Apple has launched the iPad Mini – a slimmed-down version of the company’s flagship tablet device. Also being unveiled (but receiving much less publicity) is the fourth generation of the full-sized iPad.
The full-size option is commonly known as the iPad 4, but that is not the official name because Apple decided to call the third edition the ‘New iPad’ and the naming convention has been awry ever since.
The iPad Mini has a 20cm screen (when measured diagonally) compared to the 25 cm screen on the iPad 4. Apple is pushing the Retina Display (a marketing term for its proprietary its high pixel-per-inch count) on the iPad 4, but it is identical to the one on the iPad 3.
One of the biggest differences between the iPad 3 and the iPad 4 is the Apple-designed A6X processor, an improved camera, and a switch to the controversial ‘Lightning’ port connector that is used with the iPhone 5. The iPad Mini also comes with the Lightning connector.
Apple’s iPad Mini runs on an A5 processor, and weighs 308 grams compared to the 650 grams for the iPad 4.
The iPad Mini with Wi-Fi will come in ‘black & slate’ or ‘white & silver’ options with a recommended retail price (RRP) of $369 for the 16GB option, $479 for the 32GB model, and $589 for the 64GB. Apple plans for the devices to go on sale in Australia on Friday November 2.
Apple will start selling the iPad 4 on the same day, with a RRP of $539 for the 16GB option, $789 for the 32 GB model and $899 for the 64 GB.
Australian pricing is once again higher than what people are paying on the other side of the ocean, with the RRP on the iPad Mini starting at $330 USD for the 16 GB version ($318 AUD with today’s exchange rate).
The world’s largest technology company also took the wraps off its new iMac, which has a number of hardware upgrades and is much thinner than the 2009 version.
Under the hood of the new iMac is an Intel Core i5 processor (can be upgraded to a Core i7), 8 GB of RAM (running at 1600 MHz) and a 1 TB hard drive. This can be upgraded to 32GB of Memory, and a 3 TB hard drive.
Apple also brought out a new version of the Mac Mini, which comes with a Core i5 and 4 GB of RAM (running at 1600 MHz). Both lines will be available in November, with the 21.5-inch (display) iMac starting at $1,429 RRP, and the 27-inch version starting at $2,199. The Mac Mini will start at $699 RRP for the base model, with options ranging up to $1,099 depending on upgrade selections.
The fruit-themed giant also updated its range of laptops, with the 13-inch MacBook Pro being slimmed down, given a few hardware upgrades and made half a kilo lighter.
The MacBook Pro comes with the company’s Retina Display, as well as a 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 (can be upgraded to a 2.9 GHz Core i7), integrated Intel Hd Graphics 4,000 video card, 8GB RAM (running at 1600 MHz) and 768GB of SSD-based storage.
Apple’s pricing for the MacBook Pro starts at $1,899 RRP, ranging up to $2,199 depending on upgrades.
Adam Leach, principal analyst at research firm Ovum, believes the smaller tablet marks a significant shift in Apple’s strategy.
“For the first time in its recent history it is responding to market pressures from its competitors, namely Google and Amazon in bringing a smaller tablet to market,” he wrote in a statement.
“Apple, in the past, has defined new products with new form factors and waited for the market to follow, in this instance Apple is following the market trend towards smaller cheaper tablet form-factors,” he added.
“This reflects a fundamental change in the way Apple operates. Apple is assuming that a lower cost iPad will allow them to sell sufficiently more units to offset the dilution in ASP that a cheaper device is likely to cause.”
Image Credit: Apple.