Apple introduces iPad mini

Apple introduces iPad mini 1

After months of speculation, Apple today officially announced the iPad mini, a smaller version of its iconic tablet. It starts at $329 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only model, with a 32GB Wi-Fi model at $429, and 64GB Wi-Fi model at $529. There are also Wi-Fi + Cellular models, priced at $459, $559, and $659 for the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB models, respectively. Pre-orders start Friday, Oct. 26. The Wi-Fi version will ship Nov. 2 to a wide number of countries, and the Cellular version will ship “two weeks later” in the U.S., then the rest of the world.


The iPad mini has a 7.9” screen diagonally and a 1024×768 resolution, packing features that are equal to or better than iPad 2 in every way, according to Apple’s marketing chief Phil Schiller, who compared the device to 7” Android tablets such as Google’s Nexus 7, spotlighting the differences in build quality — aluminum versus plastic — and screen size. For processing and graphics, the iPad mini packs a dual-core A5 chip. It features a FaceTime HD camera on the front and a 5MP/1080p iSight camera on the back. It has an LTE option, and uses 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, with support for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks, plus Bluetooth 4.0. Borrowing features from the iPhone 5, the iPad mini features both the Lightning connector and nano SIM technology. As with past iPads, battery life is billed at 10 hours, and up to 9 hours of surfing the web over a cellular data network.

Primary physical benefits include a reduction in weight and size relative to the iPad 2. iPad mini weighs .68 lbs — the Cellular version weighs .69 lbs. — 53 percent lighter than the fourth-generation iPad, and it is 7.2 mm thick, 23 percent thinner than the fourth-generation iPad. It’s capable of being held comfortably in one hand, while the full-sized iPad requires two. The display is covered by 0.2 mm-thick glass, and the device comes in white-and-silver and black-and-slate color combinations.

  1. Honestly, what the heck is the market niche for this? It’s too small to exist in that luxurious toy zone the full size iPad enjoys while too big to fit in your pocket and the price is approaching double that of Amazon’s offerings.

    Shouldn’t we be past the point where you can point at $0.02 worth of aluminum and go, “see, it’s better than the other one, they use *plastic*, that’s why ours is worth more”?

    Apple needs to spend less time touting crap like what the bezel looks like and how it’s lighter than a full sized iPad (duh). Instead, how about explaining why their mini tablet is worth nearly double what the competition is charging considering the uses its sold for. Fine, it’s better, no doubt, but when you’re charging nearly double it had better be, but *why* is worth that *much* more?

  2. Apple blew a major chance to crush their competitors who are carving out market and platform share for the smaller-sized tablet market. At $50 higher than they should have started pricing at ($279) they leave too much of a market bone for Amazon, B&N, Google, et al to chew on.

    Apple has too many offerings they are tiering against one another. iPad 2 should have been retired with haste in conjunction with the Mini roll-out — and let the Mini borrow the Ipad2 camera and processor tech across the board in a smaller form if that’s what it takes to get pricing down. Unfortunately they’ve let themselves get painted into a corner with the pricing tiers for iPod Touchs.

  3. I agree that Apple has set themselves up for a potential flop. While this is an interesting item, the Touch prices forced the cost to high. Apple should have set themselves up better by introducing the newly designed Touch at $199-$229…TOPS! Then They could have dropped the iPad mini in at $249-$299 and hit a fairly sweet spot. People are still willing to pay a small “Apple Tax” to have an iPad. But it is becoming less and less as the competition has gotten stiffer.

    For me, the iPad Mini (even at $329) is still a better option. I have iPhones, iPads, Touches, MacBooks and Apple TVs in my house. The integration alone is worth a little more. Plus I have quite a library of Apps and iTunes content. It is not fiscally worth it to introduce a Kindle Fire or Nexus or Galaxy. Then I am buying all new content (at least apps and movies). Apple’s biggest product is not the hardware anymore. It is the iTunes ecosystem. Once you have invested as heavily as many of us have, it becomes harder to branch out. So, I will most likely be looking at iPad Minis for my 12 and 16 year olds.

  4. @3: Other than a few TV series, I have intentionally invested nothing in Apple’s DRM infested video (if not for the wife, wouldn’t even be that) and although I’ve spent hundreds on apps, really, that stuff is disposable games by and large – most of it has already provided its value and been deleted. My 5G touch isn’t going anywhere for another couple of years anyhow. The utility apps I have could be replaced for less than the cost difference. For my next birthday, I’m going to get whatever the latest KFire is and make up my mind from there where to go. It’s not worth pledging loyalty to Apple over a couple of seasons of the Walking Dead and Breaking Bad, and their hardware is getting nigh impossible to justify for non-music, non-pocket options.

  5. The mini’s low-res screen is a major disappointment. Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD, and Nook HD all have higher resolution displays and are at least $100 cheaper than mini.

    Apple appears to be practicing planned obsolescence: in a year, Apple will surely introduce a retina mini. Then, everyone who bought an original mini will either upgrade to the retina version or will regret buying the low-res mini.

  6. @5: As someone who was a kool-aid drinking Apple computer nut through the late 80s to mid 90s, I can say with 100% confidence that has always been their design model.

    The catch-22 is that when they’re riding on a crest of arguable superiority of a entire magnitude, this works very well for them, but when that superiority drops to a matter of degrees, not so much.

    I got tired of paying 1/3rd more for the same hardware, tired of solving Chinese puzzle boxes just to upgrade the RAM on computers unless I paid outrageous costs for their towers, got tired of seeing free and “compatible” OS upgrades render hardware that was blazing a couple of years earlier into crash prone sludge and jumped ship from Macs in 1998. The whole i-world thing has lasted me about a decade at this point, but I’ve been watching all the same familiar tricks the whole time, a shame, but one probably shouldn’t expect a leopard to change its spots.

  7. I have a home run product for Apple. Make the iPad Mini (slightly smaller so as to fit in a suit jacket inside pocket). Now here’s the cool part. on the back, give it a simple detachable phone. Key pad, ear speaker, mic and speaker only. The iPad is a phone too exactly like the iPhone when the phone is docked to it. The small ultra thin phone clicks seamlessly to the back. If you want to just take the mini phone by itself, you can. I believe you could have the perfect marriage between tablet and phone.

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