As we close in on the month of March, which seems almost certain to hold the promise of an Apple Event, the rumors of new iPads continue to abound. However, in the last week or so, they seem to have taken a turn. While there is growing certainty that there will be an event in March, whether we will actually get iPad hardware that soon is now being called into question.
There was some exciting news for iPad fans at Apple’s special event two days ago. The iPad Air 2 offers Touch ID, a brand new and significantly faster processor chip designed specifically for it, and is the thinnest and lightest iPad ever.
On the no-so-exciting news front, there’s the new iPad mini 3. It got Touch ID, and not too much else that’s notable. It didn’t even get a bump up to Apple’s A8 chip that’s used in this year’s iPhones, nevermind the new A8X chip used in the iPad Air 2.
It’s not just in terms of specs that the iPad mini was left behind. It was treated a little like an ugly step-child during the event. It barely rated a couple of quick mentions. I watched the event live and made around 30 lines of notes during the 10-15 minutes of the presentation devoted to the iPad Air 2. By contrast, the iPad mini 3 was covered in around one minute and I made a one-line note. It got one slide devoted to it in the presentation.
Even in Tim Cook’s final sum-up at the end of the event, only the iPad Air 2 got a mention, while there was none for the new mini.
I’m a little sad to see this lack of love for the iPad mini – as it’s my preferred iPad (and tablet) form factor. Google has gone in the same direction, and even more so, this year – releasing a new 9 inch Nexus tablet while no longer even offering the Nexus 7 in their Play Store.
I will certainly be holding to my iPad mini 2 (or Retina iPad mini) and my Nexus 7 for as long as they are capable and performing well.
The new iPad mini 3 was unveiled today at Apple’s iPad / Mac event.
As predicted, updates to the iPad mini line are not monumental this year. Touch ID for a more easy and secure access to the device (and for use with Apple Pay) is the biggest new feature. The iPad mini 3 also gets a 5MP iSight camera, and improved FaceTime camera, 1080p video recording, and faster WiFi. And of course it still boasts a Retina display on its 7.9 inch form factor.
Pre-orders for the new iPad mini 3, and the new iPad Air 2, start tomorrow and shipping starts next week.
Engadget announced their 2013 Engadget Editors’ Choice awards this weekend, and the Retina iPad mini was among the big winners – selected as Tablet of the Year.
Yes I know that Engadget refers to it by its official name, the iPad mini with Retina display – I prefer the other way round as it’s just easier to say and type.
I bought both the iPad Air and the Retina iPad mini last year, and I prefer and have stuck with the smaller form-factor mini. Of course I think it’s a deserving winner in this category – but I also would not have complained if the 2013 Nexus 7 was a joint winner alongside it.
Other notable winners in the 2013 Engadget Awards include the Retina MacBook Pro, Google’s Chromecast, and the Sony Playstation 4.
Oh, and I love their pick for ‘Worst Product of the Year. Go check them all out when you have a chance.
Now that we’ve entered what is expected to be ‘New iPad Month’ (some of you may know it as October) of course the iPad rumors are flying round at a great pace.
iPad 5 rumors, iPad mini 2 rumors. iPad 5 being more like the iPad mini. iPad mini 2 getting a retina display. All good stuff for those of us who can’t wait to see the next generations of the iPad and iPad mini.
Then there’s this one, reported recently by MacRumors – a gold iPad mini 2. Their report shows alleged ‘”leaked” photos of a new iPad mini with a Touch ID style sensor on the front and a gold back shell.
Touch ID sounds fine to me, but a gold shell is a big No Thanks. I love the slate style of the current iPad mini’s back. If a color has to be borrowed from this year’s new iPhone’s Space Gray sounds fine too. I’m just not a fan of gold at all on mobile devices.
Oh well, these photos may well be fake of course, and as long as Apple provides a choice of colors I can opt for my slate or gray preference.
What do you all think? Do you fancy a gold iPad?
The latest iPad mini rumors don’t make for happy reading, especially if you’re keen to see an iPad mini with Retina display. And let’s face it, I think that most everyone using an iPad mini, or thinking about getting one, would love to see it have a Retina display added.
The iPad mini is already a superb device, but the addition of a Retina display would make it a near-perfect tablet. Sadly, there seems to be a growing number of rumors suggesting that Apple will not be ready to release the iPad mini Retina (or whatever it gets named) until 2014. An article today at 9to5Mac highlights a report from Digitimes that says Apple will release a ‘slightly updated’ version of the iPad mini by the end of this year and then Retina version in early 2014.
I also noticed that John Gruber of Daring Fireball had this to say on another report about the iPad mini Retina version not coming out in 2013:
(I’d love to be wrong, but I don’t think it’s going to happen this year.)
I am of course still hoping that this latest report is inaccurate, and that we will see an iPad mini with Retina display this year. The idea of a just slightly improved iPad mini late this year and then a Retina model early next year sounds odd too. Then again, this has been a pretty strange year for Apple product release cycles all the way around. Hopefully Apple will enlighten us all in a couple months.
Refurbished models of the iPad mini now start at just $299 on the Apple online store. That price is for the baseline 16GB WiFi only model and it’s a $30 discount on the standard price.
There are refurb models available for the full iPad mini range now – from 16GB to 64GB and both WiFi and WiFi + Cellular – though which specific models are in stock at any given moment will vary as many appear to be selling very rapidly. When I first hit the Apple store page today there were no 16GB units available. After a few minutes and a manual page refresh a black 16GB unit showed as in stock and ready to ship.
I’ve bought refurbished iDevics in the past and have had only stellar experiences with them. If you’re looking to get an iPad mini, it’s well worth keeping an eye on the Apple store page for the refurb models.
I handed down my still-very-new iPad mini 32GB to my 10 year old daughter, Zoe, a little over a week ago – when I switched up to a 64GB model.
My original plan was to sell my 32GB iPad mini, which is in mint condition, to help cover the cost of the bigger model. Then I thought about how much use Zoe could get out of it, about the outstanding school year she has had as a 4th grader. About how she has been using an original iPad for years now and has become a real power user – and it didn’t take long to change my plan and give her the 32GB iPad mini.
I thought Zoe would get tons more good use from the iPad when she changed to the iPad mini, and that has absolutely proved to be the case. It’s great to see how much she is using it. Even greater: seeing that by far and away her biggest use of it is for reading. She is devouring 1,000 and 1,500 page books in iBooks. The Kane Chronicles series is a particular favorite right now. When I walk past the living room and she’s stretched out comfortably on the couch, she’s reading in iBooks. She now takes the iPad mini to school in her backpack several days a week and is allowed to use it for reading only when her class has their reading periods.
I bought a new iPad mini yesterday. That’s after I just bought one last November on launch day for the new smaller iPad – and knowing of course that we’ll see a new iPad mini at some point this year, which will in some way or other be much better than the one I just bought.
Sounds a bit crazy right? Well, there’s actually a simple, good reason for the purchase. As I spoke about in my review of the iPad mini, the newest, smallest iPad won me over just about immediately. I knew very early on that the wonderful lightness and form factor of the iPad mini more than compensated for the lack of retina display for me.
Now that I’ve owned the iPad mini for a little over four months, a couple of things have become very clear to me:
— The iPad mini is by far and away my most used device. I’d say the usage breakdown for me between the iPad 3 and the iPad mini is about 80-20 in the small tablet’s favor.
— 32GB is not enough space for me on the iPad mini. When I was buying the iPad mini back in November my thinking was that 32GB would be plenty, as I had another 64GB on the iPad 3. Over the last couple of months though I’ve struggled to keep a decent amount of free space on the iPad mini – because it has become my go-to device.
A post at the NPD DisplaySearch blog predicts that smaller tablets are set to take over in 2013, and that the iPad mini will far outsell the iPad.
The January panel shipment data may be an indicator for 2013, starting with Apple’s product mix shift. As we noted in December, Apple had planned to sell 40M iPad minis (7.9”) and 60M iPads (9.7”) in 2013. However, the reality seems to be the reverse, as the iPad mini has been more popular than the iPad. We now understand that Apple may be planning to sell 55M iPad minis (7.9”) and 33M iPads (9.7”) in 2013.
I don’t find this sort of prediction very surprising. Like many others, I was initially a bit skeptical about how compelling a device the iPad mini would be, especially once we learned it would not have a retina display. But within just a couple days of using one I was already wondering how much use my ‘big’ iPad would get. As it turns out, my usage pattern between the two of them is probably around 80-20 in favor of the iPad mini now.
For me, the wonderful lightness and form factor of the iPad mini more than compensate for the (current) lack of retina display. I know many others have found the same to be true – and they start realizing it within 5 minutes of picking up the iPad mini. And, as I said in my review of the iPad mini, when it gets a retina display it will be damn close to the perfect device.
What do you all think? Do you agree that the iPad mini will likely outsell the iPad by a wide margin this year?
Right now there is no shipping time delay at all when ordering an iPad mini from the US Apple online store. All the iPad mini models, WiFi and WiFi + cellular and all storage sizes, are listed as In Stock for the first time I can recall since the smaller iPad launched three and a half months ago.
It was only just at the beginning of this month that ship times for the iPad mini came down to 1-3 days – presumably as Apple’s supply chain began to catch up with demand for the device.
Great news for anyone looking to buy an iPad mini, and hopefully for Apple as well, as long as this is an indication of supply catching up with demand and not of demand weakening.