iPad Mini Release Date: Could Be Arriving Early November
iPad Mini will probably look a lot like the new iPad
The rumors of an iPad Mini have been long rumored, to release October, and be a cheaper version of the current iPad. Mockups of the device appear to have exactly the same design as the new iPad, but smaller.
eWeek is reporting the device will launch November 2, 2012, with an event October 17. Invites are being sent out October 10, apparently. Apple currently offers two iPads; iPad Minis may provide the third device as a clear alternative.
The rise of seven-inch iPads with Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire proved the popularity for the smaller form factor. A criticism against iPads is the 10-inch screen means holding the device with one hand can cause fatigue. Actually seeing iPads in person is smaller than portrayed in video and photos; a seven-inch iPad would be very small.
A smaller iPad will provide the functionality of current iPads with the same iOS experience for a cheaper price. eWeek reported the device could retail for $249-$299, $200 cheaper than the baseline new iPad, and $100 cheaper than iPad 2.
Concerns over developers adapting to a smaller screen size shouldn’t be a problem. Scaling iPhone apps up to iPad’s 10-inch screen wasn’t a problem, so developers will see few problems scaling apps down. The release of iPhone 5 with its four-inch screen saw apps updated quickly; the consistent iOS user interface means apps functionality work the same across multiple form factors. A problem Android sees is apps are built for different operating systems that look very different. Compared Android 2.3 Gingerbread to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
Google and Amazon retail the aforementioned tablets for $199, representing the budget price. The price would sell iPad Minis, though whether Apple would make a loss at that price is unknown. $249 is quite cheap, though.