After keeping the consumer electronics world on its toes for months, Apple finally announced a new gadget to its remarkable line of products. It was no secret, so the event didn’t have that veil of mysteriousness that Steve Jobs used to exhibit during his legendary and dazzling product announcements.
Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, announced yesterday the iPad mini, the highly anticipated pint-sized version of its popular tablet. The 7.9 inch Mini marks the iPhone-maker’s first foray into the smaller-tablet segment. Apple hopes to beat back incursions onto its home turf of consumer electronics hardware, while safeguarding its lead in a larger tablet space—one that even deep-pocketed rivals like Samsung Electronics have found tough to penetrate. The new tablet essentially has most of the functions and features of the full-size iPad but in a smaller package.
Apple is asking $329 for a Wi-Fi only model, which is a little costlier than some predicted, but some analysts see that as a bid to retain premium pricing levels. The Kindle Fire from Amazon and the Nexus 7 from Google have grabbed a chunk of the lower end of the tablet market and proved demand for a pocket-sized slate exists. Those companies’ tablets—the most successful other than Apple’s—have forced Apple into a space it has avoided and at times derided, analysts say. Surveys conducted ahead of Tuesday’s news suggested some consumers had hoped for a more affordable Apple mini tablet.
Apple’s iPad mini comes with a 7.9-inch screen that weighs half as much as the larger iPad, which it resembles. The iPad mini has two cameras, a dual-core A5 processor and 10-hour battery life. It comes in both Wi-Fi only versions and models with LTE wireless connectivity.
Apple said pricing for the iPad mini would start at $329 for a version with 16GB of memory and Wi-Fi only wireless, which would price it above some rival tablets of similar size. It will be available starting November 2, just in time for the holidays.
The iPad Mini starts at $329, well above the $159 starting price for Amazon.com Inc.’s Kindle Fire and $199 for Google Inc.’s Nexus 7. Both have 7-inch screens. The Mini will be just $70 cheaper than the 2011 iPad 2, which is still available.
Unlike its rivals, Apple will make a version of the iPad Mini that can access cellular networks from AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. That version will start at $459, compared with $629 for the full-sized cellular model.
Apple is also refreshing its full-sized iPad, giving it a faster processor and faster Wi-Fi capabilities. It will go on sale next week as well. Apple also updated its iMac line. Some versions will sport a hybrid storage drive that combines the speed of flash memory and the capacity of regular hard drives. They will go on sale in December.
If you like to follow product specifications, I have good news for you. Below are the basic specs for the small gadget. Here we go:
- Screen Size: 7.9 inches
- Resolution: 1024 x 768
- Pixel Density: 163 ppi
- Weight: 10.88 ounces
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 7.8 x 5.3 x .28 inches
- CPU: Dual-core Apple A5
- Storage: 16GB, 32GB or 64GB, no card slot
- Operating System: OS 6
- Battery: 10 hours
- Camera: 5MP rear, 1.2MP front
- Networking: Dual-band Wi-Fi, LTE
- Price: $329/$459 for 16GB, $429/$559 for 32GB, $529/$659 for 64GB; available November 2nd
I don’t have any interest for this smaller Apple tablet. I recently purchased a third generation iPad which I’m still learning how to use and exploring new apps for the gadget. So far, I’m enjoying Netflix movies, reading my e-mail messages, and reading Kindle books. I know there are still a truckload of stuff I can do with this baby, but I’m in no hurry.
My first tablet was the Amazon Kindle Fire. I was very excited with this acquisition due to the wonderful reviews on the Internet, and of course, its irresistible price—$199.00. However, I was deeply disappointed when I learned I couldn’t buy apps from Amazon’s store nor could I stream movies from Amazon’s Prime Instant Video—unlimited, instant streaming of thousands of popular movies and TV shows. I was also restricted from acquiring over 22 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, books, audiobooks, and popular apps and games such as Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, HBO GO, Pandora, and Angry Birds Space.
When I learned all of the above was reserved for people living in the continental United States, I felt scammed by Amazon. They didn’t said anything about this restriction on their Web page. I only use the Kindle Fire to read electronic books and occasionally surf the web, although its too cumbersome to do so, due to its size. But can’t complain much. It’s no use crying over spilled milk.
I have some reservations about the success of the iPad mini due to its steep price—$329 starting price. But with Apple products you never know. People are infatuated with their products and will buy them no matter what. The Apple brand is mesmerizing. Will wait and see how it’s received by the market. Good Day.
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