Apple had a lot of people scratching their heads at today’s press conference.
Six months after it announced the third iPad, Apple launched the iPad Mini. While small Android tablets, particularly the Amazon Kindle Fire (and Fire HD) and Google Nexus 7 have been successful, Apple has gone without a competitive mini tablet.
The new iPad Mini is a little bigger than its direct competitors. It has a 7.9 inch IPS (not Retina) display with a resolution of 1280 x 800. It uses an A5 processor and sports a 5 MP front camera and 1.2 MP/720p FaceTime camera. Apple rates the battery at 10 hours. And yes, this one also has the Lighting Connector.
So will the iPad Mini be strong competition for the small Android tablets? At $329 (16 GB version) it’s $130 more than the entry-level Nexus and Fire. Apple brand loyalty and reliability may pull some people away, but it might be better to look at this as a less expensive iPad rather than a more expensive mini tablet.
Apple also launched a full-sized tablet, the iPad with Retina Display. Yes the specs are a little better, but for people who bought the new iPad and expected it to be current for a whole year - sorry.
The iPad with Retina Display (simply poetic) replaces the third iPad (the iPad 2 will still be available). It sports the same physical dimensions as the previous model, a Retina Display with 2048 x 1536 resolution, a dual-core A6X processor, two cameras (1.2 MP/720p for FaceTime and 5 MP/1080p for photos and videos) and faster Wi-Fi. It also features the Lighting Connector (I hate saying that) that debuted on the iPhone 5.
Twitter was abuzz with speculation that the Lighting Connector was the primary motivation for this new release.