iPad Mini May Be Called iPad Air, but It Looks More and More Like a Sure Thing

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iPad Air

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.

— MG Siegler at his Paris Lemon blog provided a bit of perspective on how the new smaller iPad would stack up if it does weigh in at 265 grams (Gruber’s initial estimate):

iPod touch: 101 grams
iPhone 4S: 140 grams
Kindle (WiFi): 170 grams
iPad Air (Gruber’s estimate): 265 grams
Nexus 7: 340 grams
Kindle Fire: 413 grams
New iPad (WiFi): 652 grams

— Gruber’s piece finishes with a thought on the name for the smaller iPad – which I think makes a lot of sense and is a good bet. iPad Air is a much better name than iPad Mini.

Maybe iPad Mini is the wrong name for us to use as a placeholder. It’s not about being smaller — it’s about being thinner and lighter. iPad Air?

— The mockup shown at the top of this post – done by Rene Ritchie at iMore – offers a great look at how the iPad Air / Mini is sized compared to the current iPad and the iPhone. I also think Ritchie is spot-on with this take on the smaller iPad:

Most importantly, this isn’t a big iPod touch.

The Google Nexus 7 is arguably closer to a big iPod touch than this device. The Nexus 7, in part, scales up smartphone interface elements and apps. The iPad mini runs the iPad version of iOS and scales it down. The iPad mini is an iPad, and that makes a tremendous difference. That allows it to run that higher class of apps thatSteve Jobs talked about.

This is a full on iPad, just smaller and lighter.

— Today 9to5Mac have a 3D rendering of the iPad Mini, based on latest reports and leaked schematics and produced by designer Maurizio Vitale, that looks impressive:

iPad MIni 3D rendering

The tone of all these articles has very little ‘if’ remaining – the talk is much more about the fine details now and the ‘when’ we will see the iPad Mini, or hopefully the iPad Air.

Roll on September 12 and the expected Apple announcement event for the new iPhone, smaller iPad, and whatever else they’ve got up their sleeve.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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3 thoughts on “iPad Mini May Be Called iPad Air, but It Looks More and More Like a Sure Thing”

  1. Its important to me to know the pixels resolution of this device, to know whether my current App “My Craps Game” will fit correctly. Right now, my App senses either 1024×768 (iPad 1) or 2048×1536 (iPad 3). If they came up with a new resolution, its going to cause me trouble. Hopefully on a 7 inch device, they stuck with 1024×768 mode for good compatibility.

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