The cat is out the bag: Apple has announced the iPad mini.
The long-awaited tablet is razor thin at 7.2mm, has an almost edge-to-edge screen with a thinner bezel, and sports a 7.9-inch display. The iPad mini also comes with faster Wi-Fi and 4G LTE connectivity, the latest Lightning dock connector, and a 10-hour battery life.
And it's small enough to fit in in one hand.
Pricing starts at $329 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model, and $459 for the 16GB Wi-Fi + Cellular option. Shipping begins on November 2, with cellular versions two weeks after that.
Along with the iPad mini, Apple also announced a brand new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, a new updated Mac mini, and a brand new thinner edge-to-edge display iMac desktop computer, that led to gasps among the seated audience.
To add to the new iMac, the counterpart Apple Fusion Drive was announced. And, a surprise announcement, a faster and more powerful fourth-generation iPad.
Apple chief executive Tim Cook and other company vice-presidents took to the stage today in California to announce a range of new hardware products.
During the event, Apple executives took to the stage to show off the latest statistics and figures. Here are the latest numbers you need to know:
5 million iPhones sold in the first weekend alone, from its launch in September;
3 million iPods shipped since they were announced at the iPhone 5 launch;
200 million iOS devices running the latest version of iOS 6 mobile operating, in just one month since it was first released to the public. The "fastest software upgrade in history," said Apple chief executive Tim Cook.
125 million Documents in the Cloud uploaded to iCloud in the past year since iCloud was first launched;
300 billion messages through iMessage, available on iOS devices and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.
28,000 messages sent every second of every day through iMessage;
160 million Game Center accounts which is available on iOS devices and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion;
70 million photos shared by Photo Stream users with their friends and family;
35 billion apps downloaded from the Apple App Store, with more than 700,000 apps on offer;
$6.5 billion paid to Apple application developers paid since the App Store first went live;
1.5 million iBooks uploaded to the iBookstore since it went live in 2010;
400 million iBooks downloaded in that time alone, despite an U.S. antitrust suit;
6 years in which the Mac has outgrown the PC market;
100 million iPads sold in two-and-a-half years, as of early October;
More iPads sold than any other PC manufacturer in Q2 2012;
91 percent of the tablet Web traffic is churned up by the iPad;
80 percent of iBooks is covered under the U.S. high school cirriculum;
2,500 U.S. classrooms with iBooks textbooks;
94 percent of the Fortune 500 testing or deploying the iPad;
One discontinued model: the iPad 3, which no longer exists. It's been vamped up and rebranded as the iPad with Retina display, technically the fourth-generation iPad.
Other numbers to consider from earlier reports:
Double the sales: The arrival of the smaller iPad will turbocharge the market for 7-inch tablets, according to IHS iSuppli, helping the market to approximately double in 2012 and 2013. Global sales of tablets with displays in the 7-inch size range are expected to double this year to 34 million units, up from 17 million in 2011. Sales will nearly double again in 2013, rising 96 percent to 67 million.
Burn the barn: According to Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore, (via CNN Money) "Apple is uniquely positioned (brand, ecosystem, developer support, etc.) to capitalize on the next wave of tablet adoption and capture the lion's share of industry profits. We believe the iPad mini will enable Apple to extend it competitive lead as Android remains fragmented, Windows RT is not compatible with Windows 8 and PC OEMs haven't put forth an iPad killer."
Death to the PC market? Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, a hot-air blower at the best of times, warned that the PC market could suffer as the "post-PC" sector becomes even more flooded with smaller tablets of the world's most popular tablet. "Given the global economic uncertainty, we think price-sensitive users could gravitate toward an iPad Mini instead of making a PC purchase."
Apple hit the $700 a share mark last month just after the iPhone 5 announcement, but plunged as low as $610 in the following weeks. Looking at Apple's share price today, it remains mostly steady at $645-650 a share, with a market cap of approximately $590 billion mark, making Apple the wealthiest company in the world. However, once the $329 price point was announced, the stock began to tumble. It shows the markets are not too happy about the higher markup on a tablet that is remarkably similar to rival Android tablets.
Update at 4:45 p.m. ET: Apple closed more than 3 percent down to $613 a share, after the firm tumbled following the event's concluding shortly after 2 p.m.
To put Apple's stock price in perspective, Apple brought in four-times more profit during 2012 Q1 than Walmart did during the same quarter. During that quarter, Apple's iPhone brought in more revenue than Microsoft did as an entire company.
But what happens toward the end of trading will be most interesting. We'll keep you up to date