With the iPad Mini launch event heavily rumored to be taking place on October 23rd, it’s time to take a look at what to expect from the event itself.
For the past few months, rumors of a 7.85-inch iPad Mini have surfaced on an almost daily basis. Leak specifications and photos have pieced together a picture of what we can expect from the device itself. A smaller design that resembles a larger iPod touch. A screen with lesser resolution than the current iPad. At least 16GB of on board storage space. A camera or two. And just maybe, cellular connectivity.
And while the device itself is seemingly out in the open, up until today, we still had no idea when Apple might launch the iPad Mini. However, it seems that the device will likely launch this month at an event in a location that hasn’t been determined.
And while we aren’t sure of all the details about the event just yet, we can make some educated guesses about what to expect from the iPad Mini launch event.
October 23rd Looks Good
The current rumored launch date for the iPad Mini is October 23rd, the day before Samsung takes the stage to announce the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 in the United States. That date was unearthed by All Things D and confirmed by The Loop and iMore. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s set in stone but it does mean that it’s likely.
So, at this point, this is the date to circle on the calendar.
What is still unclear though is where the event will be held. While the Yuerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco remain a possibility, the venue is the same place where Apple announced the iPhone, it’s looking like the event might be held on Apple’s campus in Cupertino.
We unfortunately won’t know this until Apple sends out event invites which generally come a week before the announcement. If Apple follows protocol, that should mean invites will arrive on October 16th.
Watch Through Live Blogs
Apple is notorious for not live streaming its launch events and we don’t expect that to change with the iPad Mini launch. Instead of a YouTube channel or somewhere for folks not invited to the event to watch, there will be several live blogs and quite possibly, an unauthorized stream or two.
With the iPhone 5 announcement, we didn’t find copious amounts of live streams and that means that those who wish to follow along with the announcement on launch day will likely have to do so on live blogs.
Obviously, it’s not the preferred way to watch the event but until Apple makes some changes, this is what to expect.
The iPhone 5 launch event went on for what seemed like an eternity. Those who are tuning into the iPad Mini launch event should expect the iPad Mini launch to be a much shorter affair.
With the iPhone 5 launch, Apple not only had to announce the new iPhone 5, but it also had to show off a lot of the new features found in iOS 6, Apple’s new mobile software. It also showed off a handful of new iPods including the new iPod touch.
Now that iOS 6, the iPhone 5 and the new iPods have been fully detailed, the iPad Mini event should go by much quicker. Expect the event to be shorter than the two hour iPhone 5 launch.
iPhone 5/New iPad Numbers
Those viewing the event should expect Apple to announce some figures at the beginning of the iPad Mini launch event. As is the case with almost all Apple events, the company likes to display its sales figures. This event should be no different.
We expect the company to delve into sales numbers for the new iPad, which launched back in March, and likely talk about how it has dominated the market over the past months.
Apple may also give us a quick update about how the iPhone 5 has sold in the month since its release.
A Smaller iPad
This will be an iPad Mini launch event so consumers should of course expect there to be hardware announced at the event, in the form of a smaller iPad. The name is up for debate now with iPad Mini and iPad Air being tossed around, but there should be little doubt that the event will be centered around Apple’s new smaller iPad.
Rumored specifications include a 7.85-inch display that may not be Retina, a design that is said to mirror an iPod touch with its thinner bezels, a design that is comfortable to hold – possibly more comfortable than the 9.7-inch iPad, a camera of some sort though it’s entirely possible that Apple may skip this to keep costs down, 16GB of storage space at least, a Lighting dock port – same as on the iPhone 5, and maybe cellular data.
Previously, we had heard that the iPad Mini might be Wi-Fi only but John Gruber from the Daring Fireball says that he still thinking Apple will include 4G LTE connectivity which leaves the door open for the feature to come with the iPad Mini.
Confirmed Release Date
As with all Apple product launches, we expect Apple to give the iPad Mini a solid release date at the event. If Apple follows the path it took with the iPhone 5, that could mean that the device will launch 10 days after the event which translates to November 2nd.
That date positions the iPad Mini nicely for the upcoming holiday shopping season which will hit full swing in November.
In addition to the release date, Apple will also likely announce the pricing of the iPad Mini. Lately, there hasn’t been much chatter about the price but we do know that this device will be competition with the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7 so it will have to be something competitive with their $199 price tags.
That being said, the new iPod touch retails for $300 and it would be pretty odd to see the iPad Mini retail for anything lower than that price point. It would also be strange to see it priced as high as the $500 new iPad. So, now, anywhere between $300 and $450 is looking pretty good.
We’ll find out for sure at the event, if there is one.
We doubt that the iPad Mini will be the only device launched at the event. With the iPhone 5 launch, we saw new iPods. With the iPad Mini launch, we could see Apple finally released a 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina Display.
We could also see a number of new accessories announced. Apple might use the stage to announce release dates for the Lightning HDMI cable and the promised VGA cable. Thus far, Apple has not said anything about either of these devices. If that’s the case, expect pricing to be announced as well.