Will we see an 8GB iPad mini? Unlikely

Will we see an 8GB iPad mini? Unlikely

Summary: While the rumor mill and tech pundits appear to be predicting that Apple's long-awaited iPad mini will be offered in four storage capacities, I'm certain that you won't see an 8GB option.

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TOPICS: iPad, iOS, Storage, Tablets
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Next week, Apple is holding a media event where it is expected to unveil the long-awaited iPad mini. Thanks to Apple's cloak of silence, nothing official is known about this device.

There is one thing I would lay money on, however, is that we won't see it offered with 8GB of storage.

The biggest question mark over the iPad mini is price. There's a lot of speculation that the base model will be offered for $250, the same price as the fourth-generation 32GB iPod touch. This base model, the rumors and pundits seem to assume, will come with 8GB of storage.

That's just not going to happen. Not convinced? Here are some things to think about.

Firstly, Apple does not provide any current generation iOS device in an 8GB model. The only iOS device that Apple sells in the 8GB option is the iPhone 4. For the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, and the iPad 2 and iPad 3, the starting capacity is 16GB, while for the fifth-generation iPod touch, the capacity starts at a bountiful 32GB.

Secondly, there are two reasons why Apple has chosen to kick 8GB aside for 16GB. The price difference between 8GB and 16GB of storage is negligible. Even the iPod nano -- which isn't an iOS device, and as such doesn't run downloadable apps -- comes with 16GB of storage.

16GB is the new sweet spot.

The other reason is that as Apple has made the shift to Retina displays, the size of iOS apps has increased, making 8GB feel awfully cramped and awfully quickly.

Finally, why would Apple offer the iPad mini in four different storage capacities when all the other iOS devices come in one, two, or three storage options? It doesn't make sense that Apple would offer this device in a larger range of storage options than it does for other iOS devices.

Image source: Nickolay Lamm/InventHelp.

Topics: iPad, iOS, Storage, Tablets

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22 comments
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  • Doesnt make sense?

    8 gb would make a lot of sense actually ....
    adrianod@...
    • More importantly, German MediaMarkt database does not lie

      If they have black and white 8GB Wi-Fi only iPad mini for 249 Euro in their database, then this thing is certainly set.

      Of course I agree that so little memory is too low for common use scenario.

      However, this configuration could be bearable if iPad mini is companion device -- when you have full-sized iPad at home, and for better mobility you have iPad mini.

      iCloud would synchronize with this smaller device whatever you were doing on your big iPad, so when you go outside with iPad mini you will continue doing whatever you do.

      In the future, Apple might even make iPad mini loading and unloading applications via iCloud -- if the model has very low memory -- without your own actions. For now iCloud can do this for media -- though partially.
      DDERSSS
    • Not 8 GB left to use

      My 64 GB iPad only got about 57 GB to use freely. That means 7GB is used for operating system, cashes, reserved memory and non-removable apps. Even if less than 7GB is wasted on iPads with less than 64 GB, to hsve only 8 GB either means very low free memory or crippled functionallity due to less memory for cashing etc
      Oden79
    • Or iPad mini 8GB could be used by very simple people who can not afford ...

      pricier version, but do not have hard-core activities, like using 2 GB games there and such.

      For very simple things such as drawing, writing, editing documents, listening to some music, playing casual games -- 8 GB will be quite enough. They even can upload couple of 720p films there (2 GB each), for example -- to watch. This would be burdensome in case of often use, but if it will only happen occasionally, then it is quite bearable for a device that costs this cheap.
      DDERSSS
      • 8GB is not 8GB

        8GB is only 6GB usable, which is only enough for a few apps. And when iBook textbooks are easily 2GB in size, that small model isn't very useful.
        Jeff Kibuule
        • But it is not for iBook textbooks, which are for big iPad

          Also, in my example I only mentioned couple of films -- which would take about 2 GB each. The rest 2 GB is for applications, and the other 2 GB for OS. So the total is 8 GB.
          DDERSSS
          • I hope Apple is very clear about what the Mini can't do

            "But it is not for iBook textbooks, which are for big iPad"

            Considering all the fuss that is being made about what WinRT can and cannot do, I certainly hope Apple learns from MS's mistake and very clearly states that the iPad Mini is NOT for iBook textbooks and must NOT be used for such.

            Is there anything else that the iPad Mini must NOT be used for?
            toddbottom3
          • phone call

            I guess no real cellphone calls even for 4G/3G version. A 7 inch tablet with built in cell phone can replace both normal iPad and iPhone, less money to Apple...
            Oden79
  • Will we see an 8GB iPad mini? Unlikely

    I thought we already had, it was called the iPod Touch.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • Not anymore

      Even the iPod Touch doesn't come in 8GB anymore. It starts at 16GB for $199, and that's for last year's version of the iPod Touch, not this year's. This year's version (5th generation) starts at 32GB for $299.
      Shameer Mulji
    • I agree with this one...

      ...actually...

      The iPod Touch 5G is closing in on iPad like capabilities and has a great amount of storage.
      Ben_E
  • Missing the point

    I think you're missing the point of an 8Gb iPad mini. It's not meant to be a great device that everyone will rush out to buy. Quite the contrary, it's meant to be a compromised device, released to meet a certain price point, but ultimately more of an attention getter than sales leader. The idea is that Apple can point to the iPad mini "starting at $249.00" fully knowing that must users will choose to drop $299.00 on the 16Gb variant. Bait and switch, basically.
    dsf3g
    • How would it be a bait and switch?

      If Apple offers an 8GB model and a 16B model?
      athynz
      • Even worse than bait and switch

        I've heard reports that a lot of users are going to buy the 8GB version and after a month, become extremely unhappy with it because of the low storage space. Since there is no ability to add storage to an iDevice, they will be forced to buy a 2nd iPad Mini with either 16, 32, or 64GB. Apple then gets to double their unit sales.
        toddbottom3
        • So they should buy the regular iPad immediately, instead of the mini

          Or an Android tablet. Or a Windows Surface device. Examine the options, and buy what's appropriate for YOU. In any case, do not just buy what any "fanbois", "shills" whatever on the ZDNet forums claim is the "correct" choice.
          Smalahove
        • Gee it is good to kinow

          that with about 6.5 billion people in the world, you ae the one who knows what is best for everyone. You are the only one with insight and knowledge and you very needs and expectations are the very needs and expections of all of the other 6.5bn people . . . NOT!

          Would please go and see your doctor and ask him/her to increase your medication!
          Wakemewhentrollsgone
  • several use cases

    when we now move into mobile devices on a larger scale it's important to understand that there are multiple use cases,
    the "traditional" full-size personal tablet or shared within a household tablet are just the first two use cases we saw,
    a variant is the 7-8in reading and media consumption device, personal TV, 8gb just fine for reading and streaming,
    the third is the "kiosk" use case, shared over time among customers/visitors for which 8gb is just fine,
    the fourth, a variation of that is the retail/service staff use case optionally with cashier/pay functionality,
    a fifth use case is class set-ups for education, ie non-personal and remotely just-in-time loaded with content prior to start of class, 8gb works just fine,
    a sixth case is non-personal and function specific use in a household (or office), the most obvious being the versatile and uber-smart remote control for a TV-set, 8gb just fine,

    I agree that 8gb vs 16gb doesn't cut much from component cost point of view but it allow the manufacturer to set an artificially low price for function usage while preventing it from cannibalizing pricing structure for full full personal or shared usage, simply put - there strong reasons for having an 8gb device which can be arbitrarily priced for certain functions without negatively impacting healthy margins for full usage,

    there is a side-effect too, these 8gb devices will be percieved as crippled an therefore less prone to internal "borrowing for other use or external down-right theft,

    "pricing is not math, pricing is art"
    bernie101
  • I've owned the orginal iPad (1) for 2.5 years - yet to reach 8 GB of usage

    I pretty much agree with this article 16GB was the minimum 3 years ago. Why start with an 8GB version now, especially with larger apps? But my usage of my own 16 GB iPad (and I use it at least 2 hours/day!), shows that not all of us need a lot of storage. I've yet to hit 8GB of usage and I've got several apps, a few hundred photos, and 24 hours of music on the device!
    ckantack@...
    • I have an iPad 2

      Apple claimed it was the 32GB but I must have gotten one of the defective 28.6GB ones. I only have 11.7GB available and that is after deleting all the video. If I purchased an 8GB iPad (which I suspect would probably only come with about 4GB capacity) then I would be forced to purchase another iPad later on with more storage.
      toddbottom3
  • 8GB

    does not make sense for the reasons you have described and competitive reasons with Google Nexus 7.
    samirsshah@...