The rumors of 7 inch “iPad mini” began surfacing all over the web more than half year ago, with different sources claiming slightly different screen sizes, price points and shipping dates. As time went on, the rumors became more and more consistent, eventually settling on the 7.85 inch screen size and the 2012 fall release schedule. The recent reports from the WSJ and Bloomberg seem to confirm this rumors, so the probability of Apple releasing the product is now higher than it ever was.
John Gruber wrote an excellent post compiling many of different ideas, viewpoints and analysis on this subject, with which I agree almost word for word. The exception being the price point. While it’s probably achievable for Apple to make an iPad mini for $199, I’m more than certain that it won’t happen, at least in the first year of the iPad mini.
Read More »
Recently, some news sites ran a story about a possible new entry-level “iPad mini” tablet, that Apple allegedly plans to launch in early 2012 to counter the new low-priced Kindle Fire tablet from Amazon. While most of the rumors concerning Apple turn out to be complete non-sense, this story indeed has some sense.
As with the iPhone (and previously the iPod), it’s not a question of “will Apple do it”, but rather when Apple will considers it necessary to expand the product line, creating a more affordable option. Another question is what will this more affordable option be. The problem with this story lies in semantics and timing:
- - the whole “mini” part is too reminiscent of the device’s smaller size (which is indeed unlikely), even when the story has a remark, that the “mini” moniker not necessarily refers to a smaller screen size of the tablet, but it’s lower price;
- - the “countering Amazon” part also sounds
bullshit too far-fetched, because releasing the “iPad mini” in early 2012 would require Apple to start it’s development a good year or more early, when there was no sign of Kindle Fire or any other viable competition;
Still, even considering all this, Apple could release a new entry-level iPad device. But, as shown us by the iPhone 4S announcement, Apple most probably would just lower the price of iPad 2 and keep producing it side by side with a new iPad 3, if it’s possible to differentiate the two product enough (e.g. iPad 3 will have a quad-core Apple A6 SoC and the new 2048 x 1536 “Retina” display).