Apple is widely expected to unveil the smaller and cheaper iPad, unofficially dubbed iPad mini at a media event later this month to compete with cheaper Android based tablets such as Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD.
The iPad mini is expected to come with a 7.85-inch display with a narrower side bezel and 1024×768 resolution (same as the iPad 2 and the original iPad), it’s also supposed to be a lot thinner and lighter than full-sized iPad and could be priced at $249 – $299.
Some iPad mini mockups have indicated that it will look identical to the 3rd generation iPad, but Tokepa analyst Brian White claims that iPad mini may be slicker than the new iPad, according to a report on AllThingsD.
Apple’s “we just want to make great products” ethos will be as evident in the iPad mini as it is in all the company’s hardware.
Tokepa analyst Brian White, who’s been travelling around Taipei talking to component suppliers, says the mini — or whatever Apple chooses to call it — may even be slicker than the new iPad.
“Apple did not skimp on the aesthetics of the much anticipated ‘iPad Mini,’” White says. “In fact, we believe the ‘iPad Mini’ could outshine the new iPad in terms of how the device feels in a consumer’s hands.”
Not much to go on, I realize. But White’s supply chain sources have been solid in the past, and here at AllThingsD we too have been hearing promising things about the iPad mini’s design, which sources say demands a lot of the companies manufacturing it. This is something White has been hearing, as well, and he thinks it could make the device hard to come by initially. “The new ‘iPad Mini’ is more challenging to produce than prior iPad iterations,” he says. “We believe supply will initially be constrained.”
Image Credit: Martin Utrecht
A slicker iPad at $249-$299 price point could make it one of the hottest gadgets for the holiday season, not surprisingly Apple is expecting strong demand for the iPad mini and has reportedly placed an order for 10 million iPad minis in the fourth quarter.
While the iPad mini will definitely give Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD a run for their money, it will be interesting to see what impact a slicker iPad mini has on the sales of the full-sized iPad. As MJB points out in the comments, it could also give us a glimpse of what the 4th generation iPad will look like.