Great news, Apple fans! The buzz surrounding the much-anticipated iPad Mini has kicked into high gear, and the new device is expected to be officially announced on October 23rd. I don't know about you, but I can't wait for the details to finally be confirmed -- I mean, I already have an iPad, but this is a NEW iPad! A SMALLER iPad! An iPad with … uh, did I mention it's smaller?
Okay, I'm not sure I'm personally feeling the love for this shiny new hunk of must-have awesomeness from Cupertino just yet, so let's run through the (rumored) new features and see if it's worth the (alleged) sticker price.
Here's what tech pundits have been predicting we'll see in the new iPad:
It's smaller. Sometimes it's not just about the motion of the ocean: the new iPad is expected to be 7.85 inches, as opposed to the current 9.7 inch size. The idea is that it'll compete directly with similarly-sized tablets like Amazon's Kindle Fire HD tablet and Google's Nexus 7.
It's cheaper. In order to appeal to the small-tablet consumer market, Apple will likely drop the iPad Mini's starting price. Experts are guessing anywhere from $150 to $250.
It won't have Retina graphics. What you gain in reducing costs, you may lose in fancy visuals. The prediction is that the Mini will have the high resolution graphics of an iPad 2, but not the Retina-quality ones of the new iPad.
It'll run iOS 6. Well, duh.
It may be WiFi-only. A WiFi-only version would make sense with a drastically reduced consumer price, but personally, I'm guessing Apple will have moved heaven and earth to figure out how to include 3G/4G capabilities.
Well, I don't see the Unicorn Dust™ or Magical Laundry Sorting Capabilities™ features that would prompt me to buy something that's smaller than my existing iPad but bigger than my existing iPhone, but I can see why Apple may be making this move -- the small-tablet consumer market is enormous, and growing every day. It may be that smaller, cheaper tablets will eventually dominate the market, thanks to their affordability and portability.
If the iPad Mini really makes its debut later this month and goes on to sell like gangbusters, it'll be one area where Steve Jobs had the future all wrong. As he famously said of the 7-inch tablet size in 2010,
It's meaningless unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of their present size.
What do you think about the rumored iPad Mini? Would you buy one, if the price was right?
Image via methodshop/Flickr