New sources say that Apple is preparing an iPad Mini to launch in October along with the iPhone 5 and possible a refresh of the iPad 3rd Generation.
Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal report that Apple is planning to deliver an iPad Mini later this year.
Rumors of a smaller 7-8-inch iPad, which has earned the iPad Mini name, have swirled since early 2012, but according to many analysts and sources Apple may finally bring the cheaper iPad to market to compete with the smaller and affordable Kindle Fire and Google Nexus Tablet which arrives soon.
iPad Mini Release Date Rumors
The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple’s component suppliers are working on parts for the iPad Mini. These supply chain members are reportedly gearing up to begin production of the smaller iPad in September.
Bloomberg quotes un-named sources as saying that Apple will announce the iPad Mini at an event in October, likely when Apple announces the iPhone 5 release date, but the device may not ship til later this year.
The new model will have a screen that’s 7 inches to 8 inches diagonally, less than the current 9.7-inch version, said the people, who asked not to be identified because Apple hasn’t made its plans public. The product, which Apple may announce by October, won’t have the high-definition screen featured on the iPad that was released in March, one of the people said.
While Apple typically announces launch dates within days of a new product announcement, the first iPhone and the first iPad announcements came months ahead of the official release. Even if the release is later this year Apple will likely announce the price, release date and pre-order information at the product announcement.
Sources say that Apple will also announce a minor update to the new iPad 3rd generation tablet, likely a smaller dock connector.
iPad Mini Specs
The iPad Mini will reportedly feature a 7 to 8 inch display with the same resolution as the iPad 2. The most likely display will be a 7.85 inch size with a 1024×768 resolution. This will leave content smaller looking than on the larger iPad, but will reduce the need for developers to support another resolution.
There are no rumors of a 4G LTE iPad Mini, but given the mobility of a smaller tablet it makes sense that Apple would offer one with a fast mobile connection. Verizon’s decision to no longer subsidize tablet sales and the cheap tablet add-on option for Share Everything plans would make this a tempting addition for many users.
Why All the iPad Mini Rumors?
It may seem curious that rumors of the iPad Mini arrived in major publications the week after Google announced the $199 Google Nexus 7-inch tablet, but as Larry Dignan of ZDNet explains it’s likely a planned leak.
Dignan explains that by leaking information about the iPad Mini, real or not, Apple is able to “freeze” buyers who might otherwise snap up the affordable Google tablet.
Will these new iPad Mini rumors freeze your buying decision?