Apple Introduces 7.9” iPad mini for $329

| Product News

Apple has introduced the long-awaited and much-rumored iPad mini on Tuesday, a 7.9-inch device the company will sell starting at US$329. The device is 7.2mm thin and weighs 0.68 pounds, and features the same 1024 x 768 resolution as the original iPad and iPad 2.

iPad mini

Apple VP Phil Schiller Introduces iPad mini

The company is marketing the device with the tag line,"Every inch an iPad, yet in a revolutionary design you can hold in one hand." The emphasis being that it's powerful like its larger sibling, offers the same 10-hours of battery life, has two cameras, and the same resolution as the larger iPad 2.

Screen

Because the iPad mini sports the same resolution as the first two iPad models, it will run the 275,000 existing iPad apps natively right out of the gate. This means that developers won't have to retool their apps to support the new device, and that it should integrate into Apple's ecosystem smoothly.

Interestingly, the company claims it has, "35 percent more screen real estate than 7-inch tablets and up to an astonishing 67 percent more usable viewing area when browsing the web."

This is a multifaceted claim. During the media event, Apple marketing VP Phil Schiller showed side by side screenshots with browsers that show more webpage being rendered on the iPad mini than a competing Android device after you removed onscreen controls from the Android device and browser interfaces from both devices.

In that respect, Apple claimed that the iPad mini rendered 49 percent more of those webpages than the Android device in portrait mode, and 67 percent in landscape mode.

On the other hand, while Apple didn't specify which Android tablets it was comparing the iPad mini to, the 35 percent more screen real estate claim is not true when compared to Amazon's Kindle Fire HD or Google's Nexus 7. Both of those devices have a native resolution of 1280 x 800, a total of 1,024,000 pixels compared to the 786,432 pixels on Apple's iPad mini.

That makes those two Android devices—the only two that one could reasonably consider successful—have 30.2 percent more real estate than Apple's iPad mini.

iPad Models

Apple's iPad Product Line

Cameras

iPad mini sports two cameras, a front-facing FaceTime HD camera designed for video chats and the all-important self-portrait, and a 5 megapixel rear iSight camera for taking photos and videos. The iSight camera can shoot at full 1080p HD, same as the 4th generation iPad with Retina Display (which was also introduced during the event).

Wi-Fi

Apple also announced that the iPad mini features dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi support, which means that the device can support speeds up to 150 Mbps on Wi-Fi connections.

Pricing & Availability

iPad mini with Wi-Fi models will be available in black & slate or white & silver on Friday, November 2, and customers can pre-order it starting on Friday, October 26th. Pricing is as follows:

16GB: $329
32GB: $429
64GB: $529

Wi-Fi + Cellular models are priced at $130 more:

16GB: $459
32GB: $559
64GB: $659

Comments

Terrin

Some people will complain about the price being too high in comparison to competition like the Nexus, but I think the price is great and Apple will sell a lot of them. I will buy the entry level model in black.


Somebody has already published a specs comparison. The Nexus 7 is not only made with cheap plastic, and offers less screen space, but it only has 8BG of ram and one 1.2 GB front facing camera. The Nexus also uses a processor that came out in 2011.

So if you are doing a pure specs comparison, for a $140 dollars more Apple is giving you a device made out of metal, two cameras, and an extra 8 GBs of storage.

For Apple, the price is impressive.

geoduck

It’s a wonderful device. I would leap at it except for the price.
$329 for 16Gb? $429 for 32Gb? Not a chance.
Drop those prices by $100 each and I’ll think about it.

I’ve had a fear that TC was more of a bean counter than Jobs was, more concerned with the bottom line than changing the world. This proves my fear’s were correct. They totally blew a chance to decisively win the tablet war. They had a chance to grab Samsung, Amazon and the others by the throat and bury them but no. The bean counters won and to Apple’s detriment.

I guess I’ll wait either for a Retina version at these same prices or one of these to show up on the Refurbished page.

Nick Pirce

iPad mini looks like a much better way to do PoS transactions in stores with square

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

This is all about the app ecosystem, where Apple has an advantage. One thing that surprised me Schiller comparing the screen to the Nexus 7 and trying to eek out an advantage. The N7 screen is 1280x800, which permits watching video in 720p with the tablet controls dimmed in the bottom gutter. On iPad, that 16:9 video is displayed at 1024 x 576 with appreciably large black bars.

The other place I was pulling my hair out was Schiller talking about the browser. On Android, there is true browser choice. So, like, if Google f’d up the next version of Chrome, users can switch to Firefox, if only to run a few web apps that require a correctly functioning browser. On iOS 6, Apple did in fact f—- up how Safari works with AJAX apps, which are quickly becoming a staple of enterprise computing. Users can switch to “Chrome for iOS”, which is essentially just a Google bookmark wrapper around Apple’s WebKitView because Apple doesn’t allow developers to implement their own browsers.

From all appearances the build quality is very nice. Jony Ive continues to impress me. I wish there were premium vendors on the Android side who made things out of aluminium. While the ecosystem has many of the touted benefits, its sharp edge is that when the model doesn’t work for you, it’s filled with costs and risks.

ibuck

I’m with Geoduck in disappointment over price. It costs another $100 for 16GB more Flash RAM?  Really ?  How’s that when the move from 32GB to 64GB is also $100?

I think Beanie(-Counter) Cook missed the price point which would really accelerate sales: 16GB $299, 32GB $349, 64GB $449.  And AAPL is down $20.50 due to that error.

DrDL

Fantastic comment from my wife about the mini iPad - Well I’d have it- it will fit in a handbag. Not something that had occurred to me….

Bryan Chaffin

Brad, I agree with everything you said.

ibuck: AAPL is down in the midst of a general and broad market correction that is all about general earnings worries. Fun fact: This is one of the longest periods on record without a 5% market correction—a 5% correction we still haven’t hit even with the recent downturn.

geoduck: I noted in John’s piece about pricing my thoughts on the subject. The short version is that Apple will sell every unit it can make at this price. Why sell them for less?

Guest Nick Pirce: That’s a very good point, though iPod touch or iPhone is better still for that one function.

Bryan Chaffin

(Removed two posts for reposting on correct article)

Arild

Sigh…

The iPad mini at 7.9 in has a bigger *screen area* than other tablets at 7 in, even if the other guys have a higher pixel count.

iPad mini ... Bigger ... Screen ... Yes ...?

Yes.

Bryan Chaffin

Arild, you are correct that 7.85 has more area than 7, but Apple’s verbiage says “35 more screen real estate,” as noted in the article. “Real estate” when talking about computer (etc.) displays has the specific connotation of usable area, i.e. resolution.

There are certainly 7” tablets out there with lower resolutions than the Kindle Fire HD, Nexus 7, or iPad mini but they don’t sell well and aren’t competition for iPad mini. The only real comparison should be with those two devices, in my mind. It’s subjective, to be sure, but I won’t be the only one bringing this up.

I don’t see why Apple would open itself up this sort of criticism when the comparison didn’t have to be made in this fashion.

Arild

Thank you for the definition of “real estate” equals “resolution”. You are the tech writer, so I will accept that.

Apple chose to emphasize that the screen is larger, resolution-independent-wise, so to speak. To my mind, Apple didn’t say anything incorrect and I don’t think they will get much criticism for making the comparison.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

@Arild: Well, since Apple put the Nexus 7 on the screen, expect Google to put the iPad mini up on their screen at their Android event next week.

There’s making the best of a bad situation, or just playing to your strengths, and then there’s what Apple did with the size comparison. Lots of people already know that they told the favorable half of the story. And frankly, aspect ratio is as big an issue as pixel density or count. Apple already acknowledged that with the iPhone 5 and new iPod Touch.

ibuck

Bryan Chaffin wrote: “AAPL is down in the midst of a general and broad market correction that is all about general earnings worries. Fun fact: This is one of the longest periods on record without a 5% market correction—a 5% correction we still haven’t hit even with the recent downturn.”

Yes, but Tuesday, prior to Apple’s event, AAPL was only down about $6 in the midst of that “correction.” And then down over $20 after it.

furbies

Does the White iPad mini have the shiny beveled edge like the iPhone 5 ?

tkid

The iPad2 in that picture seems out of place. Apple, please just kill it.

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