iPad Mini Release Date, Specs: Event Confirmed for Oct. 17? Going Head to Head with Google Nexus 7, Microsoft Surface Tablet, Amazon Kindle Fire HD
It's official: everything is about the tablet this Holiday shopping season. Sources indicate Apple will hold an even to debut its new "iPad mini" tablet on Oct. 17, pointing to a likely Nov. 2 release date, according to a report by Fortune.
A major Apple investor, who in turn cites "multiple sources", has claimed that Apple will be sending out invites to a special event on October 10. The event, to be held a week later on October 17, will serve as the public unveiling of the iPad mini.
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If Apple keeps with its usual procedure of launching within a couple of weeks of a product's announcement, we should be seeing the iPad mini for sale beginning Nov. 2, according to the report.
The news of the iPad mini's likely Nov. 2 release reinforces many of the rumors swirling around lately about Apple's intentions to take on Microsoft's Surface tablets and Google's Nexus 7 with a smaller 7-inch tablet. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Apple has ordered 10 million iPad mini tablets to be built in the run before Christmas, double what rival Amazon has ordered for its Kindle Fire tablets in the same period.
Japanese Apple blog Macatakara, similarly claims that production of the iPad mini is well underway in Brazil, according to "reliable sources" it spoke to.
Rumors have also surfaced over the last few days about a possible 32GB version of Google's very popular Nexus 7 tablet, and if a report from Oct. 4 is to be believed, the company will indeed be releasing a 32GB version of the product. According to a report from Droid-Life, the device could be released on or around the same day as Microsoft's launch of its Surface tablets, as early as Oct. 24.
If true, the release date would set up a four-way showdown with Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Apple all releasing tablets around the same time.
An unnamed source told Droid-Life that resellers are expecting to receive shipments of the 32GB Nexus 7 "sometime around" Oct. 24, although the source said no official date has been confirmed. Droid-Life found that resellers are initially planning to sell the 32GB tablet for $259.92, although the site cautions that this price is just an estimate and is not related to what Google will actually charge for the device when it launches. Previously Google had only sold the Nexus 7 in 8GB and 16GB models.
Microsoft is widely expected to simultaneously release its Surface tablets and Windows 8 on Oct. 26. The company announced on its website that it would be opening temporary "pop-up" stores in 32 cities around the U.S. and Canada on Oct. 26 to widen distribution of the devices.
This move might be just what Microsoft needs to stir up wider public interest. With 29 of the 32 stores located in the same mall or shopping center as Apple stores, that shouldn't be hard. The proximity of Microsoft's pop-up stores to Apple's products in those instances will obviously give users a chance to readily compare devices as they use them for the first time, a priceless, ingenious marketing ploy.
The iPad Mini is seen as a response to the rise of smaller, lower-cost tablets. Amazon struck first with its Kindle Fire, and now updated Kindle Fire HD, while Google has been selling its Nexus 7, with both offering their tablets at or even below the pivotal $200 mark.
While it's unclear how much Apple's iPad Mini might cost, it is expected to be significantly less expensive than the basic $499 iPad. In launching a lower-cost product, Apple could expand its potential base of customers and take the wind out of the sales for rival low-cost tablets.
Peter Misek, an analyst at Jeffries, estimates that Apple will sell at least 8 million iPad Minis in the "December quarter," which includes the holiday shopping season. Another analyst, Amit Daryanani from RBC capital, recently wrote in a research note that if Apple launches the purported iPad Mini, it could sell 40 million of the 7-inch tablet within the first year.
iPad Mini specs
7.8 inch screen with 1,024 x 768 resolution. The resolution will probably not be retina display, but it is possible it would have the same ppi as found on the iPad 2. The tablet would be able to handle all the apps. The design will stick to the same aesthetics of the iPhone 5 with an anodized aluminium back plate rather than a plastic build.
It will have two cameras, one front facing, for FaceTime or other video chat applications, and another, higher resolution rear-facing camera on the back. Sports a lightning port connector, like the iPhone 5. Likely an A6 processor, although, some sites are suggesting it may be an A5 like the iPad 2.