The latest rumors reported by Apple Insider suggest that production for the iPad Mini (or iPad Air or whatever Apple decides to name it) is set to ramp up next month, in preparation for a launch of the new smaller iPad in October:
… fresh rumors say supply volume of the device are estimated to reach four million units per month beginning in September, giving the company enough time to prepare for the lucrative holiday season.
The report is based on sources at DigiTimes, which has a very spotty record when it comes to Apple rumors – but it does sound a lot like similar reports we heard from them about ramped up production for the new iPad at the tail end of 2011 and early this year, which seem to have proved accurate.
October seems quite a viable time for the release of the new smaller iPad too. One thing I know for sure – the more speculation I read on the size of the iPad Mini and how screen resolution and apps will work on it and how light it will be, and the more lovely mockups I see at iMore, the more ready I feel to buy it yesterday. As In, I really can’t wait to get my hands on this new smaller iPad now.
After a brief lull on the iPad Mini rumors front, things have kicked back in to a very high gear this week. In the last few days several of the leading ‘in the know’ sort of writers and sites have weighed in with new thoughts on and even lovely mockups of the much-anticipated new smaller iPad.
Here are a handful of things that have excited me the most on this front:
– John Gruber at Daring Fireball offered a fascinating post titled ‘Thinking This iPad Mini Thing Even Througher’ – where he offers his latest thoughts, analysis, and some slick math relating to the iPad Mini. One of the key points if that the device’s most notable feature may well be its lightness – with it weighing in somewhere around 250-300 grams. This would be a major selling point for the new smaller iPad:
Weight is a huge factor, maybe the factor, in one-handed use, and its too-heavy-to-hold-in-one-hand weight has always been one of the biggest knocks against the iPad-as-we-know-it. I’m thinking the iPad Mini will be not just thinner and lighter than the iPad-as-we-know-it, but remarkably thinner and lighter than its competitors in the small tablet market.3 Yet it will have a bigger display.
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Lately it has seemed that iPad Mini rumors had reached the boiling point where all that was missing was a date for an Apple announcement event. And now, according to the trusted sources of iMore’s Rene Ritchie, we’ve got one: Wednesday September 12th.
Ritchie’s report says the iPad Mini (or whatever name Apple decides to give it) will be announced alongside the next new iPhone and probably a new iPod Touch as well. The iPhone 5 (or whatever name the next iPhone is given) is said to be set for release on September 21.
According to Ritchie and others like iLounge, the iPad Mini could be released as soon as September 21 or as late as sometime in November.
Ritchie and his sources have a pretty good record when it comes to Apple event and release dates. My feeling, again, is that the iPad Mini release is virtually a lock now – and it looks like a release in just the next few months is on the cards now.
I’m definitely going to continue to save up for an iPad Mini purchase within the next three months. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on and purchasing plans (or lack thereof) for the iPad Mini in the comments.
As if there weren’t already enough compelling indicators that Apple is looking to release an iPad Mini over the next half year or so, now The New York Times has weighed in and said their sources confirm the same sort of information we’ve been hearing from Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal and others over recent weeks.
In a report yesterday the NYT mentioned that the iPad may be facing stiffer competition soon as Google has released their Nexus 7 (which is getting some quite strong reviews), Microsoft has announced their upcoming Surface tablets / hybrid devices and Amazon is said to be planning updates for their Kindle Fire.
But Apple is hardly about to cede ground.
The company is developing a new tablet with a 7.85-inch screen that is likely to sell for significantly less than the latest $499 iPad, with its 9.7-inch display, according to several people with knowledge of the project who declined to be named discussing confidential plans. The product is expected to be announced this year.
As with many new Apple products over the last few years, all the iPad Mini rumor stars are aligning now. Gruber’s little birdies are chirping the same sort of things as the NYT’s people with knowledge of the project. Jim Dalrymple at The Loop is using the word when rather than if when talking about a smaller iPad.
By now it will be a bit of a shocker if we don’t see Apple release a smaller iPad, and I expect over the next couple months we may well start seeing more and more leaks of iPad Mini spec details and perhaps even one of those lovely Apple event invites. Maybe they’ll announce it alongside the next-gen iPhone.
Last week I posted about how iPad Mini rumors had been gaining strength. The feeling of ‘where there’s this much smoke, there must be some fire’ was growing for me and I said this towards the end of that post:
I guess I’ve reached the stage where I’d be more surprised not to see the iPad Mini released in the next 8-10 months, and I wouldn’t be shocked at all to see it launched this year.
Well, this week has only increased that feeling, I’d say it’s now very likely we will see an ‘iPad Mini’ (or whatever Apple ends up calling it) released in the next 6-8 months. The reason I now feel so convinced of this is that two of the best and best-connected Apple writers have weighed in (to varying degrees) on the subject this week, and all the indicators from them are that we will see Apple release a smaller iPad.
John Gruber of Daring Fireball has a post up today titled Let’s Try to Think This iPad Mini Thing All the Way Through. In the post he proceeds to do just that. He works through all the main arguments against the release of the iPad Mini and provides good reasons why these may not hold much weight anymore – as Philip Elmer-Dewitt at Fortune Tech points out:
- The size problem — It’s a mistake to call it a 7-inch iPad, says Gruber, because a 7.85 inches diagonal is closer to 8 inches than the 9.7-inch diagonal iPad is to 10 inches (and nearly everybody refers to the current iPad as a 10-inch tablet). Most 7-inch tablets have been disappointments. An 8-inch tablet needn’t be.
- The sandpaper problem — When Steve Jobs said you’d need to sandpaper your fingers to use a smaller iPad he was talking about a 7-inch screen (50% the surface area of today’s iPad), not a nearly 8-inch inch screen (64%). [According to Jobs and Gruber's geometry, the ratios are 45% and 66%.] Besides, Jobs was famous for changing his mind on a dime.
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