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Apple Reportedly Looking to Launch ‘iPad Mini’ Priced at $249-$299 in Q3

Kotaku reports on claims [Google translation] from Chinese web portal NetEase regarding Apple's plans for the launch of a smaller "iPad mini" in the third quarter of this year. According to the report, Apple is planning to launch with six million units of the device at a price of either $249 or $299 in order to combat forthcoming Windows 8 products, although smaller Android tablets such as Amazon's Kindle Fire have also been viewed as targets for Apple.
NetEase claimed that the device will be released around the third quarter of this year to "counter attack" the upcoming Windows tablets. The report further claims that the devices will cost anywhere from US$249 to $299 and that there will be an initial 6 million units ready for launch.
The well-connected John Gruber has claimed that Apple has a 7.85-inch iPad in its labs, but he does not know whether the product will ever make it to market. Various claims of Apple moving closer to production of the smaller iPad have also been surfacing as rumors continue to swirl.


Mockup of 7.85-inch "iPad mini" next to iPad 2 (courtesy of CiccareseDesign)

Last December, we posted a paper mockup showing what a 7.85-inch iPad would look and feel like, coming to the conclusion that onscreen elements would remain usable even as the standard iPad resolution of 1024x768 was squeezed into a 7.85-inch display rather than a 9.7-inch screen. A 7.85-inch "iPad mini" display with a resolution of 1024x768 would carry a pixel density of 163 pixels per inch, exactly the same density as the non-Retina iPhone and iPod touch models. Consequently, content meeting Apple's interface guidelines would display at acceptable sizes on such a display.

Related roundup: iPad mini 3

Top Rated Comments

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35 months ago
Honestly, I wouldn't mind a 12" iPad Pro with quad-core processor, 2GB ram, 128GB of storage, 802.11ac WIFI, and pressure sensitivity for creating artwork. But will it happen? I can dream.

I'm going to give my idea to DigiTimes and tell them I'm an analyst. Expect a post in about 45 minutes.
Rating: 32 Votes
35 months ago

Wouldn't that be a little disrespectful to Steve Jobs?
He said he didn't like 7 inch tablets... (Didnt he? Or am I imagining it? :s)


Steve also said 3rd Party Apps are not needed for the iPhone (then, in 2008 they introduced the App Store). Also, he said no one would want to watch video on an iPod (then, they introduced the video iPod a year later).

And "disrespectful"? This is a business - if Apple sees a good enough market for a 7.5" cheaper tablet, why wouldn't it take it? Apple has high standards & only release products that meet those standards - it's like not they're Toshiba and release products willy-nilly hoping they will work.
Rating: 25 Votes
35 months ago
Not useful for me, but if it occupies a pricing sweet spot, then it should pick up a good few buyers, especially the 'Dad I want an Ipad' legion of kids.
Rating: 16 Votes
35 months ago
Good idea.
Rating: 10 Votes
35 months ago
April Fools!
Rating: 10 Votes
35 months ago
I think this could really work well for Apple.

Releasing a 7" iPad for $249 would completely mop the floor with anything Google or Amazon did. The Kindle Fire is nice for $200, but in terms of software responsiveness it is on par with iPad 1. I think the Mini iPad would essentially have iPad 2 hardware in a smaller form factor.

The main pros for this new iPad would be:
- Smaller (slightly more portable, women could carry it in pocketbooks, might fit in mens coat pockets)
- Cheaper (this is the biggest point. It would introduce a ton of people into Apple's ecosystem)
- Lighter (Better for tasks like reading and such.)

The primary drawback would be the smaller on screen keyboard which would be much less useful in landscape, although thumb typing should be faster. But I assume they would also include a mic to push Siri into more peoples hands when they update it in iOS 6.

And to those speaking of fragmentation, it has already been covered in an article. Apple could keep this tablet at 1024x768, which would make the screen 163PPI, or that same as non-retina iPhones. Which means that touchscreen buttons would be sized like they are on the iPhone (in terms of physical size, they are all the same pixel size).

iPad apps would look exactly the same, only slightly smaller. iPhone apps would display the same as they do on the current iPad.
Rating: 10 Votes
35 months ago
Haven't believed this rumor since it first came out.
Rating: 10 Votes
35 months ago

Smaller? What a rubbish idea, could go a 12" iPad though.


Progression...

Rating: 10 Votes
35 months ago

New iPad hardware wouldn't target people who want Windows 8 tablets: iOS 6 would.

I'm pretty sure if people are going to choose Windows 8 tablets, it's because they're running Windows 8, not because they have smaller screens.


It remains to be seen whether they'll choose Windows 8 tablets at all.
Rating: 9 Votes
35 months ago
I don't understand the reaction, "Such a product wouldn't be useful to me, therefore it wouldn't be useful to anyone else (and anyone who did buy it would be a fool), therefore Apple isn't going to make it, and therefore the rumor has to be false." Even more incomprehensible is the reaction, "I don't want such a product, so please, Apple, don't make it for anyone else to buy, either!"

The iPad Mini rumor makes total sense to me. Is such a product technically feasible to make? Yes. Does it conflict with existing technical standards (i.e., "The iPad Mini is rumored to have a 1:1 aspect ratio and a 97 dpi resolution to keep down costs.")? No. Does it fill a void in Apple's product line? Yes, for those who want something sized like a Kindle. Forgetting about size preference, is there anything that would compel people to buy something with less capability than the iPad? Yes, a lower price. Is there a market for it? We won't know until or unless it's released, but I'm willing to bet yes, for the many reasons that others have stated. Can Apple sell it at the rumored lower price point and still make a profit? That's the only thing I question. Would it cut into iPod Touch sales? Maybe, but if someone decides to spend $250-300 on an iPad Mini rather than $200 on an iPod Touch, isn't that better for Apple, assuming profit margins are similar?

Going by the logic of some of the posters, why would Apple ever have come up with the MacBook Air, when the 15" MacBook Pro is so more capable? There's no market for such a thing, I need the full power of the MBP to do what I do, so everyone else, must, too. Anyone who thinks they need something lighter than the MBP is a wuss and needs to work out at a gym. An 11" display is too small to do anything useful. If you can't afford a MBP, then save up some money until you can, rather than speding money on a piece of crap meant to cash in on the Windows netbook market. Well, hypothetically speaking, because Apple would never release something like a netbook. Steve Jobs said so.
Rating: 9 Votes

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