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$329 iPad Mini announced

Apple unveils smaller tablet with lower entry-level price point; new iMac and full-size iPad also detailed

After months of speculation and rumors, Apple senior VP of marketing Phil Schiller officially announced the iPad Mini today at a press event in San Jose.

The iPad Mini sports a 7.9-inch screen with a 1024x768 resolution. It's the same resolution as the larger iPad, so all existing iPad software displays on the Mini in its native resolution. The unit is 7.2mm thick (about 15 percent thinner than the last iPad), weighing .68 pounds (53 percent less), and sports a dual-core A5 chip, a FaceTime HD camera, and a 5-megapixel rear camera.

The system starts at $329 for a 16GB, Wi-fi-only version. It also comes in 32GB and 64GB versions, with the priciest package (64GB with Wi-fi and cellular) selling for $659. Wi-fi iPad Minis will start shipping November 2, with preorders opening this Friday. The cellular versions of the tablet are set to launch a few weeks later in the US before rolling out around the world.

Schiller brought up an Android tablet for direct comparison against the iPad Mini, criticizing its display size, its heavier build materials, and web surfing experience. Taking into account interface, Schiller said the iPad browser winds up with a 67 percent larger display in landscape mode, and 50 percent larger when upright.

Before the iPad Mini unveiling, Apple CEO Tim Cook touted a new milestone for the company's line of tablets, saying Apple recently sold its 100 millionth iPad. And even though competitors are selling lots of lower-cost tablets, Cook stressed that the iPad is still being used more, saying Apple's efforts account for 91 percent of all tablet web traffic.

Schiller also introduced the fourth generation iPad. The newest version of the tablet features an A6X chip said to be twice as powerful as the previous iPad's A5X, an updated camera, faster Wi-fi, expanded LTE coverage, and all with the same 10-hour battery life. It will come in black and white versions with the same configurations as the last iPad, starting at $499 for the Wi-Fi-only 16GB versions.

Additionally, Schiller showed off the company's new 13-inch Macbook Pro sporting a high-resolution Retina display. The redesigned laptop is three-quarters-of-an-inch thick (about 20 percent thinner than the last version) and is the lightest MacBook yet at 3.5 pounds. Other revisions include reduced screen glare and a higher contrast ratio.

The laptop is available in a number of different configurations, but starts at $1,699 for the model sporting a dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB solid-state drive. The new notebook starts shipping today.

Schiller also unveiled the new eighth generation iMac. The iMac has a slim 5mm edge, and comes in 21.5-inch and 27-inch sizes. Purchasers will also be able to purchase solid-state or hard-disk drive versions of the hardware, or a "Fusion Drive" version that uses both types of storage. Schiller said the computer will figure out what programs and content users would benefit most from being stored on the flash drive and automatically juggles the data between the two drives.

The 21.5-inch iMac starts at $1,299, while the 27-inch version sells for $1,799. The smaller version starts shipping in November, with its larger counterpart following in December.

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Latest comments (14)

John Bye Lead Designer, Future Games of London4 years ago
No idea why some analysts were expecting the price to be so much lower, after the iPod Touch announcement it was obvious an iPad Mini would have to be over $300, double the price of its Android competitors. I'm sure it'll still sell by the truck load though.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd4 years ago
Called the price. Way too expensive. I'm sure it'll still sell well, but only to the fanatics.
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I'm so... confused. From a gaming perspective, the real and only advantage that Apple had over Android's phones was his spec stability and their user base. But now as they are churning out new products ( iPad 3 was released in March 2012 !!!), developpers will seriously need to consider diversefying (at least) in other plateforms
Also if the latter need to support previous generations of iPads (to reach a maximum of users), what's the point of having a new powerful chip since no one will maje use of it ?
Like I said I'm really ... confused. Eventually, I hope for them that they don't fall into the Guitar Hero case ...

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Aurélien Dussalve on 23rd October 2012 11:33pm

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Show all comments (14)
John Bye Lead Designer, Future Games of London4 years ago
Bringing out the iPad 4 so soon after the iPad 3 (what are they going to officially call that one now, the Nearly New iPad?) does seem odd, as in the past they've always left 12 months between product launches in each line.

I wonder if it's a pre-emptive strike against Microsoft Surface, or a quick fix for the issues they had with the iPad 3 - lack of 4G support outside the USA, reports of overheating, and a GPU that didn't keep pace with screen resolution, resulting in high end games either running below native resolution or at lower frame rates or detail levels on iPad 3 than iPad 2.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by John Bye on 24th October 2012 12:16am

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Adrian Herber4 years ago
@John Bye - I think you are spot on with all of your speculation as to why there is another new iPad already.

@Aurelien - It's a good point and Apple have to watch that, but I think the iPad range is still pretty simple to target compared to Android. The iPad 3 with its 4x pixels and 2x processing power has been quite troublesome for game devs, so this iPad is addressing that - hopefully it will have a similar matchup of processing power to pixels as the iPad 2. And the iPad mini running at the same resolution as iPad 2 was a great move as game devs need not do anything to add support for it.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd4 years ago
I feel like Apple faces serious brand dilution at this point. This is the 5th Apple product announcement conference in 6 months, and one of the products they're replacing in the 5th conference was announced at the first conference. They are now producing and selling 4 iPads at the same time (mini, 2, 3, and 4) as well as multiple SKUs of each. They also failed to update the cheapest model to 32GB, despite the well-known issue of "retina" optimized apps taking up massive storage space, meaning a constant battle with app deletion and reinstallation on the iPad 3 and now the 4.

This is where their naming convention becomes a problem too. After dropping numbers from the iPad, how many customers are even going to be aware of this "update." How many of Apple's already largely confused mass-market userbase have any idea what the difference is between an A5 and A6 processor, which is the only actual upgrade happening here? How many of those who do understand will feel burned about their awkward middle-child iPad 3, which is slower than an iPad 2 and an iPad 4 but they just dropped $500+ on it to upgrade 6 months ago?

That's not even addressing the presence of multiple macbooks (pro and air and many models of each) introduced to the market in a very short time, and the "mac mini" a faux desktop with laptop power, entering a desktop PC market that only really exists for gamers these days.

I'm sure I'm biased, as I've never really been a fan of Apple as a business nor their products, but I've always respected them for pushing tech forward. They may not be inventors, but they always were innovators, putting existing technology to great use to drive progress. I feel like, for the last two years, that has suddenly stopped. Maybe it's just me, but I can't see Apple continuing to sell forever on "more power, higher resolution." Their competitors do that stuff just as well, and have differentiated far more in recent years, for much more reasonable prices.
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game4 years ago
I thought the iPad 2 came out 9 months after the first one, not 12? People will buy them, Apple will make loads of money. Yes it's double a Kindle fire and nearly double a Nexus, but when has that made a difference to Apple's success since 1997?
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 4 years ago
The New New 10 inch iPad after just 5 months is a kick in the teeth to lots of loyal Apple devotees. It has annoyed the people here who invested their own money earlier this year.
The 7 inch iPad is interesting, it has nearly 50% more screen area than other 7 inch tablets. It is too expensive but it has an Apple logo on it, so they will have no trouble shifting the 10 million they are rumoured to have in stock.

Google are rumoured to have a Nexus 7 price drop on the way and a 10 inch Nexus, so we are heading for trench warfare between these companies.
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Adam Campbell Producer, Hopster4 years ago
The price is unusual as it directly competes with the new iPod touch, just Ł20 more. The unlikeliest scenario became reality.

At Ł110 more than the Google Nexus 7, this device could sell lots on brand and industry leading build quality but the specs, particularly resolution let it down especially given the screen size boast. That was a bit of a bum note in the marketing song so to speak...
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Tamir Ibrahim Programmer, Rodeo Games4 years ago
I actually find that 8 inch is the perfect size, yet there are very few options out there for 8 inch tablets. The 10 inches are too big and uncomfortable to hold in one hand for longer periods and I find the 7 inches just a little bit too small. There was the Samsung 7.9 tablet, which was a great size and light, but a bit rubbish.

While I won't get this (mostly only because I can't stand iTunes) I do hope this will prompt either Samsung or Google to release an 8 inch tab.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd4 years ago
@ Tamir but of those 8" you're only going to get 5" for movies. 4:3 aspect ratio will be irritating, at least to me.
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Lewis Brown Snr Sourcer/Recruiter, Electronic Arts4 years ago
Size wise I thinks its spot on 7in is a little 2 small and for me 10inches is too big no pun intended! boom boom. Anyway I do agree with the product and brand dilution which is now occuring but this is the first Apple Tablet Im going to seriously consider buying.
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D4 years ago
As someone who bought an ipad three weeks ago, seriously annoyed at the new one. I assumed they'd do the upgrade new spring as normal, but there we go.

Can't see the Mini cannibalising iPad sales, but I do think it'll cannibalise ipod touch sales big time.
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 4 years ago
iPOD touch just looks alot more expensive now...
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