So one of the final precursor events happened this week for the iPad Mini release date, which is AllThingsD weighed in with their news / rumors of the projected iPad Mini event, which John Paczkowski said will be Oct. 23. AllThingsD has a great track record on Apple release date predictions and the iPad Mini release date should be no exception. "People familiar with Apple’s plans tell us that the company will unveil the so-called “iPad mini” on Oct. 23 at an invitation-only event.," he wrote this week. So what does this portend for the timeline on the iPad Mini release?
iPad Mini Release Date
This puts the iPad Mini announcement three days ahead of Microsoft's big Surface tablets release date (preempt the news cycle) and is only a couple of days before Apple reports their earnings, so a continuity of timeline could be appearing. If Apple follows its traditional cycle, we should be able to place orders on Friday, Oct. 26 and the iPad Mini release date would be Nov. 2. The iPad Mini announcement is also supposed to weave in updates about Apple's iBooks, and if this is true, shows that the iPad Mini is also aimed squarely at the Amazon Kindle and Amazon Kindle Fire crowd. It also suggests that it could be a book-focused release, helping to support the sale of iBooks. The Next Web commented on this, saying "Since an iPad mini would likely be squarely aimed at those who wish to partake of media on their tablets, that would make a lot of sense."
iPad Mini Price
The iPad Mini price is targeted all over the place, but the best guesses so far range from $200 - $300. Apple would obviously want it to be affordable, but not underpriced. The regular iPad price starts at $500 and is just too much for many to venture into, so a competitive iPad Mini Price will open the product line to a wider group of people. Reuters this week estimated $199, which is the lowest iPad Mini price I've seen yet. I'm thinking a baseline or starting price of about $250, and if Apple moves into Wi-Fi only only as well as included carrier subscriptions (more on that below), prices could start to move up from there based on connectivity options and storage space.
The iPad Mini size is largely projected to be a 7.85-inch tablet, which was predicted by the Wall Street Journal as well as various other news sources and reputable blogs. Pure speculation, but this is the best guess for now. Topeka Capital analyst Brian White said "We actually had the opportunity to play with a pilot iPad Mini used by one of the vendors. This 7.85-inch iPad Mini fit our hands like a glove and we were easily able to tuck the device in our sport coat, offering consumers a more mobile iPad experience for certain use cases." The idea with the iPad Mini is that the regular iPad is too big for on the go, out on the town use, and the iPad Mini could fill that void. Bigger than the small iPhone screen for better real estate, but smaller than the regular iPad which is just a little too large to take to the store, mass transit or use out in public. “It makes sense for market leader Apple to extend its dominance in tablets with a smaller tablet,”said Capital Securities analyst Diana Wu this week.
The iPad Mini battery just had a wave of items published about its duration, Seth Weintraub at 9To5Mac is thinking along the lines of a battery life of three times longer than the iPhone 5 and one-third of the iPad. Both of those items are mostly battery on the inside, so the iPad Mini shouldn't be much different. The actual projected size is about halfway between the iPad and the iPhone for physical dimensions, so this passes that litmus test as well.
The final paragraph is reserved for an idea that surfaced this week (actually earlier, but gained traction this week), that the iPad Mini will be Wi-Fi only. This seems completely ridiculous to me. I'm completely prepared to be wrong on this, but think of it this way ... 1) the iPad Mini will allow users to be on the go in its use, so why would Apple want to force people to go and find a wi-fi hotspot just to use it out in the wild? Allowing people to also connect via their wireless carrier would let them use it in a car, in an urban setting, at the store or out shopping, etc. Also, 2) Apple tends to follow standards across product variations, and the regular iPad is available in both wi-fi only and with a carrier, so it seems natural to extend that here. Also, why would Apple release an iPad that prevents Verizon, AT&T et al from getting in on the action. Tell me what you think on two fronts: wi-fi only or with carriers like AT&T and Verizon; AND what iPad Mini price would you pay, what's YOUR prediction? Leave your comments below.