With Apple’s announcement of the iPad Mini expected next Tuesday, and the release anticipated to be on November 2, it’s about time to start thinking about possible price points for the new smaller iPad. My plan of course is to be amongst the first in line for the iPad Mini on launch day, so I’ve been following all the reports and speculation about the range of models and predicted price points for them.
Here are a couple things that have stood out and framed my expectations for now:
— John Gruber’s typically sharp analysis and case for why the new smaller iPad could cost less than the latest iPod Touch ($299). I also hope Gruber is right in his thinking that iPad Air is a better and more likely name for the new device – I think that’s a much better name too.
Image Source: Martin Hajek
A couple days ago we learned that Apple’s special event with their expected unveiling of the iPad Mini (or whatever name is given to the new smaller iPad) is set for next Tuesday, October 23. After months of rumors and leaks we should get an official announcement of the iPad Mini in just a few days.
So this seems as good a time as any to talk about why the iPad Mini is exciting. Here are some of the reasons I’m excited about it:
A 7-8 Inch Tablet Is An Attractive Option: One of my favorite tech writers, Kevin C. Tofel, has been singing the praises of smaller tablets for a long while now, and it seems his writing even helped convince Apple’s management team to reconsider this form factor. The popularity of devices like the Kindle Fire and Google’s Nexus 7 is further evidence that this size of tablet has some market traction. Having used a Kindle Fire and the new Kindle Fire HD, I am hoping that the rumors of the iPad Mini being much closer to 8 inches (7.85 is the consensus) prove true. Firstly because my understanding is that this will allow iPad apps to run at 1024X768 and developers won’t have to redo their apps for the iPad Mini, and also because my eyes are old and the slightly bigger display on the smaller iPad will be more comfortable for them.
Apple has sent out their invites to a special event to be held next Tuesday, October 23. This is widely expected to be their unveiling event for a new smaller iPad – the iPad Mini or iPad Air or whatever name Apple chooses to give it.
The only text on the invitation sure seems to tie in with the smaller iPad theme:
We’ve got a little more to show you.
And of course we’ve already heard from a number of reliable sources that manufacturing has already started for the iPad Mini. There are even several leading Apple accessory vendors who are already promoting accessories for the new smaller iPad.
The Apple event is set to start at 10AM Pacific next Tuesday and will be held at the California Theatre in San Jose.
You’ll be shocked to hear that I’m more than a tad excited and anxiously awaiting the iPad Mini event.
iPad Mini Render via Martin Hajek’s Flickr stream
Like many others, I was anxiously awaiting news this week that Apple had issued invites for a special event next week to announce the iPad Mini, or iPad Air or whatever name they give to the new, smaller iPad. That was the timeframe that previous rumors had suggested.
When that news never came I was beginning to wonder whether dates had just shifted slightly or whether there might be some substantial delay in the whole (expected) release timeframe. It looks like it’s more of the former, at least according to AllThingsD and the venerable Jim Dalrymple. Here’s John Paczkowski at AllThingsD on this subject:
The silence from Apple left some to wonder if it still plans to debut a smaller iPad this fall; others speculated that production delays may have forced it to postpone the device’s unveiling until later in the year.
Neither is the case.
As AllThingsD reported in August, Apple will hold a special event this month, at which it will showcase a new, smaller iPad. People familiar with Apple’s plans tell us that the company will unveil the so-called “iPad mini” on Oct. 23 at an invitation-only event.
What really grabbed my attention this morning was a slightly shorter post in response to the AllThingsD from Dalrymple:
Dalrymple’s yeps have become as close as it gets to an official confirmation prior to Apple actually putting us out of our misery.
You gotta love the way big Apple product releases work these days. We’ve got parts leaks, a rumor mill that seems to get more and more on target all the time, and of course accessories for as yet unannounced products.
Today’s example is ZAGG’s latest new product is an invisibleSHIELD for the iPad Mini. I guess they’ve grown tired of waiting on an official announcement of a new smaller iPad from Apple, and presumably they know a few final iPad Mini spec details that the rest of us are still waiting on.
The precision pre-cut invisibleSHIELD applies directly to your Apple iPad Mini, providing the toughest, most durable protection you will find.
As 9to5Mac points out, this product is especially interesting to see because ZAGG is a leading name in the iOS and Apple accessories market.
Anybody planning to order one of these for the iPad Mini, even before Apple announces there is such a device?
Oh boy. Want another reason to be excited about the iPad Mini, the heavily rumored and much anticipated smaller tablet from Apple? Just take a look at the stunning renders done by Gizmodo reader Martin Hajek, like the one shown above.
And Jesus Diaz of Gizmodo reckons that by now we may as well consider these renders to be sneal previews:
After the iPhone 5 leak mega-saga—at this point you can call these renders sneak previews—the black anodized aluminum iPad mini seems like a done deal.
Which is why Gizmodo reader Martin Hajek—who made those awesome iPhone 5 renders that looked just like the real thing—has rendered these images.
Just in case we needed yet more strong indications that the iPad Mini – or whatever Apple ends up calling its new smaller iPad – is on the way quite soon, now The Wall Street Journal has reported that mass production has started and is in line with a release timeframe of late October to early November.
As 9to5Mac reported yesterday, the WSJ had this to say on the subject:
Apple Inc.’s Asian component suppliers have started mass production of a new tablet computer smaller than the current iPad, people with knowledge of the situation said, as the Silicon Valley company tries to stay competitive against rivals such as Google Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.that are offering smaller, less-expensive alternatives to the iPad.
All we need now is to see an invitation go out for an Apple unveiling event. Hopefully that’s coming any day now. As Tom Petty once said, the waiting is the hardest part.
Image Source: 9to5Mac
It’s been a little while, while the iPhone took center stage, but the iPad Mini rumors are beginning to flow again. Today there’s a major new iPad Mini rumor courtesy of Philip Elmer-DeWitt at Fortune Tech.
It offers up some specific dates during this month and next in the iPad Mini launch timeline – including press invites for an expected unveiling event going out next week, on October 10. Their source is described as a ‘major Apple investor’ who in turn has heard these dates from ‘multiple sources’. Here’s the details on the rumored dates:
What our source adds is the specificity of a date: The press, he says, can expect invitations to go out on Oct. 10.
If the rumor is true, and if Apple follows its usual scheduling protocol, that would suggest a special event to unveil the product on Wednesday, Oct. 17, with a launch day of Friday Nov. 2 — plenty of time to capture holiday sales.
So that’s invites to an Apple event going out middle of next week, the event itself to be held a week later on October 17 and a launch day of Friday November 2. I haven’t seen a Yep or Nope from The Man Who Knows as yet on this one – so for now I’m going to continue hoping that the timeline for the iPad Mini might be a bit faster. I was thinking over this past weekend that I hope to see Apple’s event invite go out this weekend, then an unveiling event next week (say the 10th), and then a launch by around the 19th.
Then again, if the Fortune Tech source is correct then the iPad Mini launch will be the Friday that falls two days after Halloween. Now that could make for some fun late night / early morning lines.
Want to see what the rumored iPad Mini is probably going to look like? Well you’re in luck – as a number of viable looking mockups and renderings have come out over the last week or so.
The one shown above is courtesy of 9to5Mac and they say it ties in nicely with the growing consensus on the iPad Mini’s specs and the latest parts leaks for the widely expected smaller iPad.
MacRumors has also released a very detailed set of 3D renderings of the iPad Mini and even a companion video for them – though they also point out that since they worked up these renderings a few likely specs details have emerged which are different to some of the assumptions made in these renderings.
Here’s my favorite line in the MacRumors piece:
As has been previously noted, the 7.85-inch iPad offers 66% of the surface area of the current 9.7-inch iPad and almost 40% more surface area than competing 7-inch tablets.
That’s huge if it all turns out to be accurate. Those are the sort of numbers that should make all the difference in the world in terms of how good the apps and experience are on the iPad Mini. An iPad that’s significantly thinner and lighter while still offering 2/3 of the surface area – damn that sounds good.
Of course all of this is just conjecture at the moment, as Apple has announced nothing and is isn’t even expected to until next month – but it seems like with each passing year the Apple rumor mill gets more and more effective at outing a healthy percentage of the big details on hot new Apple devices. I’m definitely hoping that proves to be true with the iPad Mini.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on these latest iPad Mini renderings. Are you lusting after the iPad Mini yet?
Just when I was getting all giddy about buying a lovely new iPad Mini or iPad Air or whatever Apple’s smaller iPad ends up being called in the next few weeks, along comes word from those who are generally in the know that we won’t be seeing an iPad Mini announcement in September.
Up until recently all the usual signs pointed to the iPad Mini being announced alongside the new iPhone at a widely expected though not yet confirmed Apple event on September 12 – with the new iPhone release following within 10 days.
In the last few days several reliable and extremely well connected sources have weighed in suggesting that’s not the case – and that the iPad Mini will not share the stage or steal any thunder from the iPhone launch, but instead will be announced at Apple’s traditional music + iPod event in early October. John Gruber at Daring Fireball first suggested this approach would be the most likely, then Jim Dalrymple at Loop Insight gave his nod of confirmation by quoting the salient excerpt of Gruber’s piece and saying “Oh that Gruber is a smart fellow”.
The rational, semi grown-up side of me thinks this all makes perfect sense. The new iPhone and the iPad Mini don’t compete for center stage at a single announcement event and don’t compete quite so strongly with each other for customer dollars with at least a number of weeks between their respective release dates – and both still come out well in time to get the most out of the holiday season.
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.