Apple plays catch up with iPad mini


Unveils tiny iPad plus fourth generation regular-sized iPad

Apple has introduced iPad mini, a completely new iPad design that smaller and   lighter than its predecessors, as well as the fourth generation regular sized iPad.

iPad mini is 23% thinner and 53% lighter than the third generation iPad. The new iPad mini features a 7.9 inch Multi-Touch display, FaceTime HD and iSight cameras, ultrafast wireless performance and a 10 hours of battery life, all in a design that can    be held in one hand.

Apple also announced the fourth generation iPad featuring a 9.7 inch Retina display, new Apple designed A6X chip that delivers up to twice the CPU performance and up to twice the graphics performance of the A5X chip, all while delivering 10 hours of battery life in the same thin and light iPad design. It includes a FaceTime HD camera and ultrafast wireless performance. Both iPad mini and fourth generation iPad come with iOS 6.

Fred Huet, managing director at research firm, Greenwich Consulting, commented: 'Today's launch of the iPad Mini could prove to be a pivotal moment in disrupting the seven inch media tablet space, an area that Android vendors have largely operated in alone, up until this point. Whilst mini in size, this device is set to throw one almighty punch in the direction of all competitors, who have for so long now had a torrid time competing against the 10 inch iPad. The iPad Mini is a clear warning shot to all competitors that the world's most valuable company is not willing to share any of its 70% market share in the tablet industry, at least not without a strong fight.

'As with all Apple launches, critics are always there to raise an eyebrow and discuss the missing features, and this is no exception. The lack of retina display for example was always to be expected, after all, one of Apple's biggest predicaments is that its current iPad is proving far too successful. This is a strange position to be in, but it must be remembered that the iPad Mini has been primarily launched to support its bigger brother and to maintain Apple's overall market share. The nightmare scenario for Apple would be if their latest device was so convincing that it substituted potential new iPad custom to a smaller model on a lower price tier, effectively cannibalising existing sales,' continued Huet.

'iPad mini is every inch an iPad. With its gorgeous 7.9   inch display, iPad mini features the same number of pixels as the original iPad and iPad 2, so you can run more than 275,000 apps designed specifically for iPad,' said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. 'iPad mini is as thin as a pencil and as light as a pad of paper, yet packs a fast A5 chip, FaceTime HD and 5 megapixel iSight cameras and ultrafast wireless,    all while delivering up to 10 hours of battery life.'

iPad mini features dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi support for speeds up to 150 Mbps, which is twice the Wi-Fi performance compared to previous iPad models. iPad mini is available in Wi-Fi and mobile models that are world-ready with built-in support for ultrafast wireless standards, including LTE according to the user's location and    network subscription, and DC-HSDPA.

Huet added: 'Whether the iPad mini takes off among consumers remains to be seen. Sales are expected to be strong in Asia, and particularly China, where there is recognised consumer demand for a product of this size. Such a trend remains in its early stages in the UK, but with mobile screens becoming increasingly larger in size, this seems like a natural progression, something that Apple could capitalise upon.

'Over the years, Apple has been somewhat reserved when selecting screen sizes for each its mobile devices, as confirmed at the launch of the iPhone 5, a smartphone designed to stand 0.8 inches smaller than its key rival, the Samsung Galaxy SIII. Those past reservations however could now play into the hands of Apple, with the iPad Mini clearly positioned as a neat compromise to those seeking a mid-sized Apple device, one that is arguably too big to compete with a smartphone and yet small enough not to damage sales of the iPad. This is a strategy that Steve Jobs himself opposed in 2010, but is one that has become necessary today considering the growing consumer demand across the globe for mid-sized devices,' Huet concluded.

iPad mini and the fourth generation iPad in Wi-Fi-only models will be available on Friday 2 November. iPad mini and the fourth generation iPad, both  with Wi-Fi and  mobile, will start shipping a couple of weeks after the Wi-Fi models.


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