Books & Review | Jessica Durham
Updated: Sep 22, 2012 10:59 AM EDT

The new iPad Mini

Many reports say that Apple will unveil the new iPad Mini on Oct. 23. (Photo : Reuters)

Apple has some major competition in the tablet field with both Amazon's Kindle Fire HD and Google's Nexus 7.

One half believes that Apple is under a lot of pressure to keep up with other tablets. However, some believe that because of Apple's loyal customers, and just the name brand itself, that Apple will still dominate the market when it unleashes the iPad Mini.

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Reports say that Apple will unveil the iPad Mini on Oct. 10. Let's look at some key features why many will buy the little tablet over others.

Interchangeable Battery

A lot of Apple customer's don't like the fact that you can't take the battery out of the iPhone 5 and other Apple devices (iPad Mini).

However, according to Tapscape, Apple has just patented a universal removable battery system that will allow users to swap batteries between devices.

"As proposed, the technique would let Apple cut batteries from lithium-polymer or similar materials into commonly sized packs that could then be swapped between devices, providing all the benefits of removable, rechargeable batteries with a longer lifespan than an old set of AAs. Batteries could have serviceable cores for when they finally give up the ghost, and computers could even alternate between charging the batteries (when plugged in) or using them to extend the runtime of MacBooks. We'd recommend against basing any purchasing strategy around Apple's filing, though. The Cupertino team originally applied for the patent in 2010, and in turn broke out the technology from a patent it had filed in 2007 - there's no guarantees Apple is still interested in replacing those disposables, let alone any sealed-in batteries."

Longer-Lasting Battery

The Kindle Fire HD has over 11 hours of reading, surfing the web on WiFi, watching video or listening to music. Of course, battery life depends on users' personal settings and factors such as downloading content and how much they browse the web.

The Nexus 7 has up to eight hours of active use.

According to MSNMoney, "Battery drain is typically an issue with Apple products," says Dave Smith at the International Business Times. "Amazingly," most iProducts hold only seven to 10 hours of juice between charges. At the very least, Apple will try to squeeze in a battery big enough to accomplish 10 hours of WiFi surfing. But "it would be an added bonus" if the new, cheaper iPad Mini offered 11 or 12 hours.

Price

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.

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. Some say it will not have Retina Display.

Many believe that the iPad Mini will be priced similar to the new iPod Touch.

According to Ewan Spence at Forbes.com, he believes also that it will be around the same price as the Touch.

"From the evidence today, I'd expect to see a 16GB iPad Mini with Wi-Fi connectivity to launch at $299, with a 32GB model at $399, and a 64GB model at $499."

According to ZDNet, an iPad Mini "would ideally need to be priced at or below $299 in order to remain competitive in the face of the iPad 2 and 3."

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."

High Demand

Apple lovers will buy the iPad Mini just because it is an Apple product.

It is also a good time for Apple to hop on the small tablet wagon.

According to CNET, tablet shipments will increase 56 percent this year, with help from the growing popularity of 7-inch tablets, according to HIS reports. The demand is expected to reach 126.6 million units shipped for 2012, compared to last year's 82.1 million.

"Nearly 60 percent of units shipped this year will be 9-inch screen tablets with the iPad at the top of the list, according to the firm. But the 7-inch tablets are cutting into the iPad's hold on the market -- those shipments account for 32 percent, up from 26 percent last year.

"IHS estimates the 7-inch-screen tablet market will further explode with cheaper 7-inchers coming on to the market -- not to mention Apple's rumored 7-inch iPad Mini expected later this year."

Books & Review did a poll between the Kindle Fire HD and the iPad Mini, and even though Amazon got a lot of buzz from their new tablets, many still voted to buy the iPad Mini when Apple releases it. The Mini got 762 votes compared to the Kindle's 118 votes.

TabletBlorge reported: "If this were any company other than Apple then entering a market with a device more expensive than the direct competition would spell disaster. But Apple can rely on its millions of loyal customers remaining completely ignorant of the competition and buying an iPad Mini regardless. Steve Jobs will certainly not be spinning in his grave right now, but he probably will be smiling."

WiFi Only

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.

Google also offers the Nexus 7 with WiFi.

Yogasingam said the device could also be lacking any back-mounted image sensor as a cost-saving move.

Screen Size

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.

iOS6

Apple's iOS6 has already been released and many are downloading as you read this article.

According to Cnet, the new system is said to have 200 new features.

The new operating system has many aspects. It will not have YouTube or Google Maps. Instead, Apple revealed a new Maps app made completely in-house.

There will also be a major upgrade for Siri. According to Bostinno, Apple lovers can now get sports game updates, make restaurant reservations, watch movie trailers, launch apps and tweet by voice. Siri is now also available for the iPad.

There will also be Facebook integration. Facebook will integrate with iOS 6 in a similar way Twitter currently integrates with iOS 5. There are also new features. You can now set reminders to call people back, send messages instead of calling, apply a DO NOT DISTURB feature that does not alert you with notifications. iOS 6 Mail VIPs will enable to users to mark certain contacts as important, and in turn, all their messages will be starred.

There will also be updates to iCloud. Notes and reminders will synch up with other mobile devices and Mac PCs but will not support location based reminders, according to Latinos Post. The new lost mode in Find my Phone will enable users to lock any iOS 6 device remotely, ensuring that no one will be able to utilize it while it is lost. The new feature will track the device and email the user updates of any location changes. Lost Mode will also allow users to see locations that the iOS device has visited on a map. iCalender will no longer have Reminders, since they now have their own app.

Users can now use FaceTime over their cellular network instead of only by WiFi. There will be Photo Stream and Passbook, which users can get all their passes in one place, such as boarding passes, tickets, and coupons.

These five features will help Apple in the battle with Amazon and Google.

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 and Siri. 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, Retina Display, and FaceTime.

Which tablet would you buy? VOTE NOW!


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