iPad Mini Release Date, Price: Why Screen Size, Retina Display Crucial to Compete with Apps on Kindle Fire 2, HD
The iPad Mini is right around the corner.
Many reports say that Apple will unveil its smaller iPad in October, just a month after they unveiled the new iPhone 5, which was Sept. 12.
The iPad Mini will have to have certain aspects in order for it to dominate tablets already dominating the market such as Amazon's Kindle Fire HD and Google's Nexus 7.
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Reports say that the iPad Mini will feature a 7.85 inch IGZO display with 330 pixels/inch.
According to Enstarz, in October 2010, the late Steve Jobs commented on mid-sized tablets saying:
"The 10in screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps. 7in tablets are tweeners: too big to compete with a Smartphone, and too small to compete with an iPad."
This could be why Apple is making the iPad Mini 7.85-inches instead of 7-inches like most small tablets. Although, the Kindle Fire HD comes in 8.9-inches and could hinder the mini's chances to compete.
According to Pop Herald, Amazon's press release said that the Kindle Fire HD has 7-inch IPS LCD display with the best hardware, more affordable than other products, and the device is "backed by the world's best content ecosystem, best cross-platform interoperability and best customer service." In short, it is not targeting the Google Nexus 7, but the Apple iPad.
The newest iPad sells for $499 with Retina Display and 4G LTE. The iPad 3 sells for $399. Many rumors say that the iPad Mini might sell for around $250-$300, and may or may not have Retina Display.
Pricing may be an issue for the little Apple tablet. The Kindle Fire HD with 16GB costs $199 while the 16GB Nexus 7 costs $249 with all the Android content. According to Pop Herald, "If Apple will sell the iPad Mini with a $249.99 price tag, then it will be safe to assume that Apple can sell "millions." But what if the iPad Mini will sit within the $300 to $399 mark? Can it still lure customers?"
According to one analyst, Apple might launch the iPad Mini at a $250-$300 price point, cheap enough to convince customers that the iPad Mini is a Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire alternative.
According to Digitimes, a source pointed out pricing for the small iPad, "as for the device's price, comparing to Amazon and Google's US$199 7-inch tablet PC, the sources pointed out that even if Apple prices its 7.85-inch iPad at US$299, it is still expected to create a strong impact on the two devices."
According to Forbes, citing analyst Allan Yogasingam of the research firm, UBM TechInsights, Light Reading reported today that Apple is likely to make the widely expected 7-inch version of the iPad Wi-Fi only in an effort to keep the price tag of the device below $250.
In comparison to the new Kindle Fire HD, Amazon is only offering a WiFi version of the 7-inch version, which is priced at $199. Amazon is offering an 8.9-inch version for $299; for $499 they double the memory and add 4G LTE capability.
Yogasingam said the device could also be lacking any back-mounted image sensor as a cost-saving move.
The Kindle Fire HD features Whispersync for Voice, which Amazon syncs all your books across all your gadgets, that syncs your words-book with your audiobook. You can also sync up your progression in games. Another feature will be Immersion Reading. You can listen to the narration of your book while you read it.
Apple will have to take advantage of their iBooks app, which is already featured on the current iPads.
According to Apple, the iBookstore feature "the best of what's new right at the top of the page." There is over 1.5 million books, including new Multi-Touch textbooks. "Since iCloud keeps track of what you've previewed, you can start shopping on your iPad and continue on another device."
There are also reading tools, such as highlight or underline text, make notes, look up a word in the dictionary or on the web, or search inside the book. You can even use VoiceOver to have iPad read to you. With iCloud, the books you buy on your iPad appear on your other devices, ready to read.
This also goes in line with the iPad Mini having Retina Display, which makes text crystal clear on the screen. The iPad already includes this feature.
"It'd make sense for Apple to launch the iPad Mini with a Retina Display. Going against its usual way of doing things, especially in light of Steve Jobs' comments about that particular size, is a bold move. And bold moves require big USPs," said Rob Bamforth, Quo Circa analyst and regular Know Your Mobile columnist.
"However, if it indeed priced attractively and equipped with iOS 6's navigation features and optimized for eBooks, we could see the device selling very well," Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes said, according to FinancialPost. "As a result, if investors were to anticipate this product, along with a 'regular' 9.7" iPad coming in March, then it is hard to argue much of a sell-off for Apple."
Reports say the iPad Mini will be more affordable and come with a powerful processor. It is also assumed that the new tablet will feature Apple's upcoming operating system, iO6, which includes a new, Google-free Maps app, and Passbook, and promises better Facebook integration, better maps, and better video conferences that use cellular data. It is also said to have a smaller dock connector, two speakers, and thinner bezel. It may also feature a music service similar to Pandora radio and FaceTime.