Apple has sent out invitations to an event on October 23rd, strongly rumoured to be the unveiling of the iPad Mini.
An invite was sent to US technology journalists including Slashgear saying: ‘We’ve got a little more to show you.’ Could ‘little’ refer to the smaller iPad? There are also rumours Apple will be unveiling a refreshed Mac Mini, 13-inch MacBook with a Retina Display.
Throughout the year there have been rumours Apple was planning on releasing a smaller tablet to rival the Google Nexus 7 and in time for the lucrative Christmas market. Check out the stories below to see how these rumours have developed and On October 23rd we’ll bring you all the news - including official specifications and release date of the iPad Mini.
October 17th 2012
A leaked inventory from a German electronic retailer appears to reveal storage and prices for the hotly anticipated (yet still unconfirmed) Apple iPad Mini.
Mobile Geeks (via Engadget) was sent the document, which shows 16 configurations of the iPad Mini. It’s available in black and white in 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities and WiFi and WiFi + 3G variants - so no 4G.
Prices start at €249 approximately £200, rising to €649, which is around £522. Currently the iPad 2 costs £329 for the 16GB WiFi version and the Google Nexus 7 starts at £159, so the entry-level version is cheap by iPad standards, but more expensive than the Nexus 7.
- Apple iPad Mini WiFi 8GB White/Black €249
- Apple iPad Mini WiFi + 3G 8GB White/Black €349
- Apple iPad Mini WiFi 16GB White/Black €349
- Apple iPad Mini WiFi + 3G 16GB White/Black €449
- Apple iPad Mini WiFi 32GB White/Black €449
- Apple iPad Mini WiFi + 3G 32GB White/Black €549
- Apple iPad Mini WiFi 64GB White/Black €549
- Apple iPad Mini WiFi + 3G 64GB White/Black €649
This picture appears to crush a rumour last week (below) that Apple was planning on releasing a WiFi only version). Of course Apple has yet to confirm the existence of the iPad Mini, but with leaks rising we’re expecting news of a launch very soon.
October 15th 2012
The miniature iPad might still be under wraps in Apple’s eyes, but talk of design changes and resultant delays have been reported from along the tablet’s production line. What’s more these possible alterations are also said to risk affecting case makers who’ve already poured money into having case ranges ready for the tablet’s launch.
Japanese site Macotakara were told by Chinese sources that production of Apple iPad Mini cases have been put on hold following internal news of possible design changes to the forthcoming 7.85-inch tablet. The design change apparently refers to the curvature on the side profile of the tablet, which from current speculation and renders shows an iPhone-esq squared design. It sounds as if this redesign pushes the Mini closer to the curved design language used on the current 3rd-gen iPad and as such, affects nearly every case previously intended to fit the new tablet.
Design isn’t the only element of the iPad Mini that’s gone under the media microscope as, in a break from tradition, it’s suggested that the new tablet will hit store shelves as a WiFi-only device, whilst talk of a 3G model is nowhere to be seen. The Guardian were also told that the current 3rd-gen, 9.7-inch iPad might see a minor rework to accommodate Apple’s new Lightning connector, alongside 4G support for EE’s UK LTE network, which is scheduled to launch in the coming weeks.
If the iPad Mini has suffered delays, so too might its unveiling and subsequent availability in the market. Apple are still expected to send out invitations to a press event later today, which was originally anticipated to take place on October 17th, with the device then going on sale by early November. We’ll have to wait and see how true to this path events actually feel, but when we hear more, so will you.
October 10, 2012
Talk of the iPad Mini has been gaining momentum over the last few weeks and now a leaked photo has appeared showing Apple’s new tablet next to the new iPad.
According the Business Insider the photos come from Sonny Dickson’s Twitter account, Dickson is a researcher for respected Apple fan site 9to5Mac. The photo shows a small tablet sitting on the back of the new iPad.
Interestingly instead of the 30-pin dock connector it has the same smaller Lightening dock connector as the iPhone 5 and instead of one rear speaker it has two.
At the moment there’s no way of knowing if these photos are genuine or a mockup but we’ll bring you more news of the iPad Mini when we get it.
October 9, 2012
High quality 3D renders are the closest thing to official press images which can stem the fires of rumour and speculation surrounding a device such as the iPad Mini. The same trick worked for the iPhone 5, so well in fact that many mistook Martin Ultrecht’s work for the real deal. Now the iPad Mini undergoes the same treatment to really provide a complete picture of what a 7.85-inch iPad would look like.
As with the iPhone 5, Martin has made the 3D files available to those with the know-how and software (3DS Max) to access them, allowing for fans to get up close and personal with what could well be Apple’s next significant hardware release.
Martin has rendered black and white, as well as red and sky blue variants of the long-rumoured tablet along with shots of it sitting amongst other mobile Apple devices such as the iPhone 5 and current iPad. There are also shots of iPad Mini complete with Apple Earpods to give it that extra level of authenticity.
As with the iPhone 5 renders, which were produced long before the official phone was unveiled in the US, Martin has based the iPad Mini’s design on leaks and rumours currently floating around. The strongest of these being a 7.85-inch display which means that it sits comfortably between iPhone and 3rd-gen iPad. The front of the tablets looks to feature a home button and centrally mounted iSight camera, whilst the aluminium back panel curves round to form the sides of the tablet too.
The right side features what appears to be two black plastic volume keys, which sit underneath the lock switch. Unlike the current iPad, the volume keys are individually segmented for up and down, more like an iPhone as opposed to a rocker design. The left side is devoid of any controls whilst the bottom holds speaker grilles and the Lightning connector and on the top mimics that of the current iPad with a power/lock key on the right and a 3.5mm headphone jack on the left.
The back is an amalgamation of both iPhone 5 and iPad, with a flat face and rounded edges. The anticipated 8-megapixel camera resides in the top corner with a secondary microphone centrally mounted at the top of the tablet’s edge.
October 5, 2012
Apple is reportedly planning to release smaller, more affordable version of the iPad by the end of the year, to take on the Google Nexus 7.
According to Reuters the new iPad will have a screen between 7/8-inches in diameter, but (presumably to keep the cost of components down and differentiate it from the new iPad) it won't be a high-res Retina Display. The tablet is expected to retail at around $200 - close to the $199 of the Kindle Fire and Jelly Bean equipped Google Nexus 7.
Since the launch of the original iPad Apple has dominated in the large tablet sphere, but all three iPads has steadfastly retained the 9.7-inch screen. Following the huge success of the Kindle Fire in the US and the news Google is to release a 7-inch tablet for just £159, Apple may indeed be readying a smaller, cheaper iPad.
If true it would be a blow for Google. Android tablets haven't come close to the success of Apple tablets and the Nexus 7 currently occupies a product area Apple doesn't compete in. According to analyst Shaw Wu a smaller, cheaper iPad could undercut Google and Amazon: ‘“It would be the competitors’ worst nightmare..... the ball is in Apple’s court.”
Rumours of an iPad Mini are not new, in April we heard that a number of Chinese factories had been approached to make the device, and later we heard the tablet would be available in October alongside the new iPhone 5 for $200-$250.
Apple declined to comment. We’ll keep you updated with more news and rumours when we hear them.
July 4, 2012