iPad

iPad Mini on the horizon?

The iPad Mini is beginning to sound like more than just speculation. Chances are good we'll see one hit the market just in time for the holiday shopping season.

Various rumors and speculation have suggested that Apple had a smaller version of its successful full-size iPad on the drawing board, and now it looks like it isn't just idle talk. The Wall Street Journal reports that mass production of an iPad Mini has been going on since last month at South Korea's LG Display Co. and Taiwan's AU Optronics Corp.

The smaller tablet will have a 7.85-inch liquid-crystal display with a lower resolution than the latest iPad, which was released in March, two of the people said. The screen on the current iPad measures 9.7 inches diagonally, a size that hasn't changed since the first model was released in 2010.

If the Journal's sources are accurate, the mini version will not have the Retina display. Many other analysts, according to a CBS News report, are fairly confident that there will be a front and rear camera, have LTE support, and run iOS 6. Price points are being estimated at between $249 and $299 to bring it in line with the prices of the Google Nexus and Amazon's Kindle Fire, as well as the Nook Tablet.

Apple will probably announce the iPad Mini sometime this month, says Fortune, based on a "major Apple investor" and mysterious others. Again, if these sources are correct, an Apple "big event" is scheduled for October 17.

While the current iPad pretty much owns the full-size tablet market, the area of greatest competition is now from the smaller tablet formats from both Google and Amazon, so healthy competition will be good for consumers who are still considering what to buy and at what price point. And of course, with the Holiday shopping season coming up, the rumored timeline makes sense. Announced in October, one might expect a launch day as early as November (Nov. 2, to be precise, as predicted in the Fortune report).

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Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and...

5 comments
PeterWitrigs
PeterWitrigs

The smaller device will officially be called the iPad Mini and be priced starting at $329, pricey when compared with popular 7-inch tablets like the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7, which start at $199. ipad touch screen replacement

Blackberryparts
Blackberryparts

If Apple is copying the intelligence of others then others might also have copied the intelligence of Apple. Everyone copied the technology from others and modify it and then present it in a new form. So, by this new technologies are coming to the market.

M Wagner
M Wagner like.author.displayName 1 Like

If the iPad Mini comes to pass, Apple will most assuredly position it at the $399 price-point, retiring the iPad 2. That is the only scenario which make sense for Apple since pricing below $399 would put Apple in direct competition with Android tablets. While this might be good for competition, it would not, in my view (and I'd wager in the late Steve Jobs's view) be good for Apple. Apple has, for many years, positioned itself as a vendor of premium products at premium prices and going head-to-head with Kindle HD or Google Nexus 7 or Samsung seems to be counter to Apple's interests in the context of that user perspective. In the end, I don't think Apple will put out a 7" device. After all, Microsoft is competing head-to-head with a 10" device and some of the Android Vendors are positioning themselves with 10" (or almost 10") devices. Time will tell.

rodney_symens
rodney_symens

Apple may have had the lead initially with their iPad and they may have tried to take Samsung to the cleaners but it would seem they now feel the need to copy others. After all wasn't Apple that said users wouldn't use a smaller device. How the tables have turned (and again we see Apple copying the intelligence of others). Its a pity someone didn't patent the size to lock Apple out so they could keep the patent wars going on. Ppppfffttt Apple!!!! Tall poppy syndrome much!!!!

M Wagner
M Wagner

If all you want is to consume content, then a 7-inch 720p device is fine for HD movies and videos. Games and eReaders too. Content creation is another matter. Most business documents are prepared in an 8.5x11 format. That is hard to read on a 7" display. Sure, you can scroll in landscape mode but it is still pretty small for graphs and illustrations. A 7" device is just in a different category than a 10" device.

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