Apple has just announced an October media event scheduled for October 23. If they don’t announce the iPad mini, the internet will quickly become a refugee camp for confused and bewildered journalists… myself included.
Much like the run up to the iPhone 5, there have been so many leaks and rumors that the iPad mini has practically announced itself. But what exactly do we know/claim to know about the iPad mini? Here for you, in one place, are the iPad mini rumors.
Most leaks are showing that the iPad mini is slated to look like a rather larger version of the iPod touch. The most distinctive feature are the significantly thinner bezels as seen above. There’s also a high chance that the iPad mini will feature the reconfigured speaker/dock form factor based around Apple’s new Lightning connector. From the picture above, you can see that the 7.85″ display is much bigger than that of the iPhone, yet is still small enough to differentiate it from the original iPad, it fits perfectly between the two.
Most mockups are suggesting a completely flat back, more in-keeping with the iPhone design, rather than the tapered version that we’re used to in the current versions. iMore has suggested that the device will be around 7.2mm thick. Logic also dictates that the next device will be a lot lighter than the current iPad.
The smaller size of the iPad mini has left many questioning the likelihood of a Retina display. Bloomberg has reported that the iPad mini will have a lower resolution display than the new iPad’s retina display. John Gruber reckons that it will be a 4:3 1024×768, sporting 163 ppi like the iPhone 3GS. His reasoning stating that this would allow Apple to maintain production lines and keep the costs down. This configuration on a smaller display would make it sharper than the iPad 1 and 2, however it would leave the iPad mini with a clear disadvantage against competitors like the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD. It seems more likely to me that the iPad mini will ship with a Retina display, because I think that anything else would be received as a significant let-down. There are some suggestions that the display will clock at 1152 x768, featuring the same 16:9 ratio as the new iPhone, this is also a possibility, and it seems
Recent inventory logs presumed to be the iPad mini suggests that the new tablet will come in 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities. Whilst there aren’t too many reasons to doubt this, I think that a 64GB model is less likely, because it would cause a significant overlap with the current iPad, which in turn would negatively impact the sales of either, or both devices. The iPad mini is definitely a niche-product, if it’s too similar to any of Apple’s current devices, then it won’t be as successful. It’s already been suggested that every 5 iPad mini sales will result in 1 less normal iPad sale, I highly doubt that Apple want to make that figure higher.
There have been suggestions that the device will be Wi-Fi only, however again, I think that this is unlikely. Particularly because leaked pictures show the iPad mini with a black strip on the back of the device, a feature only used on cellular versions of the iPad because the signal cannot travel through the aluminum back. I think it’s more realistic to suggest that the iPad mini will have cellular capabilities.
iPad mini, complete with black strip to allow cellular radio transmission.
Mockups and leaks are all showing the iPad with front and rear facing cameras. The current iPad sports a 5 Megapixel camera with 1080p video recording capability, again, I’m not too convinced that HD video is a realistic prospect. Case leaks are also suggesting there will be a camera, some rumors are suggesting that the iPad mini will ship with the 5 megapixel camera found in the new iPod touch.
The general consensus a while back seemed to be that the iPad mini would be built around the revised architecture featured in the newer version of the iPad 2, an update that brought with it much increased performance in processing power and in battery life.
On battery life, the iPad mini’s batter has reportedly been leaked, the specifications on the label suggest 3.72 volts offering 16.7 watt-hours of energy on 4490 mAh of charge, MacRumors reports. The iPhone 5 provides 5.45 watt-hours and the iPad 3 has 42.5 watt-hours.
It’s widely held that the iPad mini will be announced by Apple on October 23rd (Tuesday), alongside some new Macs. According to some intellegence, pre-orders should kick off on Friday 26th, with an in-store release date of November 2nd, at least in the major nations such as the U.S and the UK. These rumors conform to the usual Apple product release time-frame, and provided they come to fruition, its safe to say that the iPad mini should be in our hands in time for the holiday season.
Reports suggest that the iPad mini will be priced at around $250-300 for the lower end models, pushing $600 for the devices with higher storage capabilities.