Apple will almost certainly announce the iPad Mini at an event on October 23 and possibly release it on November 2, here’s the three features I need to see before I’m willing to drop my hard-earned cash on the new Apple tablet.
I’m already sold on the 7-inch form factor. After using the Nexus 7 Tablet and the Kindle Fire it’s fair to say I’m in love with the size, weight and portability of small tablets.
Here are the three iPad Mini features I want to see unveiled on stage on Tuesday. If Apple doesn’t deliver at least two of these features, I won’t buy the iPad Mini.
4G LTE with Same Sim as New iPad
I’m using my Nexus 7 Tablet less than my iPad because of the iPad’s built-in 4G LTE. Firing up my phone’s hotspot feature takes a few steps, and if I am on the move and want to use the larger screen of my tablet I don’t always have the time to turn it on and wait for things to connect. Using my phone as a hotspot instead of built-in 4G LTE inconvenient unless I’m planning a longer surfing session.
If Apple leaves out 4G LTE or even 3G, as one rumor claimed would happen, then I’m far less likely to get an iPad Mini. If my Nexus 7 had cellular connectivity, I’d probably take it with me most of the time thanks to the smaller size and greater portability.
Some people don’t want another wireless bill or don’t want to add another line to their account. I’m one of those so I really hope Apple uses the same size SIM card that the new iPad uses. That way I can just swap them out easily. Put it in the iPad Mini most of the time and then put it the new iPad when I’m going on a long trip and want to use my new iPad with the bigger screen as a laptop replacement.
I don’t think that will happen since Apple went to a smaller SIM on the iPhone 5. A smaller SIM isn’t a deal-breaker, as there are adapters, but no 4G probably will be.
iPhone 5 Level Hardware
We’ve already covered 4G LTE, but I also want the same processor and memory that comes in the iPhone 5. If the new iPad Mini uses the same hardware as the New iPad or as I’ve heard some suggest as the iPad 2, then I’m probably not interested. I want the iPad Mini to run as fast as the iPhone 5, not as fast as an iPad from two years ago.
I also really like the new Lightning connector and want to see it. This is one of the few features that is likely a given.
A camera isn’t as important on my iPad so I don’t need an iPhone 5 quality camera, but it better come with front and rear facing cameras. I use the rear facing camera on the iPad to scan documents, which doesn’t require as good of a camera as taking snapshots. I won’t mind if Apple cuts costs by putting a lower quality camera in the iPad Mini.
Priced at $300 or Less
When Apple ships the iPad Mini it will like come in three storage capacities with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB, just like the larger iPad.
If the 16GB model costs more than $300, I won’t buy. Apple can charge a premium over the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD thanks to Apple level hardware and the company’s position as market-leader.
Since I’ll likely get the 32GB model, I’m hoping that they run in increments of less than $100 but don’t expect a change from the standard Apple pricing for larger models.
If Apple follows the current iPad pricing pattern, I expect to pay $529 for a 32GB iPad Mini with 4G LTE. Any more than that and I’m not buying.