Apple Announces New iPad, iPad Mini

Much to no one’s surprise, Apple has announced the iPad Mini with a 7″ screen as well as a new 9.7″ iPad. It’s not clear yet whether this is a completely new iPad or if Apple merely gave it the new lightning dock connector, but it reportedly has an A6X CPU.

And yes, the iPad has the crappy 1024×768 resolution 7.9″ screen which many of us assumed/feared it would have as well as the odd bezels that showed up on the dummy units. Still waiting on the price, but I don’t expect to be be more than $249.

Update: OMG, it’s going to start at $329 (16GB). They’re out of their fucking minds.

And that goes double considering that this tablet doesn’t have the A5X chip but instead has the older chip found in the iPad 2. It has 2 cameras, including a 5MP rear facing camera, 10 hours of battery life, and reportedly Wifi which is twice as fast as the norm.

The Wifi model goes up for pre-order on Friday, with the LTE model coming later this year.


Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. bob23 October, 2012

    16gb…. $329

  2. The Commons23 October, 2012

    “I don’t expect to be be more than $249.”

    Nope, $329.

  3. digital reader fan23 October, 2012

    OMG, I agree, will stick with Nexus 7 here.

    ipad3 was a short life span, considering the price paid for it.

  4. cookie23 October, 2012

    1024×768? Are they out of the fucking minds!!. It is a tablet only an Apple fanboy can love — of course there are many of them out there. LOL

    1. The Commons23 October, 2012

      It’s… not quite that bad. If someone was going to get an iPad 2, there really isn’t a reason to not get the iPad mini instead, unless they have poor eyesight.

      1. User23 October, 2012

        Right now I’m thinking of the Wii U Gamepad. It has 854 x 480, which for 6.2 inches means 158 PPI. I don’t how the iPad Mini stacks up, but they must be close in that respect.

        Here’s the shocker: the Gamepad is *included* with a console that, as a whole, costs $299. And yes, it doesn’t have an internal processor or memory, but it does have an IR blaster, stylus, accelerometers, buttons, joysticks, triggers, NFC…almost every input way you could think of is squeezed there.

        Besides the console itself, of course.

        Me, I don’t get the point of tablets, especially small ones. I guess I could get a big one if I had that money to spare, but with a Galaxy Note already in my pocket at all times, the 7-inchers just seem pointless. I suspect a lot of the people buying them have never tried a huge phone.

        1. Nate Hoffelder23 October, 2012

          No, I think that controller is extra. And at the very least it is a lot heavier and won’t work when outside the range of the console. So there’s not much point in comparing them.

          1. User23 October, 2012

            The controller is included with every console (there are different packs with games and such, but every console has a Gamepad). It’s heavy on paper but people who actually have held it agree that it doesn’t feel heavy at all.

            And yes, it only works within range of the console…but as it happens, tablets usually stay at home. It’s got a touchscreen, it’s bigger than any smartphone, and really, you’re getting it bundled with the console. I’m not saying the Gamepad can replace a tablet, but it certainly can be good enough for many families.

            1. Nate Hoffelder23 October, 2012

              I held it. It’s quite heavy when compared to your average 7″ tablet. But I’m not really sure that any of us held it for long enough to say whether it “feels” heavy.

  5. alex23 October, 2012

    way too expensive!!!! Nexus 7 just got my vote.

  6. Tim Gray23 October, 2012

    A dwarven post – short and grumpy! 8″ screen (7.9), A5 CPU.

    UK pricing starts £269. Even £249 would have given a psychological edge. It leaves Apple still looking like the luxury end. Will be interesting to see what Google does with that.

    In my blog the other day I wondered whether Apple would big up the iBookstore and price aggressively to attract content users. I guess that’s a no! Although iBooks featured as a key point there was nothing sexy about it.

  7. willem23 October, 2012

    Over at mobileread fjtorres had a fun piece laying out Apple’s strategic options:

    ‘Which makes the pricing of the mini (if it really exists) a good indicator of how seriously Apple takes Amazon in the tablet space. (How *they* review it internally.)’

    $349 – Amazon? What Amazon?
    $299 – Our quality speaks for itself.
    $249 – Hey, Amazon! Bring it on!
    $199 – Amazon, Google, Toys-R-Us, you’re all dead. You hear me? DEAD! Bwa-hah-hah!’

    Well now we have an answer. It would appear Apple believes it has little to fear, and no interest in wrestling in the mud with the budget players.

    1. Tim Gray23 October, 2012

      I really like that as a concise summary of the situation.

      Actually, it’s started me wondering why Apple did bring it out. Not saying it shouldn’t have, but..

  8. carmen webster buxton23 October, 2012

    “They’re out of their fucking minds”

    Stop holding back, Nate! Say what you think. 🙂

    1. Nate Hoffelder23 October, 2012

      Since you asked:

      I like cheese.

      1. fjtorres23 October, 2012

        Oh, then you do like the Ipad Mini?
        ‘Cause cheesy is its middle name. 😀

        Seriously, anybody notice the spin this time around is *surface area* instead of resolution? Back in the spring they were pimping resolution, now they’re pimping screen size. (Yeah, an 8in tablet has more viewable area than a 7in. So what if this one just happens to cost more than a 9incher with double the RAM and triple the resolution?)
        Of course, by that benchmark the Best Buy Flex would rule! A 10incher with the same resolution and $80 cheaper.

        And $329? They couldn’t make up their mind so they split the difference?
        I just wish they hadn’t gotten cold feet and gone whole hog for $349…

  9. fjtorres23 October, 2012

    Here’s the specs from ZDNet:
    •7.9-inch display
    •Dual-core A5 processor
    •53 percent lighter than full-sized iPad at 0.68 lbs
    •7.2mm thin and 0.68 pounds light
    •23 percent thinner than 4th-gen iPad
    •Same resolution as 1st- and 2nd-gen iPads: 1,024 by 768 pixels
    •802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi @ 5.2Ghz
    •FaceTime HD front camera
    •5-megapixel iSight rear camera
    •Lightning connector
    •10-hour battery life
    •New Smart Covers available for iPad mini
    •Comes in white and “slate black” — no aluminum hinge; all one matte material
    •LTE options

    Note the spin:
    “Schiller took some time to describe how the iPad mini stacks up against the competition, calling out the direct competitors in the 7-inch tablet market.

    Specifically remarking that the iPad mini has 35 percent more display real estate than Google’s Nexus 7, Schiller continued that the 7.9-inch mini is 49 percent larger in portrait mode and 67 percent larger in landscape when it comes to browser use.”

    With the baby unicorn sideshow done with, maybe we can get on to the main event: Nexus 10 vs FireHD9 vs NookHD+. Single elimination round-robin for the title of best Hardcover-class color ebook reader of 2012.

    1. Fbone23 October, 2012

      When do the tickets for the main event go on sale?

      1. fjtorres23 October, 2012

        Oct 30, I think.
        That’s when we find out what Google thinks is proper pricing for generic Android 10inchers.

  10. Sherri23 October, 2012

    I remain mystified as to the target market of the device, and the pricing did nothing to enlighten me.

    1. Lyman23 October, 2012

      The target market is those folks who think iPad optimized apps have high utility but don’t have enough money for a full sized iPad. Given that Apple has successfully equated the “tablet” market with iPad, that is a pretty big market.

      As pointed out in the presentation, Apple’s best selling Mac is the MacBook Pro 13″. Most of their customers aren’t crowded at the lowest possible edge of pricing. By the second generation the iPad mini will likely outsell the iPad. This first generation probably won’t but likely will still be substantive versus any single competitors numbers in terms of units sold.

      1. Sherri23 October, 2012

        The iPod Touch is a better deal. The retina display is a game-changer.

        1. Tim Gray23 October, 2012

          The Touch is great, and of course the ancestor of the iPad. I’m typing this on mine. But the small screen is a limitation and will become more so with age.

  11. Lyman23 October, 2012

    vis-a-vie the Wii Game pad screen , the iPad mini’s screen is 163ppi. ( same density of iPhone 3GS but not necessarily the same technology. Just matching density).

    The bulk of the e-ink reader market is at 168ppi ( Pearl). The mini’s screen is good. It is substantially better than the iPad 2 ( which likely is only still around until purchase order cycle for business/govt flush out the remaining set of their orders in flight. )

    The notion though that this is aimed at the 7″ tablets is deeply misguided. It is the 8-9″ tablets that are going to run into extremely stiff competition. The screen pixel density may be a bit higher on the Kindle 8.9 and Nook HD+ but the iPad mini is has a huge lead in apps, is substantially lighter ( not just of these larger models but the smaller ones also) , and is the essentially “each inch an iPad”. Those looking for a less expensive iPad will give the iPad mini a very hard look.

    Apple isn’t going to get all of the tablet buyers, but the notion that Nexus, Nook, Amazon etc. where going to take huge chunk out of Apple’s iPad market has lots of problems. There may be some other market those models dominate but it won’t be where the iPad is highly targeted to.

    1. Nate Hoffelder23 October, 2012

      A lot of those apps aren’t going to work as well as Apple wants you to think they will. You cannot just shrink it down by a third and assume it will still work okay.

      1. Tim Gray23 October, 2012

        It’s an iPad 2, so they should work, but I guess some elements will be physically smaller so you might have to squint. Is that what you meant?

      2. Lyman23 October, 2012

        “… You cannot just shrink it down by a third and assume … ”

        It isn’t a third. 163 from 132 ppi is a 23% change. If closely following the Apple Human Interface guidelines it won’t be a huge problem for most apps.

        “… I think there’s a method to Apple’s madness in recommending 44-point-or-larger tap targets for all iOS apps, both on the iPhone and iPad, despite the fact that on the iPad-as-we-know-it, each point is physically larger than a point on the iPhone or iPod Touch. …
        … So you want bigger targets on bigger displays, because there’s more distance for your pointer (in this case, your finger) to travel, but you can get away with smaller targets on a smaller display because there’s less distance to travel. … ”

        A properly designed iPad app should err much more on the “or larger” and not the absolute minimal target sizes.

        But yes. Apps that were marginally good at full size will get worse when scaled down so the widgets/elements are closer together. More apps will get exposed and some layouts will need to be tweaked. However, scaled up phone apps are a much bigger problem.

    2. fjtorres23 October, 2012

      Except *Apple* was making comparisons to the Nexus 7 and other 7in tablets in their dog and pony show.
      I’d say we ought to take them at their word: their competition is the 7in market.

      1. Lyman23 October, 2012

        ” … Except *Apple* was making comparisons to the Nexus 7 and other 7in tablets in their dog and pony show. … ”

        When Apple originally introduced the iPad they compared it to netbooks. Primarily this is done to show how flawed that solution was. Same tactic here. Apple clowned the Nexus 7″ applications in their presentation as being comically bad apps. The core message was that 7″ is too small.

        One of the primary design constraints of Apples 8″ (rounded to nearest integer) tablet is that it runs full sized iPad optimized apps well. The scaling done of the 7″ tablets runs neither the phone nor the 10″ tablet apps well.

    3. Logan Kennelly23 October, 2012

      Well, you are partly right. The pixel density isn’t “just a bit” higher on the Nook HD and Nook HD+, but substantially so.

      The iPad Mini is the same weight as the (smaller) Nook HD, and the (larger) Nook HD+ lies between the iPad Mini and iPad. I wouldn’t call it “substantially lighter” than all tablets.

      In terms of applications, you are completely right, and that is the most important part. I’d love to see some Nook-quality devices with the Android market, but I think we are still about six months away from seeing that.

  12. Jimmy Suggs23 October, 2012

    The weight still concerns me. It still seems like this would be kinda heavy to hold in one hand for more than a half hour or so.

    1. Nate Hoffelder23 October, 2012

      I have heavier 7″ tablets. They don’t bother me.

  13. Jimmy Suggs23 October, 2012

    Actually I just realized that this thing is 100 grams lighter than the Nook tablet, which I currently use. I have zero problems with the weight of the NT- so this should be even better.

    I’ll find out in about 6 months when I can actually get my hands on one. Cuz something tells me these are gonna sell out instantly.

  14. Puzzled23 October, 2012

    Is it April Fools Day?

    1. Sturmund Drang23 October, 2012

      No. That would be Friday.

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