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$329 iPad Mini May Double 7-Inch Tablet Sales in 2013
$329 iPad Mini May Double 7-Inch Tablet Sales in 2013
By Barry Levine / NewsFactor Network Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus

Score one for the rumor mill. On Tuesday, just days before Microsoft is to show off its new Surface tablet, Apple unveiled the much-speculated-about iPad mini -- just as countless reports had predicted.

Sized at 7.9 inches and weighing half as much as the regular 9.7-inch iPad, the newest iPad is now thrown into competition with other smaller tablets, including Amazon's Kindle Fire, Barnes & Noble's Nook tablet, and Google's Nexus 7. Research firm IHS iSuppli has projected that Apple's smaller tablet will double the market for 7-inch tablets by the end of 2013.

The new mini features a dual-core A5 processor, a front-facing FaceTime HD camera, an iSight camera on the back, a 10-hour battery life, and it comes in either Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi/LTE models. The iSight camera has video image stabilization, and both cameras have backside illumination for shooting in low light.

Starting Price: $329

While the rumor mill got the product more or less accurately, it was off on the price, as many observers had predicted $250 to $299. However, the actual starting price is $329 for the 16GB iPad mini with only Wi-Fi. The 32GB model goes for $429 and the 64GB for $529. Online orders are being taken, and the launch date is Nov. 2.

By contrast, the Fire and the Nexus 7 start at $199. But, within Appleland, the mini's price is only $30 more than the iPhone-sized iPod Touch and $70 less than the iPad 2's starting price.

Apple marketing head Phil Schiller, in presenting the mini, pointed out that Google's Nexus is heavier, thicker and has a smaller screen than the mini -- 22 square inches for the Nexus, compared to 30 square inches for the mini.

Thinner iMac, New 13-inch MacBook Pro

Also announced Tuesday is a fourth generation of the full-sized iPad, with an A6X chip, Retina display, upgraded FaceTime HD camera, faster wireless speed up to 150 Mbps -- twice the performance of previous iPads -- and the Lightning high-speed peripheral connector. This newer model was a surprise, given that the regular iPad was updated only seven months ago.

Apple also showed some refreshes to other products. There's a thinner iMac desktop, a new 13-inch MacBook Pro laptop with the high-resolution Retina display and all-flash storage, and a new version of the screenless Mac Mini. Schiller said that the 13-inch MacBook Pro, with a FaceTime HD camera, dual mics, Intel HD Graphics 4000, 8 GB of 1600-MHz memory, and up to 768 GB of storage, has "more pixels that anyone else's 15- or 17-inch notebooks."

CEO Tim Cook also announced a free 3.0 version of iBooks, with continuous scrolling instead of page turns, new options for sharing via Facebook or Twitter, and new iBooks authoring software, iBooks Author. There's also a new, hybrid Fusion Drive, combining 128 GB of flash storage with a hard drive for a total of 1 to 3 terabytes.

Tell Us What You Think


Christian Williams:
Posted: 2012-11-05 @ 7:18am PT
Even though there are other brand for tablets, Apple still makes the best tablets, mp3s, etc. The prices on all of Apple's products are outrageous.

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