine has suggested that, according to an anonymous but well-connected investor, Apple would debut their new small form-factor iPad device on October 17, with the press receiving invitations on October 10.
Surprises are unlikely – it will be a cross between the latest iPod Touch and the last iPad, with no new, additional features.
Still unknown is the name, and don’t expect the press to be told it either. On the 17th we should know what they are calling it, and the media have dubbed it the iPad Mini.
As I mentioned previously, small screen size is not a plus for tablets – but small form-factor and a light weight are. It is possible that Apple have considered Mini = Small Screen, and might choose a different moniker. I think Compact iPad is a possibility. Or iPad 7.
Expected price is $199 so that it can compete with the likes of the Kindle Fire and Google’s product. But that’s boring. Don’t be surprised if Apple price it at $20 above (indicating that it is a premium product), or $10 less to prove that they are the biggest kid at the park.
Certainly getting a jump on the Mini-iPad, the new Kindle Fire range consists of:
7-inch version to be released on September 14 for $199 (pic below)
8.9 inch model to be released on November 20, as well as a LTE 4G version. Prices range from $299 to $599
The 8.9 inch version will have an impressive resolution of 254 dpi and 1920×1200 pixels. The 7 inch will have 1280 x 800 pixels, basically the same as the Nexus 7. Apple will need to have superior specs if it wishes to compete with a (presumed) higher price for its mini iPad.
Amazon appear to be timing the release of the Kindle Fire 2.0 perfectly. Right now they are out of stock of the original, and if they are about to start selling their latest device, it will beat the iPad 4 (and more importantly the compact iPad mini) to the punch by a few weeks.
We’ve just been sent a shot of the next Kindle Fire, Amazon’s Android-based tablet that’s expected to be announced next week after the current model “sold out” earlier today. We’re being told that a “pair” of Fires is likely — a 7- and a 10-incher — though it remains unclear whether both models will be introduced at the same time. We’re not sure which model we’re looking at here, but the scale of the keyboard suggests that seven inches is more likely.
It has now been established that there are two standard sizes for tablet computers – 9-11 inch (the iPad is 9.7 inches) and 7 inch.
Popular examples of 7 inch tablets are the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 inch, Kindle Fire and Google’s Nexus 7. Given the success of those, it isn’t surprising that there are rumors regarding a 7 inch iPad.
What will it be called? Nano would be fitting, but a wrong use of the word. Mini is the most likely choice, but whereas people like their iPods smaller, smaller isn’t totally better for a tablet device. There’s trade-off between portability and screen size. I think they will call it the Compact iPad.
Obviously the screen will be smaller. They’ll need to have a 10 hour battery life. They might include NFC even if the full-size iPad doesnt.
To compete on price with Amazon and Google, features might be sacrificed! But it is unlikely to be as low as the magical price point of $199, or else they might cannibalize the sales of the full-size iPad.
A good bet is that rather than make a sub-standard cheap iPad, they could sell a larger iPod Touch. Essentially the only difference will be the name, plus the ability to have 4G.