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Summary:

It’s finally here: Apple launched the iPad mini, a 7.9-inch tablet that runs all iPad apps on a 1024 x 768 display. The small slate is meant to be held in one hand and taken everywhere, which is likely where there’s an LTE option available.

Apple iPad mini in hand

After months of leaks, rumors and speculation, Apple introduced a smaller version of its popular iPad tablet starting at $329 on Tuesday. The iPad mini is a 7.9-inch tablet that runs the same iOS software as Apple’s other mobile devices but can easily be held in one hand. The device is available for pre-order on Oct. 26 and is expected to arrive in customer hands and Apple retail stores on Nov. 2.

Prior to the product launch, Apple CEO Tim Cook, noted that Apple has sold 100 million iPads to date. There’s still room in the market for a smaller device, however, which is where the iPad mini fits in at 7.2 millimeters thin and 0.68 pounds. All of the existing iPad software works on the iPad mini — including the new iBooks 3 app — which uses the same 1024 x 768 resolution as the original iPad model. The new model should be more portable; something I noted last January about smaller tablets.

Apple iPad mini mailPhil Schiller showed off the new iPad mini in a head-to-head comparison with Google’s flagship tablet, the Nexus 7. Most of the presentation illustrated how iOS shows more information on the browser  – up to 49 percent more — and in apps due to Android’s need for on-screen controls.

Schiller explained the iPad Mini uses a dual-core Apple A5 chip, comes in Wi-Fi and LTE models, has a 720p iSight camera on the front and 5 megapixel camera on the back. Battery life is 10 hours. A new Smart Cover is also available as an option for iPad mini.

The base $329 product is a Wi-Fi model with 16 GB of storage. Adding LTE support is costs $130 more and storage can be boosted to 32 GB or 64 GB for $100 per optional increase.

  1. Thanks for pricing it Apple $329 :(

    At the rumor of $249 I was tempted to try buying it. Now I am sure i will rather order Nexus 7 as my additional smaller tablet.

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  2. So does the 7.9″ tablet pass your portability test (i.e., fit into your back pocket) Kevin?

    I really hope this spurs Google to add fullscreen mode to Chrome. The stock ICS browser had a couple of really nice lab features on it, of which was was fullscreen (the other was a really nice thumb controls option). As the Apple event showcased, the notification bar, tab bar, and bottom soft navigation really take up a decent bit of space in total.

    $329 is a smart price for Apple. It is just on the edge of too much, but not over it (imo, the sweet spot for Apple in general).

    All in all, I can’t wait to see how Apple’s entry into the 7″ market shakes things up for Google and the other OEMs.

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    1. I can already answer that question because the iPad mini is 2 millimeters wider than my Galaxy Tab 7.7 and it doesn’t fit in my back pocket. :(

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      1. Hey, where is your review of the Galaxy Note 2?

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        1. In progress to be pubbed this week. Thanks!

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      2. Will it fit in a jacket pocket (for those who spend most of their time in climates where a jacket is worn quite frequently)? I seem to recall Jean-Louis Gassé had blogged something about how he could envision a future iPad Mini would be nice to slip into his jacket / coat pocket (that’s fine Jean-Louis if you live in such a place where you wear jackets a lot but for those of us in places like Honolulu, there’s no way an iPad Mini is going to fit into any pocket let alone attached to my surf board).

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  3. iPad Mini. 2007 iPhone screen resolution with a 2 year old iPad 2 internals for $ 130 premium over a similar Nexus 7. The hubris of Apple has never been greater. Yammering for months about inferior devices screen resolution and how necessary Retina display is and then this…………lame excuse for a premium tablet. If Steve Jobs doesn’t come back and haunt Apple management….that’s proof enough for me that ghosts don’t exist.

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    1. I think the original iPhone resolution was 320×480. 2 year old internals? The A5 was introduced in the iPad 2 in March 2011. iPad 2 cameras were VGA (front) and .7mp (rear) compared to the 1.2mp and 5mp on the Mini. Premium tablet? I suspect Apple thinks its premium tablet is the newest iPad with LTE, A6x, retina, 64gb, etc. Hubris? Maybe but more likely the business model; the price point reflects Apple’s reliance for profit on hardware vs Amazon’s expectation of profit through the ecosystem. Google’s pricing, I think, suggests that they are trying to achieve market share. Thoughts? ;-)

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      1. embarrassed that fool..

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  4. “We feel strongly that the 7.9″ was exactly the right display size.” -Jony Ive
    I think they incorporated too much feeling into the making..

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  5. This is pretty much fail out of the gate, but oddly enough it will probably sell a lot. I think iOS is coming to an end as a niche OS, it’s served its purpose of propelling the tech world into tablets, but now that Windows 8 is here we can finally get around to a “real” OS on a tablet. Similar to the larger ipad the OS is what is the main downfall of the mini iPad (ignoring the terrible screen resolution and price that is). It seems that running out of OS ideas years ago now they are running out of hardware ideas as well.

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    1. And you also believe the sun rises in the West.

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      1. Hey, thanks for your enlightened well documented response, I’ll be sure to send it out to a scientific journal immediately.

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  6. How about iPad mini’s lack of sufficient bezel to rest your thumbs, is it a concern ?. Quoting from your last post http://gigaom.com/mobile/sorry-an-ipad-mini-without-a-bezel-just-doesnt-fit/, slate without a bezel is a no-no

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  7. I absolutely love the iPad MIni, although its price is a bit more as compared to other tablets with the same specs.

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  8. I was waiting for it to announce it so I could decide between this and Google Nexus. Now I think I will go with Google Nexus as they have priced it too expensive for a 7 inch device. I was expecting it to be less than $300.

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    1. It’s really an 8″ device. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t much care for iPads. Just wanted to put in perspective. My Samsung galaxy tab 7.7 is well 7.7. Real estate on almost 8″ is a real welcomed advantage.

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  9. “What was all the hubbub about over the Apple (AAPL) iPad Mini’s pricing of $329? I am talking about its base 16 gigabyte model. I guess that traders and analysts expected the pricing to come in at $299 in order to be somewhat more competitive with Amazon (AMZN) Kindle’s price tags. Which Kindle is the Mini supposed to compete with? The 7 inch Fire HD model for $199 or the Fire HD 8.9 inch which sells for $299? I am sticking with wi-fi only models for comparison. The Mini has a 7.9 inch screen and the iPad4 has a 9.7 inch screen. I would guess that we have to compare the 7 inch fire with the 7.9 inch Mini, So let me get this straight… the expected price of $299 was to be highly competitive with $199 in the minds of analysts and traders?

    When you analyze it this way, it sounds ridiculous. So, what is the big deal between $329 and $299? I will tell you what – the 7 inch, 16 gigabyte Samsung Galaxy sells for $349. That’s the real competition if you ask me. In the end, $329 means better margins for Apple while being cheaper than Samsung.”

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/944991-what-s-all-the-hubbub-about-over-the-ipad-mini-pricing?source=email_rt_article_readmore&ifp=0

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  10. I am not a programmer but can create web applications in minutes using Snappii web service. Such apps are easy to update and besides I don’t have to join Apple or Google Developer Programs (that saves me money) and this way I avoid app review process which saves my time. I advice all to try it.

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