Apple’s iPad Mini To Be Wi-Fi-Only And Come Alongside Updated iPad 3 This Month [Rumor]

Apple’s iPad Mini To Be Wi-Fi-Only And Come Alongside Updated iPad 3 This Month [Rumor]

The iPad mini will share the stage with an updated third-gen iPad that packs international 4G support, according to a new report.

Apple is widely expected to unveil the rumored ‘iPad mini’ at a press event this month, with many speculating that event invites will be sent to the press as soon as tomorrow, October 10th. The mythical 7-inch tablet will likely be priced between $200-$250 and target competition like the Google Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire. Apple has been poised to enter the cheaper tablet market for quite some time, and the company has reportedly started manufacturing an upwards of 10 million units to sell this holiday season.

A new report today claims that the iPad mini will be Wi-Fi-only, unlike the current third-gen iPad that can operate on 3G and 4G carrier networks. Apple is also expected to unveil an updated version of the current third-gen iPad with 4G support in the U.K. and the new Lighting dock.

The Guardian reports that Apple will be keeping the iPad mini priced below $300 by not including support for carrier networks:

Apple’s expected “iPad mini” will only come in a Wi-Fi version – but there will also be a revised version of the iPad with 4G connectivity compatible with the UK’s Everything Everywhere network, and sporting the new “Lightning” connector, industry sources have told the Guardian.

Industry sources indicated to the Guardian that they do not expect to see 3G-capable versions of the iPad mini. That would allow Apple to produce it comparatively cheaply and to limit the top price of the product, while retaining mobile broadband connectivity for its pricier iPad line.

It’s not really surprising that Apple would choose to omit 3G/4G from the iPad mini, given the rumored price point. It will be interesting to see how Apple markets and positions a non-Retina, smaller, cheaper iPad without 3G.

Echoing earlier rumors, The Guardian is also hearing that Apple will revise the third-gen iPad that was released earlier this year:

Sources also indicated that they expect Apple to refresh the iPad line by following up the introduction of the iPhone 5, which is 4G-capable in the UK through Everything Everywhere’s 1800MHz network – and from next September with Three – with revised versions using the same 1800MHz 4G chip and the new connector.

Apple has actually updated iOS devices mid-cycle in the past, such as the case of the original iPhone’s storage bump back in 2008. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, Apple usually doesn’t make a big deal out of it. Announcing an updated third-gen iPad with Lightning and added international 4G support would take about two minutes at an Apple event, and the iPad 4 would still be on track for the typical early-2013 announcement timeframe.

Retail sources for The Guardian say they are anticipating new products from Apple in November, suggesting that Apple will probably make the iPad mini available for sale a couple weeks after this month’s event.

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  • John S. Wilson

    That makes absolutely NO sense. Apple charges a hefty premium for 3G/4G-enabled devices. Why would they not offer a network capable Mini due to price? They may not offer it for some other reason, but I highly doubt price is one of them.

  • dcj001

    The price will not be less than $299.

  • easydone101

    Actually this could be the so-called iPad 4. Remembered Apple called it the NEW iPad, not iPad 3. Which means when they are releasing a new iPad in technical terms they are releasing an update to their iPad line just like an update to a MacBook/iMac line.

  • MacHead84

    Wifi only ALSO means no GPS…I knew apple would cripple first gen model to wow the crowd with LTE and GPS next time around!

  • Shane Bryson
    The price will not be less than $299.

    Oh how totally incorrect you are.

  • Shane Bryson

    That makes absolutely NO sense. Apple charges a hefty premium for 3G/4G-enabled devices. Why would they not offer a network capable Mini due to price? They may not offer it for some other reason, but I highly doubt price is one of them.

    Price is exactly why they wouldn’t give it 3G/4G. This device is targeting people who won’t buy the iPad because of it’s price, while not taking sales from the current iPad. People who want data connections will still buy the current iPad, while penny-pinchers will buy this smaller, cheaper iPad.

  • technochick
    The price will not be less than $299.

    Oh how totally incorrect you are.

    And you base that on what actual knowledge. Not ‘sources’ talking to blogs, but real information.

    Thought so

  • ElyMantz

    has there been any word on what the storage options will be? 8gb $199, 16gb $249, 32gb $299?

  • Zeteboy

    Just create a hotspot with your iPhone and the mini can connect anywhere.

  • TylerHoj

    I highly doubt a price point lower than $299. Apple doesn’t have to play the cheap tablet market. People buy into the ecosystem, not just the device and its specs. Apple isn’t producing a smaller iPad to hit a certain price point, which Tim Cook himself has stated in the past. Apple’s coming out with the iPad mini because it’s what customers are asking for, so why would they produce a cheap version of a product everybody already wants instead of adding in the Apple premium and making them pay a little extra. Not only is that incredibly smart business, but it’s so unbelievably something Apple would do. Apple knew everyone would gripe and complain about the new lightning port because of older 30-pin accessories so what did they do? Made a $30 adapter. All I’m saying is don’t get your hopes up! This is Apple we’re talking about, after all.

  • Dan Miller

    If Apple to refresh the iPad 3 with LTE that will work here in Australia and a lightning connector I would not buy. They would have to do more to get me to buy. Now if they up the storage to say 128gb then I may think about it.

  • Georgi Georgiev

    Stop writing stupid articles… How can the iPad mini be less expensive than the 299$ iPod Touch. Hint: it can’t.

  • Lane Jasper

    Awesome! WIFI-only will hopefully keep the costs lower and many smartphones have tethering or the option TO tether or create a hotspot with that’d allow mobile on the go anyway for the iPad so yay. I know it costs moolah for tethering but so does a 3/4G plan with iPad so it’s basically a wash depending on your tethering charge.

  • Lane Jasper
    The price will not be less than $299.

    Oh how totally incorrect you are.

    Agreed. I’m guessing $349 and $449 respectfully (depending on storage space). I’d bet they’ll do away with 8GB like the did with iPhone 5.

  • Lane Jasper

    has there been any word on what the storage options will be? 8gb $199, 16gb $249, 32gb $299?

    I’m guessing there will be a 16/32/64(maybe) model. Probably only 16/32gb. I bet they do away with 8GB like they did with iPhone 5. 349/449 pricepoints for 16/362gb models.

  • rlowe

    iPad Mini with Wifi Only? That sounds moew like iTouch Giant please.

  • edteck

    “Textbooks Are Dead – 3 Reasons to Write Your Own” http://bit.ly/TwMcwj For years progressive educators have known the textbook was dead. Apple’s latest iPad Mini / iBooks Author event (October 23, 2012) suggests we are closing in on the tipping point that should hasten its demise. I’ll let others critique the viability of the iPad as a textbook replacement in this era of shrinking budgets. Instead I’ll focus on how teaming iBooks Author with the iPad can turn students from passive consumers of information, into active researchers, thinkers, designers and writers.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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