Apple iPad Mini debut reportedly imminent

Google may announce new versions of its Nexus 7 tablet this year. Throw Amazon into the mix and consumers will have some good choices this holiday.

By Sep 28, 2012 3:45PM
Apple (AAPL) will begin selling the iPhone 5 in 22 more countries Saturday. Now, investors and Apple enthusiasts can begin looking to Apple's next product launch -- and many speculate it will be the so-called iPad Mini.

Rumors have been swirling around about the alleged tablet for years. If Apple does launch a smaller iPad, the device would directly compete with the 7-inch tablets offered by Amazon (AMZN), Barnes & Noble (BKS) and Google (GOOG).

Apple watchers seem fairly confident about a launch before year's end, though the company has not confirmed this. At the end of last month, AllThingsD wrote that the iPad Mini will debut in October, according to several of its sources. The article highlighted a post from the blog Daring Fireball, which reasoned that Apple would not launch the iPad Mini at the same time as the iPhone 5 and risk diluting the impact of either device. This thinking has been picked up by many blogs and news sites, which also expect an October launch.

Below are other rumors about the iPad Mini that have surfaced as a result of postings of supposed photos and videos of the tablet. None of rumors should be taken as fact, though, as Apple has not even officially announced an iPad Mini, and the name itself has been created by the media.

Size and Appearance
The 9To5Mac site posted alleged mockups of an iPad Mini on Aug. 14, showing a device that looked like a larger iPod touch. A month later, the Chinese site posted pictures of an iPad Mini that received more attention, and described a 7.85-inch screen. posted a video on this month showing a dummy iPad Mini model bought for $13 on Taobao, which is known as China's eBay. The size of the model is also 7.85 inches, and it looks very similar to the image posted on The article also contains images comparing the size of the dummy model to the existing iPad and the iPhone 4.

The images from both sites show a tablet with a thinner bezel, but with the iPad's familiar black color on the front. The back has the same gray color as the iPad. But 9To5Mac points out that the images from display an iPad screen with the now-defunct YouTube app.

These pictures show a camera on the tablet's reverse side and a new Lightning connector at the bottom. The dummy model also has two new volume control buttons on the side and speaker holes on the bottom.

As for the memory size, the dummy model on displayed itself as a 64GB model. The site also emphasizes (assuming the model is real) the iPad Mini will likely work on 3G or 4G LTE networks because the dummy models have the "the telltale black plastic strip" on the top. The 3G and 4G signals do not transmit well through metal.

Other potential features include a 3.5 mm headphone jack on the top and a mini SIM card tray.The Apple Inc. logo is displayed on the back of the new MacBook Pro David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

As for the price, the numbers making their way around the Web are between $249 and $299 for a 16GB iPad Mini. This price would allow it to compete directly with low cost tablets such as Amazon's Kindle Fire HD priced at $199 and the Google's current Nexus 7 priced at $199.

Ewan Spencer of Forbes expects Apple to release a $299 entry-level iPad Mini with 16GB of storage and Wi-Fi connectivity as an option. He reached this guess based on the the specifications announced for the reworked 32GB iPod touch, which he believes "is almost a blueprint for an iOS powered tablet." Since Apple likes to have clear price brands, he projects a 32GB version will cost $399 and a 64GB versions will cost $499. In his opinion, Amazon is the only other tablet maker that can challenge Apple’s iPad in the public consciousness.

Google may challenge
Google, though, may be positioning itself to challenge Apple this holiday season. Rumors have surfaced that Google will launch two new versions of the Nexus 7 before the end of 2012. According to the DigiTimes, industry sources say the tablets will be thinner than the current Nexus 7 and will use TN panels made by Taiwan-based panel maker HannStar Display. One model will be priced at $199 and the other will be priced at $99. Google is said to be partnering with Asustek, but Asustek has denied this.

The article states that HannStar has also purportedly entered the supply chain for Apple's iPad series, but the company has not confirmed whether it will work with either Apple or Google.

More from Minyanville
Sep 28, 2012 11:48PM
They should add wings to mini pad to make it more secure.
Oct 1, 2012 11:42AM
Wouldn't a small IPad be a Large IPod, or a Medium IPhone? IDon't get the hype.
Sep 29, 2012 2:30AM
Cool...Apple increases the size of it's screen on the iPhone...and makes the screen smaller on the iPad...but sues for "swipe to unlock"...brilliant!
Oct 1, 2012 11:02AM
As usual, an Apple product that costs 33% more than every other direct competitor.
Sep 28, 2012 6:11PM
This is just stupid.  Why make a mini?  Apple is making so much money, all they have to do is lower the price of the iPad 3 and they will take ALL the market share with what they got.
Oct 1, 2012 11:27AM
You can't make a 7" tablet because all the Android vendors have one, which in turn means that the word and size 7" has been patented!!! Yes, numbers can be patented if you take the U.S. court system and Apple's stance.  How are numbers different from shapes?
Oct 1, 2012 1:19PM
See a lot of Android tablets coming out in different flavors half of the price of a iPad. Tell me how is this possible unless Apple is jacking up the margins on the iPad? Everyone makes some profit on a product. No matter if they figure in after the sale averages like Amazon or per item like Apple. In my opinion Apple never sells anything without making a profit on that item. That's where I have issue with Apple. They do not keep reducing prices on discontinued products or refurbished ones as much as many companies do. You see older models of Apple products never being discounted as a new model approaches or even after the new model is out. They simply monitor stock much closer so they don't have to discount a lot. That's good for Apple and not so good for a consumer. 
Sep 28, 2012 11:37PM
I don't understand why Amazon is willing to sell the Kindle Fire at cost to generate revenue from content sales and Apple is selling hardware for a margin.  The two contrasting visions are interesting.  My sense is that Amazon will remain a force if Apple can't be very close on price in this segment. 

I think it would be pretty cool to have a "Magic Jack" device in the iPad and the iPads, so you can use the device as an IP phone as well as have the face time for Apple to Apple communications.   To me the there is a market for people that don't want to use their devices anywhere but with free wi-fi..   Next put a blue tooth accessory for headphones and talking on that phone.   
Sep 28, 2012 9:08PM
I still think they need to call it the itouch maxi pad
Oct 1, 2012 4:14AM
iPad mini will do really well because of the apps,and people already have so many Apple products why would they buy another product. Apple products usually re-sell for higher rates too.

Oct 10, 2012 5:24PM
Apple has significantly better apps than Android for those with special needs, especially apps for generating speech. The ipad is too large to be easily used in the community for communication but the iPod touch is too small for the motor skills of many with special needs. This would be ideal!
Oct 1, 2012 1:06PM
I think a lot of the rumors on the small iPad have been eliminated because of lack of evidence any smaller screens are being manufactured for Apple. If anything was really coming out we would have seen more hardware leaks of such a device. So far nothing. 
Sep 28, 2012 11:10PM
iPad Mini is great for people (mostly women) who want to carry the tablet around in a purse like most people with Kindles do.  The iPad is great as it is but doesn't fit well in a purse.  
Oct 1, 2012 1:31PM
I still have a first generation iPad and I remain pretty happy with it. For some purposes it's a bit large so I've been interested in a smaller version but I've recently upgraded to the iPhone 5 from the 4 and have found the extra screen space adequate enough for the most part to satisfy my desire for a content delivery screen that was somewhere between the iPhone 4 and the iPad, so until I get my hands on one to make a direct comparison I may not really need an iPad mini for quite a while.

What I would be interested in is a touch screen Mac Book Air with SS drive. To have OS 10 on a large touch screen would be kind of ideal. Pair it with a wireless keyboard and mouse and add a Thunderbolt connection and moving between tablet and desktop with that kind of ease would be pretty sweet.

Sep 28, 2012 6:20PM
Appl Cookie elf, I cant wait for my new mini ipad.
Sep 28, 2012 6:41PM
i like the sound of new  mini i pad il buy one strait away
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