Saying that it will allow users to use the iPad in places and environments they never could before, the iPad mini is the smallest and lightest device yet.
Apple’s emphasizing that this is an all new design, in an aluminum glass enclosure. It’s not just a smaller iPad.
Describing it as incredibly thin and beautiful and light, Phil Schiller holds one up, stressing it can be held in one hand.
The iPad mini is 0.68 pounds. It’s as light as a pad of paper: a book is much heavier. It’s as thin as a pencil. And the display is 35% larger than competing Android 7-inch tablets, with a better use of display space.
The iPad mini has a dual-core A5 chip, just like the iPad 2. Unlike the iPad 2, however, the new iPad supports LTE, as well as a FaceTime HD front camera, and the iPad 3’s 5MP iSight camera.
There’s also of course the next-gen Lightning connector, along with 10 hours of battery life.
The iPad mini also has a new, smaller iPad mini Smart Cover.
Despite rumors that the iPad mini would start at $249, it’s actually at $329 for a 16GB Wi-Fi model.
Update: Here’s the official press release from Apple:
SAN JOSE, California―October 23, 2012―Apple® today introduced iPad® mini, a completely new iPad design that is 23 percent thinner and 53 percent lighter than the third generation iPad. The new iPad mini features a stunning 7.9-inch Multi-Touch™ display, FaceTime® HD and iSight® cameras, ultrafast wireless performance¹ and an incredible 10 hours of battery life²―every inch an iPad, yet in a revolutionary design you can hold in one hand. Apple today also announced the fourth generation iPad featuring a gorgeous 9.7-inch Retina™ display, new Apple-designed A6X chip, FaceTime HD camera and ultrafast wireless performance. Both iPad mini and fourth generation iPad come with iOS 6, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system with over 200 new features.
“iPad mini is every inch an iPad. With its gorgeous 7.9-inch display, iPad mini features the same number of pixels as the original iPad and iPad 2, so you can run more than 275,000 apps designed specifically for iPad,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “iPad mini is as thin as a pencil and as light as a pad of paper, yet packs a fast A5 chip, FaceTime HD and 5 megapixel iSight cameras and ultrafast wireless―all while delivering up to 10 hours of battery life.”
iPad mini comes in a beautiful new aluminum and glass design that is just 7.2 mm thin and weighs only 0.68 pounds. The 7.9-inch Multi-Touch display delivers the same iPad experience users have come to expect, in a design that has 35 percent more screen real estate than 7-inch tablets and up to an astonishing 67 percent more usable viewing area when browsing the web. The dual-core A5 chip delivers responsive graphics and a fast, fluid Multi-Touch experience, while still providing all-day battery life.
iPad mini features a front-facing FaceTime HD camera and a 5 megapixel iSight camera on the back with advanced optics for taking sharp still pictures and recording full 1080p HD video. The iSight camera includes video image stabilization and both cameras feature backside illumination to let users capture great pictures in low light. iPad mini also allows easy sharing of photos with friends and family using iCloud’s Shared Photo Streams.
iPad mini features dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi support for speeds up to 150 Mbps,³ which is twice the Wi-Fi performance compared to previous iPad models. iPad mini is available in Wi-Fi + Cellular models which are world-ready with built-in support for ultrafast wireless standards, including LTE¹ and DC-HSDPA, so you can browse, download and stream content fast from wherever you are. iPad mini data plans will be available with no contract so you can simply sign up and activate service directly from your iPad.⁴ The Personal Hotspot feature means you can share a fast cellular data connection via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB with up to five other devices such as MacBook® Pro, iPod touch® or another iPad.⁵
The new fourth generation iPad features the amazing 9.7-inch Retina display and includes a new Apple-designed A6X chip that delivers up to twice the CPU performance and up to twice the graphics performance of the A5X chip, all while delivering an incredible 10 hours of battery life in the same thin and light iPad design. Other new features include a FaceTime HD camera, twice the Wi-Fi performance when compared to previous iPad models and support for additional LTE carriers worldwide.⁶
iPad mini and fourth generation iPad both feature support for the Lightning™ connector that is smaller, smarter and more durable than the 30-pin connector. Lightning connector accessories are available to support cameras, SD cards and VGA or HDMI digital video.⁷ Existing iPad Smart Covers and the iPad Smart Case are compatible with fourth generation iPad, and new polyurethane Smart Covers custom-designed for iPad mini are available in pink, green, blue, light gray, dark gray and (PRODUCT) RED for $39.
iPad runs over 700,000 apps available on the App Store℠, including more than 275,000 apps designed specifically for iPad, from a wide range of categories including books, games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel. iPad also supports the more than 5,000 newspapers and magazines offered in Newsstand and the more than 1.5 million books available on the iBookstore℠. The iTunes Store® puts the world’s most popular online music, TV and movie store at your fingertips with a catalog of over 26 million songs, over 190,000 TV episodes and over 45,000 films. The new iBooks® app for iPad lets users read ebooks in over 40 languages. iBooks also lets users experience an entirely new kind of ebook that’s dynamic, engaging and truly interactive. Ebooks created with Apple’s new iBooks Author offer gorgeous, fullscreen ebooks with interactive animations, diagrams, photos, videos, custom fonts, mathematical expressions and much more.
Pricing & Availability
iPad mini with Wi-Fi models will be available in black & slate or white & silver on Friday, November 2, for a suggested retail price of $329 (US) for the 16GB model, $429 (US) for the 32GB model and $529 (US) for the 64GB model. The fourth generation iPad with Wi-Fi models will also be available on Friday, November 2, in black or white for a suggested retail price of $499 (US) for the 16GB model, $599 (US) for the 32GB model and $699 (US) for the 64GB model. iPad mini and the fourth generation iPad will be sold through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores, and select Apple Authorized Resellers in the US, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.
iPad mini with Wi-Fi + Cellular and fourth generation iPad with Wi-Fi + Cellular will start shipping a couple of weeks after the Wi-Fi models, beginning in the US on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. iPad mini with Wi-Fi + Cellular will be offered for a suggested retail price of $459 (US) for the 16GB model, $559 (US) for the 32GB model and $659 (US) for the 64GB model. Fourth generation iPad with Wi-Fi + Cellular for AT&T, Sprint and Verizon will be offered for a suggested retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB model, $729 (US) for the 32GB model and $829 (US) for the 64GB model. Additionally, iPad 2 is available at $399 (US) for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and just $529 (US) for the 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G model where they are sold now.
Customers can begin pre-ordering all models of iPad mini and all models of the fourth generation iPad on Friday, October 26 through the Apple Online Store in the US, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.
¹LTE is available through select carriers. Network speeds are dependent on carrier networks. Check with your carrier for details.
²Battery life depends on device settings, usage and other factors. Actual results vary.
³Based on theoretical speeds, actual speeds may vary.
⁴Only available on some carriers.
⁵Personal Hotspot requires supporting data plan. Customers should check with their carrier for availability.
⁶LTE is available through select carriers.
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.
(This story is developing.Check back for updates.)