Hot on the heels of the recently released iPhone 5, Apple has officially sent out invitations for October 23rd in preparation for the launch of a new Apple product which is widely expected to be the new variation of their hugely popular iPad device.
Apple have even given us a big hint with the invite saying “We’ve got a little more to show you”
There has been a phenomenal amount of leaks and rumors regarding the specs of the yet to be released device and judging by the accuracy of the leaks surrounding the iPhone 5 we can be pretty confident that the majority of leaks that have surfaced around the new iPad should also be correct. So let’s take a quick look at what we can expect from Apple’s press conference.
Name – With the release of the “New iPad” in March 2012, Apple moved away from their usual naming convention of a simple number after the name of the device; resulting in the official name of the latest variation of the iPad as the “New iPad” (even though everyone still calls it the iPad 3), however Apple didn’t stick with this naming convention when releasing the new iPhone and opted for the “iPhone 5”. Most rumors are pointing to this new iPad to be called “iPad mini” or “iPad nano” due to the rumored size of the new tablet.
Size – The big reveal regarding the new iPad device is that Apple are at last delving into the 7 inch tablet market currently occupied by Amazon (Kindle) Samsung (Tab), Google (Nexus), Barnes & Noble (Nook) and RIM (PlayBook) something that the late Steve Jobs was initially fiercely opposed to however it appears his position may have softened shortly before his sad untimely death. It is rumoured the iPad mini will have a 7.85 inch screen which is a great deal smaller than the current iPad screen which measures 9.7 inches diagonally. Courtesy of Gizmodo and Business Insider we can have a look at a purported working iPad Mini
From the pictures it appears the design team at Apple have opted for a more bevelled look than previous iPad variations, giving it more of an iPod touch look with both a black and silver aluminum back plate.
Operating System – Apple have only recently released to the public its new operating system iOS 6 which was first unveiled to developers at WWDC in June, Historically Apple has always shipped its new iOS version with any new hardware so we are pretty sure that iOS 6 will come pre-installed on the new iPad mini. iOS 6 features over 200 improvements to its predecessor, including a re-designed Maps app developed internally by Apple, enhanced Siri features, Facebook integration, and more. Check out all of iOS 6 new features here
Specs – According to reports Apple will continue to use its main motherboard manufacturer Foxconn and the design and electronics manufacturer Pegatron to produce the new tablet with the mini device and in regards to the display it is reported by the WSJ to have the same screen resolution as the iPad 2 – 1,024 x 768 pixels. Now this may come as a surprise (and disappointment) seeing as the “New iPad” aka the iPad 3 has superior retina display of 2,048 x1,536-pixel resolution but I guess this is meant to be more of an entry level budget device so it seems you get what you pay for.
The Processor is rumoured to be the Dual-core A5 chip however it’s not known if Apple will produce a new chip specifically designed for the new iPad mini bearing in mind that it would need as much processing power as its larger counterparts due to the reduced amount of pixels that it will have to process as a result of the smaller screen size.
In terms of memory, Apple have never produced a device with expandable memory so it’s a safe bet to say that the device will come in a variety of different built-in memory sizes such as 8GB, 16GB and 32GB.
The iPad mini is rumoured to have multiple cameras and from the purported iPad mini photos it appears that the device will have a front and rear camera but no details on the specs of the camera.
The Guardian recently claimed that the new iPad mini may only sport a Wi-Fi connection, and also a revised version of the iPad with 4G connectivity compatible with the UK’s Everything Everywhere network which remains to be seen.
Judging by the purported photos of the iPad mini it will also use the same new Lighting connectors found on the iPhone 5. The new connectors debuted on the iPhone 5 and replace the previous 30-pin dock connector from previous Apple iPhone and iPad devices. The lightning connector features an 8-pin digital connector and can be inserted into the device with either side facing up.
Price – Sources claim that the iPad mini will be priced at around the $250-$300 price point (£150-£200) which would certainly make the iPad mini an appealing entry level tablet and really position it favourably against the current 7 inch tablet devices on the market.
Release Date – Generally Apple’s tried and tested formula involves unveiling their new product at a glitzy press conference and then actually releasing the product approximately two weeks later. So if Apple keeps to this formula the iPad mini should be available for sale during the first week of November 2012.
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