Apple iPad mini getting closer to reality

Apple iPad mini getting closer to reality

Summary: New rumored pictures and claims by Asian suppliers seem to all but confirm the existence of the iPad mini

TOPICS: iOS, Apple, iPad

If you're wondering whether or not the iPad mini may be a reality in time for the holidays, here's a quick rundown of events that seem to just about confirm that it will.

  • Component suppliers claim orders for 10 million units: Earlier this week the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple component suppliers are claiming to have received orders to make more than 10 million units of the iPad mini in the fourth quarter
  • Asian suppliers already manufacturing iPad mini: According to reports, Asian suppliers claim to have already been producing parts for a 7.85-inch tablet, rumored to be the iPad mini
  • Apple announcement October 17: Apple has yet to confirm, but we could see invites coming as soon as tomorrow, for the as-yet-unannounced iPad Mini launch event

I think that an iPad mini is definitely in the works, with availability by the holidays. In the past, there was a tremendous amount of secrecy around everything that Apple did. However, as of late, component manufacturers seem to be slipping out details far ahead of announcements. In this case, rumored pictures are being leaked, most recent ones showing off the iPad mini on top of an iPad. Of course, the pictures could be Photoshop renderings, but at this stage, I'd say that they're the real deal.

As for whether or not we need a 7-inch (ish) tablet, I previously wrote about how great the Nexus 7 is, and even purchased the new Kindle Fire HD, to do a similar review on its capabilities.

In my experience, the 10-inch tablet is a solid performer, but you can't beat the convenience of the 7-inch. Many people think that iOS is superior to Android, so you can imagine how successful a smaller form factor iPad will be, especially if it's priced right.

Would you buy an iPad mini? Weigh in below.

Topics: iOS, Apple, iPad

Joel Evans

About Joel Evans

With more than 15 years of mobile, Internet and wireless experience, Joel specializes in taking existing brands and technologies into the mobile and wireless space. Joel is currently the VP of Strategy Integration for Mobiquity, an enterprise-class mobile solutions provider.

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  • Looks like 16:9

    That looks like a 16:9 (or 16:10) device. If so, then Apple's definitely made the right move here. They're going to sell these things as fast as they can churn them out.
    • Ironic considering how 16:9 is horrible

      We've been told for 2 years now that 16:9 sucks.

      Suddenly though, we will be told it is perfect.
      • I'll wager you it won't be 16x9

        Depending on how much you believe rumors or not, the screen on the mini is heavily speculated to be a 7.85", 4:3 aspect ratio screen with a resolution of 1024x768 (basically the same as the iPad 2).

        The pic on this article is showing the back but if you look at other pics around the net that show the front, you'll see the bezels on the sides are very narrow. Think of the iPad Mini as the iPad 2 but smaller. This is going to run full-on iPad apps, not iPhone apps, and yes there is a difference in terms UI elements that are available on iPad apps vs iPhone apps.
        Shameer Mulji
      • 16:9

        Good for movies, or landscape photography, not good for portraits, or for other kinds of displays, except spreadsheets.
      • we at apple

        say when things are horrible and when are perfect....


    • Let's hope it's not 16x9

      Surely Apple won't lower it's high standards and go with a crappy 16x9 (like all the junk tablets have). Once you go 4x3, you won't go back.

      Hey, I once owned an 8inch Android tablet. Though the operating system was lousy, it had a good aspect ratio screen. I bet Apple will actually deliver a similar sized unit, but without the handicap of a bad OS!

      Fingers crossed!
      • I haven't seen a good 16:9 tablet

        Most android tablets are actually 16:10.
        Michael Alan Goff
  • Pictures?

    And the obligatory "pass the spam filter" text
    • Sorry

      Similar link in blog.

      These will cannibalize IPad sales; the question is to what extent.
      • I disagree... to an extent

        I honestly think that for every iPad that is not sold because of the iPad mini, there will be two or three guys buying the device to complement their full sized iPad.

        I say this not as an Apple fanboy, mind you, but as an Android user who enjoys owning an using both a 7" and 10" tablet.
        • In addition ...

          Why wouldn't there be any Apple fans that have eschewed the 10-inch iPad due to its immobility relative to a 7-inch tablet? Have all the OS X users in the world already purchased the 10-inch iPad? Also, depending on the price of the iPad Mini, some Android-based, 7-inch tablet users may switch as they find the price differential to be acceptable. And some new tablet owners sitting on the sidelines may simply decide to start out with an iPad Mini instead of an Android-based, 7-inch tablet.

          This said, I would agree that there will be some cannibalization of the iPad as some will choose to "downgrade" to the iPad Mini due to it's increased mobility.

          Apple has to view the iPad Mini increasing it's market share in the tablet space. Otherwise, why would they bother with it?

          Let's not forget that Apple did not have to create a Bouncer-clone to deal with malware apps in it's app store. While Apple's app store isn't perfect, it's much safer than is Google Play. In addition, let's also not forget that Apple does a good job pushing out iOS security updates and upgrades to its customers. Although, IMO Apple dropped the ball by not continuing to provide iOS 5 security updates to original iPad users. A 2-year support life-cycle for an iPad is 2 years too short. Then again, how many Android manufacturers and/or carriers provide tablet support for more than 2 years?
          Rabid Howler Monkey
          • I hope the rumors are true

            I am one of those who has been waiting and hoping for an iPad mini. I loved the iPad 2, but after 3 months I handed it down to my daughter. The size and weight were too much for my small arthritic hands to use in the ways I like to use a tablet. I've done very well with a 7" Samsung tablet and have had no problems with Android; it does what I need it to do. However, I work for an all-Mac company, I have an iMac and MacBook Pro for home/travel, and I admit: after 10 years, I "think" like a Mac; so I'd be one of the first to try an iPad mini. Cost isn't an issue for me, so I'd rather see it do more for more money than do less for less $$. But not all buyers will feel the same way.

            The 10" iPad is a very cool device, but it it's not a good fit for everybody who wants to use a tablet. For some of us, it just isn't portable enough at 10".
      • Already Apple fanbois are lined up

        I've already read comments from posters here on ZDNet who have stated that the 10" iPad is a little too big for using on a train so this one will be perfect. They'll take both of them in their bag and decide which one to take out based on where they are.

        You just can't make this stuff up.
        • Well, we can't make this stuff up. NonZealot...

          but you sure can.
      • Cannabilize sales.

        iPad sales are sales. Mini, or full size. Apple manages to make money on all of them.
    • Errr.....

      That could be anything. Some bozo claimed there was this huge crack in the road in my area [we had a small earthquake after midnight on WEdnesday] and took a picture. The picture in fact came from that earthquake in New Zealand a few years back.
      Until Apple says something, these rumors - and they are just that - will continue. Meanwhile, apple is enjoying the publicity.
  • Price

    will be the most interesting aspect of a mini-ipad.

    It will be marketed well to appeal to people looking for a tablet/reader, but price will determine how much of the small tablet market this will take over vs how many sales these will steal from full sized ipads.

    The hardware is unlikely to be anything different than what is already available.
    • But...

      Will it have a start button?
  • would I buy?

    IF they would lose that hugh space wasting bezel, and make it small enough to carry in a coat or pants pocket, and price it right (about like the Kindle Fire HD, then, yes. Otherwise, no.
  • 7.85" is closer to 8"

    The new iPad has a diagonal screen length of 9.7", so the actual reduction in diagonal length is less than 2". This seems to me to be a trivial size reduction in screen size, although there is room for a significant reduction in overall device size (and weight?) if the bezel is significantly reduced in width as a percentage of screen width. IMO, anything less than a reduction of less than 40-50% in overall size/weight for a mini tablet compared to the iPad would seem to be unlikely.