The iPad Mini: Everything We Think We Know So Far [Rumor Roundup]

The iPad Mini: Everything We Think We Know So Far [Rumor Roundup]

Cult of Mac lays it all out: what you can expect for the new iPad mini.

Apple is expected to unveil a new, smaller iPad today, October 23rd, 2012, at 10AM ET/1PM PST, with a launch of the device expected for sale on November 2. Invites to the event were sent out last week

This is the most anticipated iPad release yet, bringing the apples-and-oranges competition between Amazon’s Kindle Fire and the newly-releaced Google Nexus 7 to a boil just in time for the holiday gift-giving season of 2012. We’re all extremely excited to see what this heavily rumored new form factor will bring to the table, and how Apple will position the device in its already spectacularly successful line of iOS devices.

The iPad 2 was announced in March of 2011, with the new iPad (not the iPad 3, as we all assumed) was revealed in March of 2012. The iPad 2 broke the thinness barrier of the iPad one, and brought faster CPU and graphics enhancements, while the iPad 3 upped the ante to Retina-quality resolution and a faster, warmer CPU.

What will the iPad mini do to convince us all we need yet one more of Cupertino’s magical devices in our households? In this Cult of Mac rumor roundup, we’ll examine everything we think we know about the iPad Mini.

It will be just like the current iPad, only smaller.

The iPad mini is expected to be scaled down, to a 7.85 inch diagonal size.

The iPad Mini: Everything We Think We Know So Far [Rumor Roundup]

While we keep calling this a 7-inch iPad, to note the similarity with competing tablets like the Fire and the Nexus 7, it will actually be more of an 8-inch tablet. But, you know, size isn’t everything.

“It will be exactly like the 9.7-inch iPad, except scaled down to 7.85-inches.”

In addition, the iPad Mini may have a smaller dock port (to match the smaller iPhone 5 port) and a repositioned headphone jack. iResQ repair lab has posted photos of what it claims to be the new dock connector and headphone jack for the iPad mini. If these parts are to be believed, the iPad mini’s headphone jack will be repositioned next to the dock connector, just like the iPhone 5.

It will not have Retina graphics

In addition to the almost 8-inch diagonal screen size, the mini iPad will probably have the same ratio of height to width as the current iPad, in a move to support developers to not have to change their graphic production workflow to accomodate yet another iOS device size. It will also probably have the high resolution graphics of an iPad 2, rather than the Retina-quality ones of the new iPad.

The iPad Mini: Everything We Think We Know So Far [Rumor Roundup]

Other rumors point to a indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) display, made by Sharp, who recently teamed up with Foxconn to ramp up its supply chain speed. Sharp’s IGZO technology essentially makes it easier and more power efficient for light to shine through an LCD display, which limits power requirements on a smaller device.

Page 2: Lower price, thinner device, and more

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  • MacHead84

    Ill be so disappointed if they remove the cameras and leave it to wifi only so the 2nd generation mini can be magical.

  • BigLama

    I’m still sad that it won’t be retina display!

  • assyrianpride

    ipad mini is a dumb idea, its just a big iphone, without a phone.

  • assyrianpride

    and since its going to be pretty much the same size as the competing tablets, its going to look like apple is the copycat, and not the others.

  • wesleyvercammen

    Apple will never release a non-retine device.

  • Eric Barbosa

    ipad mini is a dumb idea, its just a big iphone, without a phone.

    yeah thats what they said about the original ipad and look at how successful it was! your argument is invalid.

  • Matthew Gonzales Landry

    This could potentiallybe one of the most dissapointing iPads. I mean, I was pretty disappointed to see the new iPad retain the same dual-core CPU from the iPad 2. If Apple’s going to release this thing, at least put theA5X in there. I’d rather it be graphics heavy then skimpy in terms of features.

  • TylerHoj

    If ANY of these iPad mini rumours are true I will be shocked. If this is going to be more portable than an iPad it should have a camera. If it doesn’t have a retina display it will cause a loss in content quality for those with iPads and iPhones. If these rumours are true, this wont be a magical device. This wont fill the needs of those who want a smaller iPad and bigger iPod touch. It will just be filler in a successful product line.

  • Tallest_Skil

    yeah thats what they said about the original ipad and look at how successful it was! your argument is invalid.

    There is absolutely nothing whosoever that a smaller iPad can do that a larger one cannot do better. Its existence is pointless and the idea thereof is equally so.

    In three years, you’ll be saying the iPad is too small and that you never suggested an even smaller one would be good.

  • extra_medium

    I’m still sad that it won’t be retina display!

    Just because people keep repeating it, doesn’t mean it’s true. Including the existence of the iPad mini in the first place. Until Apple makes an announcement, it’s all just people making guesses.

  • extra_medium
    yeah thats what they said about the original ipad and look at how successful it was! your argument is invalid.

    There is absolutely nothing whosoever that a smaller iPad can do that a larger one cannot do better. Its existence is pointless and the idea thereof is equally so.

    In three years, you’ll be saying the iPad is too small and that you never suggested an even smaller one would be good.

    This is why I’m still having trouble believing the rumors despite all the reporting going on. Releasing an iPad-cheap with fewer features at this point just doesn’t seem like something they’d do, when normally they take steps forward with their products, increasing the price as they go (unless it’s heavily crippled, like the ipod shuffle.)

    That’s not even mentioning how goofy it seems to release a product that will compete with a best-selling item. If people can save $200-$300 while only giving up an inch or two or of screen space, I feel like the regular iPad will become the exception and I don’t think they want that. So if there really is one in the works, I bet it will be missing something significant other than just the retina display.

  • Jack Handy

    “There is absolutely nothing whosoever that a smaller iPad can do that a larger one cannot do better. Its existence is pointless and the idea thereof is equally so.”

    Except for being more portable. Which is exactly why I never bought an iPad. I’ve tried iPads from friends, and they are too big for my use. I have an iPod Touch, which I like, but it is too small for reading. When I am traveling through the airport or reading with one hand, I would much prefer the iPad mini, as it will do portability MUCH better than the iPad. Same reason I prefer paperback books to hardback. And the iPad mini will outdo the Kindle Fire for me, just from the Apple ecosystem. I will buy one right away as long as it has an option of 32GB and has a camera.

    Fortunately Apple won’t be listening to closed-minded people that can only see things from their own perspective.

  • Nick Hansen

    wouldn’t the iPad 2’s resolution be pretty close to retina on that screen?

  • Mikael Hansen

    ipad mini is a dumb idea, its just a big iphone, without a phone.

    Thats exactly what they said about the first iPad.
    How stupid does those comments look now?

  • technochick

    wouldn’t the iPad 2’s resolution be pretty close to retina on that screen?

    Which is why they would likely go ahead and step up to retina. That’s the trend for Apple anyway.

    Also it isn’t likely to be a mini iPad but rather a maxi iPod touch to bring that device out from being just an iPhone without the phone. The iPhone UI doesn’t have the issues Steve blasted about a smaller iPad since that UI was ma for a much smaller device.

  • technochick

    Apple will never release a non-retine device.

    I have to disagree with this a little. Once a lineup has gone fully retina on all items yes. Until then, who knows. Likely not but it is still possible.

  • aakashg

    I think I might have a picture for you: http://www.aakashg.com/2012/09/11/did-i-spot-an-ipad-mini-in-madrid/

    Re: assyrianpride it’s a bad idea
    No, it’s a great one. The current iPad is too expensive for 50% of the country, at least. Soon a tablet will be in every home, and the mini will be a catalyst for that.

  • Tallest_Skil

    I think I might have a picture for you: http://www.aakashg.com/2012/09/11/did-i-spot-an-ipad-mini-in-madrid/

    You were sitting right next to the guy. In public. In broad daylight. No, you didn’t.

  • hausoftrinity

    Um, what about the iPods? They haven’t been released yet. They just said they would ship in October. Why would Apple cannabalize their iPod sales with the sales of a new iPad?

  • mr_bee

    It should totally *not* be called the “iPad Air.” Anyone who thinks so, doesn’t understand why they used “MacBook Air” in the first place.

    Also, please ignore “Tallest Skil” as he always says the same thing and has no facts to back up his personal opinion that the iPad mini would be a mistake. He’s a tuned out old dude with no idea about why “people today” do, or want, anything and has no real argument of his own as to why people *wouldn’t* want an iPad mini.

  • mr_bee

    There is absolutely nothing whosoever that a smaller iPad can do that a larger one cannot do better. Its existence is pointless and the idea thereof is equally so. …

    What an absolutely ridiculous argument.

    So there is no reason to buy a compact car versus a truck? No reason to buy a small chair versus a sofa that seats eight? Ridiculous.

    Besides which, people have told you again and again on multiple forums across the Internet their individual, various and particular reasons for wanting a smaller form factor and you basically just ignore them and spout this stupid rhetoric over and over again as if was some kind of mantra.

    You are just being a classic irrational troll and you know it.

  • Stephen Sohn

    Ok. So I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, mine is of the opinion that we need a smaller iPad. Right now if I want a small portable tablet I am left with Android. I almost bought one att he Verizon store and stopped myself. I want an Apple tablet. I have been a Mac user for over 10 years and want to stick with Apple.

  • Shaun Green

    It should totally *not* be called the “iPad Air.” Anyone who thinks so, doesn’t understand why they used “MacBook Air” in the first place.

    Also, please ignore “Tallest Skil” as he always says the same thing and has no facts to back up his personal opinion that the iPad mini would be a mistake. He’s a tuned out old dude with no idea about why “people today” do, or want, anything and has no real argument of his own as to why people *wouldn’t* want an iPad mini.

    I agree just ignore him. He’s always wrong anyway. Who cares what Tallest and the other naysayers think anyway, we are going to get an iPad Mini in a few weeks. They can bitch and whine all they like but we are still going to get the iPad Mini. Looking forward to it.

  • Shaun Green

    I am sure I will again be called or “troll” or a “paid shill” by the more fundamentalist of the Apple-faithful.

    Nevertheless, here is reality and it does not bode well for Apple.

    Compare and contrast the “views” and “dislike” ratios for a couple of recent SAMSUNG and Apple ads on YouTube:

    Clearly, the recent patent-trolling and the maps fiasco did not help Apple…

    Maybe the iPhone users can’t reach the dislike button with their thumbs. LOL.

  • Shaun Green

    Um, what about the iPods? They haven’t been released yet. They just said they would ship in October. Why would Apple cannabalize their iPod sales with the sales of a new iPad?

    Nobody is going to buy the new iPod anyway. The Nano is for pre-teen kids now and the Touch is way to expensive. The kids all have iPhones or cheap smartphones now rather than iPods which is why iPod sales have been falling for some time. They need a new Christmas “must have” product hence the iPad Mini.

  • suomynona

    Isn’t this just gonna cannibalise the original iPad’s sales?

  • TylerHoj

    $249 is a pipe dream. Apple doesn’t need to play the low price game like other competitors which can’t boast strong ecosystems or hardware quality like Apple. The amazing marketing team at Apple will find a way to sell this tablet at any reasonable price. The lowest I expect to see the iPad mini is $379. Especially considering the new iPod touch only has a four inch screen, near-identical specs, and comes in at $299. Forget it, $249 just isn’t happening.

  • TylerHoj
    Um, what about the iPods? They haven’t been released yet. They just said they would ship in October. Why would Apple cannabalize their iPod sales with the sales of a new iPad?

    Nobody is going to buy the new iPod anyway. The Nano is for pre-teen kids now and the Touch is way to expensive. The kids all have iPhones or cheap smartphones now rather than iPods which is why iPod sales have been falling for some time. They need a new Christmas “must have” product hence the iPad Mini.

    The new iPod touch is not expensive at all, by Apple terms. An un-contracted iPhone, meaning your actually paying for the hardware like you would an iPod is $649. The only differences being a slight bump in processor, a better camera and cellular capabilities. A new iPod touch is essentially an iPhone 5, only more than $300 cheaper. An iPad 3 comes in at $499, which is a reasonable $200 more expensive than the 4” iPod touch because of the screen size. An iPod Touch is just as much of a niche product as an iPad mini. Other Apple products that are cheaper such as the iPad 2 or the last generation iPod touch, can do the same job, but there will always be a market for something different. Even if it isn’t more practical, because lets face it, taking less than 2” off a products screen size doesn’t make it any more portable or affordable.

  • TylerHoj
    There is absolutely nothing whosoever that a smaller iPad can do that a larger one cannot do better. Its existence is pointless and the idea thereof is equally so. …

    What an absolutely ridiculous argument.

    So there is no reason to buy a compact car versus a truck? No reason to buy a small chair versus a sofa that seats eight? Ridiculous.

    Besides which, people have told you again and again on multiple forums across the Internet their individual, various and particular reasons for wanting a smaller form factor and you basically just ignore them and spout this stupid rhetoric over and over again as if was some kind of mantra.

    You are just being a classic irrational troll and you know it.

    Let’s be real. This isn’t the difference between truck and compact car, this is a size difference between a pen, and a pen with a cap. Apple hasn’t even taken 2” off of the size of an iPad. Please show me how incredibly more portable this product becomes being only very slightly less smaller. I still won’t be able to take the iPad mini with me anywhere without a backpack. I still can’t stuff it in my jacket pocket or even a pair of cargo pants. Being the owner of all things new and great from Apple, I understand this product, but I don’t get it.

  • Eric Harrington

    Nice write up Rob. Here’s what I’m thinking….(1) If it has no camera, I’m not interested. Apple already got me on that when I bought the 1 Gen iPad and didn’t think I would need it. We use it on the iPad2 all the time at our kids sporting events…..(2) I like the name iPad Air over iPad Mini. Never gave it much thought, but I hope they go that route…..(3) I hope it does have Siri…..(4) I expect Retina, but if for some reason it’s not there in Rev 1, I can live w/o it – but seeing how the iPhone 5 and new iPad have it, it would be silly to not make Retina a standard at this point.

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  • Mirage299

    I was also thinking that it should be called iPad air!

  • Gary R McCray

    There are still a bunch of skeptics who think that Apples traditional business model leaves no room for an aggressively priced IPad Mini.

    I agree, this is going to be a really significant departure for Apple, competing in an already aggressively priced 7″ tablet market, but bringing the mature software and operating experience of the IPad to a Mini at a price that is at least competitive with existing (and near future) 7″ tablets will give a very strong share of what is going to be a huge and growing market to Apple.

    If they actually miss this opportunity, their stock will go straight down the tube and it will be looked at as one of the biggest business blunders of all time (New Coke comes to mind).

    That is why the Mini is real and it’s introduction imminent.

    If not, good old Tim Cook had best be looking for a really good Golden Parachute.

  • Tallest_Skill

    You post some interesting comments.

    yeah thats what they said about the original ipad and look at how successful it was! your argument is invalid.

    There is absolutely nothing whosoever that a smaller iPad can do that a larger one cannot do better. Its existence is pointless and the idea thereof is equally so.

    In three years, you’ll be saying the iPad is too small and that you never suggested an even smaller one would be good.

  • Zod Buster

    Should be named the iPad AIRHEAD.. for those who actually believe all this …

  • stefn

    The new Touch spex may point to the Mini spex and features. The Touch is now a lean and mean and sleek machine. So Apple has created space for the Touch when the Mini arrives. Best guess for the Mini: Less screen resolution then the Touch, front side camera only, no siri, no passbook. So the Mini will not be as bright, light, useful, or fast. But it will have a bigger screen and all those apps and will sell for $250 to schools. So Mini at school; iPod at home. The Mini will be lighter, brighter, thinner, faster and much more useful than the Fire, Nexus, or Nook. Good luck with the Surface, by the way.

  • Shane Bryson

    I completely disagree that it will not have Retina. Having a device in the line up that does not have Retina is a step backwards. Apple doesn’t step backwards. And with rumors that a 13 inch Retina MacBook Pro will be announced at the same event, that would shadow an non-retina iPad mini. Apple now requires all apps to be retina ready, they have no intentions of moving forward with devices that are not Retina equipped. That wouldn’t be a sound model.

  • TylerHoj

    …but will it have a smart cover?

  • Billy Donahue

    Pro tip: “shoo-in”, not “shoe-in”.

  • Jo Miller

    “Shoe-in”? Does that mean it will fit in my shoe?

  • fteoOpty64

    On would assume a better back camera would be the order of the day for this smaller iPad. The 8MP camera from the new iPhone would be a great addition (without the sapphire glass!). It wold be small enough to take decent videos and let users enjoy those with their desktops and HDTVs. If Apple is so lazy as to just duplicate eht iPad 2,4 innards into 7.85 inches, I am sure there would be criticisms on this product. [ So one wouold expect after pondering for 3 years, they can afford to get a product RIGHT ]. I mean just right!.

  • Zod Buster

    .

  • juliadawn

    I’m really excited. I think it’s really smart for them to do this especially right before Christmas when everyone is buying gifts for their kids. My son loves my Ipad however he’s 11 and I don’t want him to break it or use it. It’s way too expensive for a child or early teen to be playing with and I can’t afford to shell out all that money to get him one as a gift. I was going to look into kid friendly tablets but I’m going to wait and see if they release the Ipad mini and what the price point is. I think they’re missing out on a huge market right now. Tablets are all the rage for kids and teens and parents are looking into smaller ones for their kids and people also need something a bit more mobile for when they’re on the go instead of lugging around a big clunky Ipad in a case. I think it’s a good idea on their part and I’m holding off on getting Christmas gifts until they finally release it if they do.

  • CurrentNewsMeme

    That’s a cute iPad for the same people who buy miniature purse dogs because they can store it away easily. I don’t get why it’s priced so high when the Nexus 7 is already out for a fraction of the price.
    Oh well, I made some memes to celebrate the announcement.
    http://cmemes.com/ipad-mini-release-memes/

  • Mari

    After using my Iphone/Internet constantly-though at first I hated it, I prefer anything Mini..I do not want to carry around a huge piece of electronic equipment. It wastes time and space.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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