Apple has sent out media invites for a special event they will be hosting on October 23rd, an even we all know by now the company will be launching a smaller version of the iPad tablet, iPad mini. There have been rumors for months now that Apple has been working on the smaller tablet and it appeared to be a silly idea at first until the rumors became more prevalent and even more realistic. The success of Google’s 7 inch nexus tablet has proven that mini tablets have a place in the market, but knowing Apple’s history on market strategy and pricing structure, will the iPad mini be as successful as the parent iPad? I guess it’s all about the specs and how the company markets it.
What will the mini offer to apple fanatics? Well, there have been speculations going around about a better display, more solid build and a thinner tablet but considering design limitations, are these possible. We will look at some of the anticipated features (realistic) in order to know whether the mini will be a threat to the various Android mini tablets on the market now.
a) 3G and 4G LTE on all versions
When Apple released the iPad and later iPad 2, some models were without 3G. But this is understandable since users would typically connect the tablet to the internet via WiFi because it is a pretty big tablet. The Mini is much smaller and more portable and users would use it more than they do the larger version and 3G and 4G for all the tablets would be something every user who intends to get it looks forward to. How important do you think the 3G and 4G connectivity option is for the iPad Mini?
b) High res camera
Let’s face it, Apple did not consider a high res camera on a iPad and iPad 2 of any consequence, but the recent influx of amazing Android tablets have almost made the high resolution camera or the secondary camera on a tablet almost a necessity for all tablets. Well, the Nexus 7 has no rear camera and we all wish it had, but is there any chance Apple will include at least a 5MP camera on their new mini tab? iPhone 5 came with an 8 megapixels camera which going by the many reviews by independent tech geeks is quite impressive. Apple fans should not raise their hopes too high but it would be a sweet surprise if the iPad mini actually came with a secondary camera.
c) Absence of some iPad 2 features
Apple intends to keep the larger iPad alive even after the launch of the mini, and for this to happen, users have to have clear reasons to go for either or both the iPad 2 and the iPad mini. The best way to do this is have features on the larger iPad that the mini doesn’t have and some on the iPad mini that are missing on the larger iPad. But what features can the mini have that the larger iPad doesn’t besides camera? Try 4G LTE, a higher resolution camera, maybe there is a surprise coming that will blow our minds? Well, there must be something different in the mini, we just can’t tell what.
d) Lightning connector
Apple launched their new, smaller lightning connector port that replaces the older wider one and we are pretty sure the iPad mini will have the new connector. The iPhone 5 has it, iPod Nano and iPod touch has it and it appears all iOS devices from now on will have this improved but smaller connector. This is a great feature for the iPad mini considering that size is a major issue in its design. The larger iPads lack this but it certainly helps the device appearance.
e) Educational approach?
Apple has put a lot of effort in education over the last couple of months, but although there have been educational-themed iPads in New York, the company has not actually released a device that actually targets the education sector. The mini would be a perfect gadget to push this agenda – they could have a version dedicated to education that could come at a lower price and have a ton of educational applications.
f) Better display?
The iPad mini will have a smaller screen than the larger iPad. It is expected that it will feature a 7 inch screen but nothing besides the size is a certain speculation. However, with the company’s development of display technology which was showcased in their iPhone 5, I wouldn’t be surprised if the iPad mini has a display resolution close to or the same as that of iPad 2. iPad 2’s 1024 x 768 pixels resolution is achievable even with a smaller 7 inch tablet but some geeks say that Apple’s iPad mini may end up way larger than the standard mini tablet – it could have a 7.8 inch screen just to accommodate a higher resolution display. The mini tablet will certainly boast of a Retina display and this means that the capability of the new iPad mini will outshine the larger iPad’s.
Finally, Apple will make a kill off the iPad mini depending on how they price the mini-tablet. It is difficult to put a figure on the estimate price but even apple fans know this has never been the company’s strategy.