Friday, October 12, 2012

Apple iPad Mini

The new iPad has been and gone, sporting a chunkier and heavier build than the iPad 2, which left some wondering: what's with all the extra weight?
However, it looks like Apple may be about to aid those conscious of extra grams in their bags, as rumours hot up about a potential iPad Mini (or iPad nano, if you prefer) arriving later this year.
As the Amazon Kindle Fire, Google Nexus 7 and Nook HD steal the budget tablet show, Apple may well want a bite of the, well, apple.
Back in 2010, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that smaller screened tablets were not "sufficient to create great tablet apps" and would be "dead on arrival", so rumours suggesting a new iPad mini is in the works reveals a potentially new direction for the firm in its post-Jobs era.
Believe it or not, there's certainly a lot of chat surrounding the iPad Mini, so we've scooped it all up, mushed it all together and expelled it into a handy round up, allowing you to keep track of every twist and turn.
If you're pressed for time then check out our iPad Mini rumour roundup video below.
Update: A new report has examined the prospects for an iPad Mini - and how it might contribute to the company's bottom line, particularly with gamers and the educational market.
According to analyst Ben A. Reitzes, the iPad Mini would not be a threat to Apple's current domination with the New iPad, and is likely to be a favourite among gamers as well as educational institutes, particularly with the electronic textbooks introduced earlier this year.
Update: And if you were ever wondering, will Apple really go with the iPad Mini name, an "Asian source" quoted by a Japanese site seems confident that yes, it really will be called the iPad Mini. Wow.

iPad Mini release date

There's not even an official sign from Apple that the iPad Mini/iPad nano is in the works, so a release date for the tablet is even more up in the air.
However, if the rumours turn out to be true, we can expect Apple to start rolling out the iPad Mini very soon after an extraordinarily over-hyped launch event. Most rumours suggest it's likely to happen well before Christmas.
Analyst Shaw Wu says the "exact timing" for an iPad mini release date "is difficult to predict", but said its launch is a "question of when, not if." Pretty confident are we, Shaw?
When Apple announced its annual WWDC event running from June 11-15, which sold out in just two hours, there was some speculation that we could see the Cupertino firm announce the iPad mini there, but no new iPad broke cover at WWDC.
Rumours claiming we'd see Apple take to the stage on September 12 to show off the new tablet, alongside the iPhone 5 - have turned out to be false.
Update: October has been mooted by an AllThingsD source as the month which the iPad Mini will arrive - "Only after the next generation iPhone is out the door and on sale will Apple announce the smaller iPad it's been working on. That device, which is expected to have a display of less than eight inches, will be uncrated at a second special event, which sources said is currently scheduled for October."
Or... the iPad Mini may be getting its own launch event in November, because stock of the tablet won't be ready for a September release.
Update: News has broken suggesting that Foxconn, the only manufacturer of iPads, as lost between 50 and 60 percent of iPad Mini production to Chinese manufacturer Pegatron. This could signal production of the pint-sized tablet getting stepped up as Apple looks to launch the device next month.
Update: The latest piece of false-hype came at the start of October, when reports suggested invites for the iPad Mini launch event would go out on October 10, with Apple taking to the stage of October 17 - October 10 has come and gone, and we're yet to see any form of invitation land on our desk.
Update: According to analyst Brian White from Topeka Capital Markets, Apple has delayed the launch of the iPad Mini, originally scheduled for September, due to complications in Apple's supply chain.
White goes on to claim Apple will struggle to meet demand when the product launches, saying: "we believe that supply constraints will initially hold back the full sales potential during the first month or so of the launch."
Update: A component supplier for the rumoured iPad Mini has revealed that Apple has ordered 10 million of the pint-sized slates in preparation for the run-up to Christmas, further fuelling claims that we'll see the tablet soon.
Update: October 23 - that's what the latest rumour is saying regarding the iPad Mini launch event, with a release date potentially on October 26. This news comes from "people familiar with Apple's plans" - hmm, we've heard that before - but we'll wait and see if an invite arrives.
Previous iPad Mini release date rumours include:
Update: A report straight out of China suggests that key Apple manufactures Foxconn and Pegatron have started to receive orders for the new iPad mini. It goes on to say the factories will have 6 million units ready for a launch in Q3 of 2012.
Update: An iMore source claims that the iPad Mini will be ready by October 2012. Hold on to your hats people!
Update: A Taiwanese source has claimed that the mini iPad will be in the hands of consumers before Christmas, with a third quater launch on the cards.
Update: According to Bloomberg, an unnamed source said a tablet with a screen size of "7 to 8 inches diagonally" will arrive before 2012 reaches its close.
Update: The Wall Street Journal reports that sources in Apple's Asian supply chain have revealed the iPad Mini will go into production from September.

iPad Mini price

Apple is known for its extravagant products, launch events and pricing policies, but the iPad Mini may herald a new era for those who long for an Apple device, but simply can't part with an arm and a leg to buy one.
It's thought that Apple's idea behind the iPad nano is to tackle the budget end of the market, where the Amazon Kindle Fire is currently king.
The New York Times has spoken to people "with knowledge of the project", who claim the iPad Mini will be significantly cheaper than the current iPad.
Update: Analyst Brian White reckons the iPad Mini will arrive somewhere between $250 and $300 - which would make it more expensive that its Android rivals.
Other iPad Mini price rumours include:
Update: A Digitimes source predicts it could land with a very reasonable sub £200 ($249-$299) price tag.
Update: Could the iPad Mini be a super cheap tablet contender? It can according to one source, who claims it will land with a price tag between $200 and $250 (around £150) - we certainly hope this turns out to be true!
Update: Those famous "various analysts" and "industry sources" have spoken out again, confirming that the iPad Mini should arrive on the market for $249-$299 (around £159-£190).
Update: A report from Japanese blog Macotakara said that the iPad Mini price will cost in the region of $250-$350 (around £160-£230).

iPad Mini display

As the name suggests, we're looking at an iPad that will be sporting a screen smaller than the stock 9.7-inch display found on the first three Apple tablets.
In February we saw a report from the Wall Street Journal claiming a source from an Apple component supplier had confirmed it was testing a smaller screen for Apple, in the region of 8 inches, with a similar resolution to the iPad 2.
At the start of March, Digitimes reported that the new iPad Mini would actually come with a 7.85-inch display – a tad bigger than the 7-inch screen found on the Amazon Kindle Fire and Google Nexus 7.
In July, sources "with knowledge of the project" said that the iPad Mini will indeed sport a 7.85-inch display.
Update:Apparently Apple is using displays from AU Optronics Corp. and LG Display Co. for its highly anticipated mini tablet - expected to measure 7.85 inches diagonally.
There's also a notion that the new iPad Mini will have a 16:9 display, eschewing the 4:3 option of its bigger brother and falling into line with the iPhone 5. Sounds a bit spurious, but hey - this is Apple. It's a maverick.
Other iPad Mini display rumours include:
Update: April saw Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu reveal that Apple had been testing devices with screens ranging from 4 to 12-inches and highlighted that the 7.85-inch format would be most likely "when, not if" the iPad mini is launched. Wu also predicted the iPad nano would sport the same resolution as the original iPad and iPad 2, at 1,024 x 768 – meaning developers wouldn't have to tweak their apps.
Update: According to an iMore source, the mini iPad will sport a 7-inch screen with the same retina display as the iPhone 4S and new iPad.
Update: The 7.85-inch screen rumour gets ever stronger as industry sources claim the iPad Mini will sport IGZO display panels, which are capable of delivering a retina-quality display.
Update: According to Bloomberg's sources, the iPad Mini will not arrive packing the Retina Display featured on the new iPad 3.

Other iPad Mini specs

To help keep the cost of the iPad Mini down, one source reckons it will ship with just 8GB of internal storage - the same amount as the Amazon Kindle Fire and the smaller Google Nexus 7.
In terms of thickness, Japanese blog Macotakara cites an unknown source, claiming the iPad Mini will be 7.2mm thick.
Macotakara also wrote that the iPad Mini would come with 3G functionality.
Update: Some dodgy looking pictures have showed up online, claiming to show the back case of the iPad Mini - and you'll notice that there's no rear-facing camera at play.
Sadly there's little else to go on from these snaps, with the source failing to provide any more information - real or fake? The choice, as they say, is yours.
iPad Mini LEAK

Credit: Sina Weibo
Update: An image has leaked online claiming to show the rear case of the iPad Mini - although it's highly dubious as it doesn't seem to have the Apple finesse found on the rest of the product range.
iPad Mini case LEAK

Update: A video purporting to show a near-complete mock-up of the 7.85-inch, iPad Mini has now surfaced - complete with Lightning dock connector. Fake or real? You decide...

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