Apple is hosting a special event in San Jose today and many expect the Cupertino-based company to unveil a smaller, more portable version of its iPad, which has turned into a category-defining tablet. But questions remain about what kind of a product one can expect from Apple considering that they own the 9-plus inch tablet market and the tablets smaller than the iPad are basically low-cost solutions aimed at attracting consumers who cannot afford the iPad. Apart from this, some consider the 9.7-inch display of the iPad to be too large and they prefer a more portable form-factor. Things may not be as clear cut for Apple as it had it back in 2010 when it launched the original iPad considering users have solid options like the Asus made Google Nexus 7 tablet that starts from just $199. One does wonder what the alchemists from Cupertino can conjure, that might sting the Android army of low-cost tablets. Read on for a detailed rumor roundup. Also Read - Apple App store removes this popular dating app for spreading misinformation
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The iPad mini is not expected to have a 7-inch display, instead many reports point towards a 7.85-inch display. Apple insider John Gruber of Daring Fireball fame has already stated that Apple is toying with a 7.85-inch display and he has even postulated that Apple may end-up retaining the 1024×768 pixel screen resolution of the iPad 2, so that developers don’t run in to any issues when it comes to scaling of apps. This would also mean that the iPad mini would have a lower resolution display than its competition like the Google Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire HD. That said, Gruber says that Apple might market the product in a different way and say that it offers a larger display in a similar form factor.
Apple generally reserves its best processing technology for the iPhone then it rolls it out on the larger version of the iPad. Considering we are still talking about a rumored product we don’t really know what chipset Apple would opt for the iPad mini. Having said that many reports point towards Apple leaning towards the A5 chip used in the iPad 2, the iPhone 4S and the new iPod Touch. Common sense also dictates the same as a smaller iPad with a lower resolution display would anyways demand less processing power and when we add the fact that iOS is a very optimized operating system, we can expect the A5 chip as it is not expected to be a flagship product anyway.
Apple products are the masters of battery life. They have literally made a name for themselves on the basis of their battery performance leave alone their impressive designs; build quality and ease of use. We can expect the iPad mini to boast comparable battery life to the iPad and the slew of tablets out there like the Nexus 7, if not surpass it.
This one is a no brainer. At last months iPhone 5 announcement Apple said that the new Lightning connector is their new connector for the next decade and one definitely expects the new lightning connector on the iPad mini. In fact, it is also rumored that Apple may even announce a new revamped version of the new iPad with the lightning connector as well as the new A6 processor.
As the iPad mini is expected to be a low cost product, we only expect 8GB, 16GB and 32GB variants as reported by 9to5 Mac. And in traditional Apple way we don’t expect any mode of expansion.
We can expect a front-facing Facetime camera, but a rear camera is highly unlikely, considering Apple will be trying to keep the price down as it faces stiff competition from Google and a slew of Android tablets.
This one is tricky one. A Wi-Fi only model is a given, but Apple could also launch a 3G enabled version of the iPad mini, especially in the wake of rumors that suggest Google could be gearing up for a 3G version of the Nexus 7 tablet which admittedly has done very well in the markets it has been launched in.
9to5Mac cites its sources for a $329 price for the base 8GB model of the iPad mini. This would mean that the iPad mini would start a good $129 more than the Google Nexus 7. We are not very sure if this would make for a good value proposition considering the revamped version of the older Kindle Fire tablet is also available for $159. Apple will definitely think that it can charge a premium even for its iPad mini but it is up against a very very good tablet in the Google Nexus 7. Previous rumors that suggested a $249 price for the iPad mini look more plausible just on the basis of value, but you never know with Apple.
Apple is very good at supply chain management. We can expect the company to open pre-orders today itself with it being available by November 2 in the US and a few other countries and in most countries before the end of the year. That’s the general pattern of Apple announcements, so we don’t expect anything out of the ordinary.
And one more thing
Actually the rumor mill is pointing towards more than one more thing. If the rumors are to be believed Apple will launch the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display, a revamped version of the new iPad with the lightning connector, a new iMac with Ivy Bridge processors, a new Mac Mini and will also show-off the iTunes 11 which was announced at the iPhone 5 event.
Photo Credits: 9to5 Mac