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iPad mini finally unveiled, starts at $329

updated 02:20 pm EDT, Tue October 23, 2012

Apple says its internals are better than iPad 2

Apple ended all speculation at its media event today, finally unveiling the much-expected iPad mini. As expected, the new, smaller iPad packs much of the internals of the iPad 2 into a form factor about the size of other 7-inch tablets like Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire HD. Apple marketing exec Phil Schiller took a special pleasure in pointing out what Apple believes makes the late-coming iPad mini superior to its competition, noting that others might have tried to make 7-inch devices, but "they've failed miserably."

The new, smaller iPad packs a 7.9-inch screen outputting at 1024x768, giving it 49 percent more screen real estate than its similarly-sized competition. It also has Apple's dual-core A5 processor inside. It has a 5MP iSight camera, LTE as an option, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, 10 hours of battery life, and Lightning compatibility.

Apple's new iPad holds a number of advantages over its similarly-sized competition, but it also gives up ground in some areas. In the iPad mini's favor are its 7.9-inch screen size, rear camera, and optional LTE connectivity. The screen dimensions, in particular, give Apple's tablet 49 percent more screen real estate than the competition, according to Apple.

Perhaps most importantly, the iPad mini is compatible with the 275,000 apps that already work on Apple's iPad. Other tablets running Google's Android operating system face a dearth of tablet-specific apps, a fact Apple CEO Tim Cook spent a good deal of time discussing. Google is said to be encouraging developers to build more tablet-specific apps for Android, but for the foreseeable future Apple will likely retain a sizable lead in this sector.

The iPad mini loses out, though, on price. Starting at $329 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model, it is 32 percent more expensive than a 16GB Nexus 7, 43 percent more expensive than a 16GB Nook HD, and 65 percent more expensive than the 16GB Kindle Fire HD. It remains to be seen whether the larger screen, rear camera, and larger app selection will prove enough of a draw for most consumers to get them to choose Apple's offering over the competition, as price is considered one of the main attractions driving the 7-inch segment.

The new iPad also arguably lags behind the competition in terms of processing power, as it sports a dual-core A5 chip, while the Nexus 7 has a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 chipset. In terms of resolution, all three of Apple's main competitors best the new iPad. The iPad mini boasts a resolution of 1024x768, versus 1280x800 for the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7 and 1440x900 for the Nook HD.

The iPad mini will be available for pre-order at Apple's online store starting October 26, with Wi-Fi models becoming available at Apple Retail Stores at 8:00 a.m. on November 2. Wi-Fi+Cellular models will be available on a number of carriers in mid-November.

by MacNN Staff




  1. Geoduck

    Junior Member

    Joined: 01-14-10

    Fantastic device
    Asinine price.
    Drop them $100 across the board and I'll think about it.

  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: 01-03-08

    I wouldn't say the Kindle Fire HD has "failed miserably."

  1. PJL500

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-18-11

    Nice! I'll wait and get a iPad Mini 2 - like the original iPad it's probably not really ready till v2.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    1. IMO, Apple should have sacrificed $30 of profit and made it $299.

    2. Pairo9s, I would call them miserable failures. Tey are cheapie flimsy plastic pieces of junk, with a MISERABLE Android experience (and that's by Android standards!) and haven't sold well. Real Kindles = way better value for money, and the Nexus 7 is a far superior Android tablet. There's also very few apps for Android tablets. For now, at least, if you want a tablet, you want an iPad. Maybe next year it will be a more open question.

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 01-21-10

    Re: "Apple CEO Tim Cook took a special pleasure in pointing out what Apple believes makes the late-coming iPad mini superior to its competition, noting that others might have tried to make 7-inch devices, but "they've failed miserably."


  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Actually, it is APPLE that has "failed miserably" at making a 7-inch tablet. Their tablet is almost 8 inches!! WAY OFF THE MARK, APPLE!! :lol:

    But seriously, everyone's whining about the price (including me, see above) but when you see this in the store with its WAY more screen area and they will forget about the price, I suspect.

  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: 11-15-06

    This iPad Mini probably will attract lots of female because it fits in their purses nicely and will put Microsoft Surface back to stone age on Oct 26. It's time to push their production date to next year again.

  1. blahblahbber


    Joined: 02-01-05

    Originally Posted by GeoduckView Post

    Fantastic device
    Asinine price.
    Drop them $100 across the board and I'll think about it.

    Sadly it would cut into their crypod "douche" line...

  1. RoboBobo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-21-11

    $199 for a Kindle Fire HD or Nexus 7 will keep those tablets selling well.
    I don't imagine it's really going to help Google that much, that the Kindle technically runs a variant of Android - the Kindle is an amazon 'content' play all the way - but Amazon is carving out a spot on the low end, they aren't making money on hardware, but on content.

    Apple is over 50% more expensive at $329.

    With that said - hold your hats, I'm going to say something nice - they nailed this tablet - it's perfect.

    They did - it's super light and thin, and got all the iOS goodness, plus it's resolution works with existing 1024x768 tablet apps.

    Apple does insist on owning the high end, and hey, it's a legitimate strategy.

    Where is the room for Microsoft here? Not on the low end with content. Not on the $329 "high end" either.

    No, Microsoft has to leverage their desktop monopoly and I'm just not sure that'll work.

    Apple isn't trying to displace Android except in the courtroom. But are they keeping Microsoft at bay? Oh heck yes they are....

    Good job Apple - this will probably be the last good thing, since Jobs is gone, but - today is the day to be an Apple fan - the pinnacle has arrived.

  1. jslove

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-15-07

    For my money, the next iPad mini (2nd generation), whatever they call it, will have a retina display. Yields at this point would probably have made it cost too much.

    Whether the low end will have GPS or the price will come down will probably depend on how well it sells. It can't come down too quickly or people who paid more will be angry, but it will either come down or have better specs as time goes by.

    We'll probably have to wait 6 months, maybe a year, before a significant upgrade, but it will come. It will be interesting to see how price and spec pressure from Kindle, Nook and Surface play out.

  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: 01-03-08

    @chas_m: You might want to read this article >

    (and I too have an iPad 3 which I love!)

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