Apple today raised the curtains on some of its products that grabbed global headlines for many weeks that lead to this day. Apple officially announced the iPad mini along with other products at the California Theatre in San Jose. Apple declared that the new iPad design is such that it is now 23 percent thinner and 53 percent lighter than the third generation iPad. The new iPad mini sports a 7.9-inch multi-touch display, FaceTime HD, and iSight cameras.
Showcasing the iPad mini
Speaking at the widely covered event, Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing shared, “iPad mini is every inch an iPad. With its gorgeous 7.9-inch display, iPad mini features the same number of pixels as the original iPad and iPad 2, so you can run more than 275,000 apps designed specifically for iPad.” Schiller went on to add that the “iPad mini is as thin as a pencil and as light as a pad of paper, yet packs a fast A5 chip, FaceTime HD and 5 megapixel iSight cameras and ultrafast wirelessâ€•all while delivering up to 10 hours of battery life”.
Also announced today was the fourth generation iPad. Both devices come with iOS 6, which Apple refers to as the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, with over 200 new features.
The iPad mini has an aluminium and glass design 7.2mm thick, and weighs only 0.68 pounds. As per an official statement by Apple, the iPad mini has 35 percent more screen real estate than 7-inch tablets, and up to 67 percent more usable viewing area when browsing the web. The dual-core A5 chip on the iPad mini allows for responsive graphics and a multi-touch experience that Apple believes to be both, fast and fluid while still providing all-day battery life.
True to its name, it is 53 percent lighter and 23 percent thinner
The iPad mini features a front-facing FaceTime HD camera and a 5-megapixel iSight camera at the back, which allows for recording full 1080p HD video. The iSight camera includes video image stabilisation and both cameras feature backside illumination, which Apple claims will allow users to capture great pictures in low light. The iPad mini also allows easy sharing of photos with friends and family using iCloud’s Shared Photo Streams.
The iPad mini features dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi support for speeds up to 150Mbps, which Apple says is twice the Wi-Fi performance compared to previous the iPad models. The iPad mini is available in a Wi-Fi version and a cellular one, which are world-ready with built-in support for most wireless standards, including LTE and DC-HSDPA. The iPad mini data plans will be available sans contract; so users will be only required to sign up and activate service directly from their iPad. Using the Personal Hotspot feature you can share a fast cellular data connection via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB with up to five other devices such as the MacBook Pro, the iPod touch or another iPad.
Now you see
The iPad mini and the fourth generation iPad both feature support for the Lightning connector, which Apple states is smaller, smarter, and more durable than the 30-pin connector. Lightning connector accessories are available to support cameras, SD cards, and VGA or HDMI digital video. Existing iPad Smart Covers and the iPad Smart Case are compatible with the fourth generation iPad, and new polyurethane Smart Covers custom-designed for the iPad mini are available in pink, green, blue, light gray, dark grey, and red for $39.
Apple announced that the Wi-Fi model will be available from November 2, for a suggested retail price of $329 for the 16GB model, $429 for the 32GB model, and $529 for the 64GB model in the US. It will be available in two colour options — black and slate, and white and silver.
The iPad mini and the fourth generation iPad will be sold through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores, and select Apple Authorized Resellers in the US, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.
All that is different with the mini
Apple today also announced the fourth generation iPad, which features a 9.7-inch Retina display. The only difference between the previous iPad and the iPad 4 is that the latter runs on an A6X chip and has the Lightning connector. Apple designed the A6X chip, which it claims, delivers up to twice the CPU performance and up to twice the graphics performance of the A5X chip, while delivering 10 hours of battery life in the same thin and light iPad design. Other new features include a FaceTime HD camera, twice the Wi-Fi performance when compared with previous iPad models and support for additional LTE carriers worldwide.
The iPad supports over 700,000 apps available on the App Store, including more than 275,000 apps designed specifically for the iPad, from a wide range of categories including books, games, business, news, sports, health, reference, and travel. The iPad also supports the more than 5,000 newspapers and magazines offered in the Newsstand, and the more than 1.5 million books available on the iBookstore. The iTunes Store contains online music, TV contents, and movies with a catalogue of over 26 million songs, over 190,000 TV episodes, and over 45,000 films. The new iBooks app for the iPad lets users read ebooks in over 40 languages.
The iPad mini with Wi-Fi + Cellular and fourth generation iPad with Wi-Fi + Cellular will start shipping a couple of weeks after the Wi-Fi models. The iPad mini with Wi-Fi + Cellular will be offered for a suggested retail price of $459 (US) for the 16GB model, $559 (US) for the 32GB model, and $659 (US) for the 64GB model. The fourth generation iPad with Wi-Fi + Cellular will be offered for a suggested retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB model, $729 (US) for the 32GB model and $829 (US) for the 64GB model. Additionally, the iPad 2 is available at $399 (US) for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and just $529 (US) for the 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G model. Local pricing will be available at launch.
Customers can begin pre-ordering all models of the iPad mini and all models of the fourth generation iPad on Friday, October 26 through the Apple Online Store in the countries where it has been rolled out.