Rumors suggest that Apple will be releasing a new iPad mini sometime this year, a device that is currently dubbed the iPad mini 2. And while consumers certainly have plenty of reasons to wait for Apple’s new 7-inch tablet, there are also some reasons why consumers will want to consider not waiting for the iPad mini 2 release later this year.
Last year, after a lengthy stretch of rumors, Apple finally released a smaller version of its popular iPad tablet, calling the 7.9-inch slate the iPad mini. Apple of course was late to the party as Google had already had its Nexus 7 out for months and Amazon, another chief rival, had its Kindle Fire HD on shelves for several months prior as well.
That of course didn’t stop Apple and the iPad mini which reportedly has dominated Apple’s iPad sales since going on sale back in November after an official unveiling at the end of October. With its smaller display, sleek design and wide assortment of applications, the iPad mini is a device that most tablet shoppers will want to have on their list. And that’s why it’s not surprising to hear rumors of a sequel planned for later this year.
For months now, rumors have suggested that Apple is planning a new iPad mini tablet, one that will come to shelves to not only replace the iPad mini as the company’s flagship, but one that will come to compete against the rumored successors to the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD, the Nexus 7 2 and the Kindle Fire HD 2. Both are still rumored but given the successes of the originals, they are likely.
Like all unannounced Apple products, the iPad mini remains shrouded in secrecy though there are several bits of information out that appears to be credible. There is no denying that on paper, the iPad mini 2 sounds like a formidable device. But is it worth waiting for?
We’ve already taken a look at why the iPad mini 2 is indeed worth the wait and now, it’s time to switch gears and take a look at what the iPad mini 2, for some, may not be worth the wait.
One of the biggest reasons not to wait for the arrival of the iPad mini 2 is simply if one can’t wait for the iPad mini 2.
While the iPad mini 2 has emerged in a number of rumors recently, it’s clear that Apple has no intention of launching it any time soon. All signs are pointing to a release date sometime this fall which unfortunately hasn’t been nailed down. Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that his company has products planned for the fall and one of those devices is likely the iPad mini 2.
What this means is that the earliest we’ll see it is September and the latest we’ll see it is December. The iPad mini arrived in November, just ahead of the holiday, a sign that we could see Apple debut its newest iPad mini sometime around then.
For many, that will be too long of a wait. Whether it’s time, money, or a broken tablet that needs to be replaced, a date between September and December is far off in the distance.
Fortunately, we should see a couple of big name 7-inch tablets arrive before then, tablets that should be on the same level as the iPad mini 2. Sometime later this month, the Nexus 7 2 is expected to arrive and some time later this year, Amazon is expected to deliver a Kindle Fire HD 2. Those will likely be the devices that antsy buyers will want to have their eye on.
Hardware Isn’t a Big Deal
iPad mini 2 rumors are scarce but we have heard a few and they all point to the obvious hardware upgrades that generally come with new Apple hardware year-after-year. In the case of the iPad mini 2, it’s expected to have an upgraded camera, a processor upgrade from its current Apple A5 chip, and of course, a new Retina Display that will replace the old one.
For many, these upgrades will be huge. For many others, they won’t be. Tablets simply don’t make good cameras so unless iPad photography is key, this likely won’t matter to a lot of people. Processing power is a big deal as it can enhance battery life and gaming performance but the current iPad mini and other 7-inch tablets offer solid battery life and gaming performance.
And finally, the Retina Display. This is probably going to be the hardest thing not to wait for but for those that haven’t experienced Retina quality or couldn’t care less about how the web, video and images look on their screen, the iPad mini’s display will work just find. As will the displays on devices like the Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD and most likely, their sequels.
Either Is Software
While there is no guarantee that the iPad mini 2 will come with any unique software features when it arrives with the new iOS 7, it’s remains possible that it could have some features in common with the iPhone 5S or the iPhone 5 and iPod touch.
When Apple introduced iOS 7, it made it clear that not all of the features of its new operating system would be touching its devices. In the case of the iPad mini, it won’t be getting Panorama or Filter in Camera when iOS 7 arrives. There is a chance that the iPad mini 2 could get those features and quite possibly, some features from the rumored iPhone 5S.
The iPhone 5S is thought to have at least a few unique software features in order to help it sell with rumors suggesting 120fps and slo-mo recording for the camera and quite possibly, a fingerprint scanner.
For many, the prospect of having some of those unique software features on a tablet is exciting. Many others though will be content with the iOS 7 features that we know are coming to the iPad mini. And luckily, it’s everything minus two features for the camera.
Will Be Buying on a Budget
When the iPad mini arrives, it’s going to be as expensive as the iPad mini is right now. That means that it will, more than likely, start at $330 for the cheapest, Wi-Fi only 16GB model. Those that don’t want to spend that kind of money will be able to save some money elsewhere.
iPad mini deals should emerge over the next few months tempting buyers with discounted prices. And third, we already know that the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7 are both cheaper than current iPad mini. They will likely beat the iPad mini 2 price as well.
Furthermore, in an effort to stay competitive, the Nexus 7 2 price and Kindle Fire HD 2 price should sit below the price of the iPad mini 2’s. So for those looking to spend less than $330, there is really no use in waiting for the iPad mini 2.
Want to Customize the User Experience
Apple’s iOS operating system is a closed system which isn’t optimal for those that are looking to heavily customize the software on their device or get software updates early. There are signs that an iOS 7 jailbreak could be in the works but there is no guarantee. Even if there is, there isn’t a guarantee that it will be available for it or the iPad mini 2 when they arrive later this year.
A jailbreak of course is necessary for heavy iOS customization and unfortunately, there are some drawbacks when it comes to jailbreaking. For one, the user experience, including battery life, becomes less stable. Second, jailbreaks aren’t always available for versions of Apple’s software. The Evasi0n jailbreak is a good example of this. While it was available for iOS 6.1, iOS 6.1.1 and iOS 6.1.2, it wasn’t available for iOS 6.1.3 and beyond leaving owners stuck on those versions.
In fact, the current iPad mini, purchased right now, can’t utilize a jailbreak as it runs newer software than iOS 6.1.2.
Indeed, it’s possible to unjailbreak but those looking for a less ridiculous method of customization will want to take a close look at Google’s Nexus tablet which comes with Android, an open system.
The Nexus 7 is a Nexus device which means that it not only gets updates straight from Google but it also means that it comes with an unlocked bootloader. This means that users can easily customize the look of their device and download updates early. That said, those who are looking to heavily customize the user experience may not want to wait for the iPad mini 2 as it won’t be afforded the same perks.
Are A Heavy Amazon User
And finally, those who are heavy Amazon users may not wait to wait for the iPad mini 2. While the iPad mini 2 has access to some Amazon services including Kindle, Amazon Video and an Amazon app to browse around, they are applications and aren’t a part of the overall user interface.
The Kindle Fire HD and likely, the Kindle Fire HD 2, will have software that heavily revolves around Amazon’s many services offering Amazon nuts easy access to the services that they love. Kindle device users also get things like free Kindle book rentals, something not afforded to owners of non-Kindle tablets.
So for those that live and breathe Amazon content, it may not be worth waiting for the iPad mini 2 and instead, it may be worth investing in a Kindle Fire HD tablet.