During a 2010 earnings call, Steve Jobs predicted that 7-inch tablets were going to be "dead on arrival." Jump to 2012, and small slates like the Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7 have held their own against Apple's watershed device. As it turns out, at the right price, there is a place in the market for tablets smaller than 10 inches.
Several months ago, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was showing select suppliers designs for a device with a 7 to 8-inch display. Since then, iPad Mini rumors have flooded the web, with many speculating on everything from the exact size to the availability date and cost. We’ve rounded up the rumors, and here is the story so far.
Official Unveiling: October 23
Reports are running rampant that Apple will send out invitations on Oct. 16 for an iPad Mini unveiling event on Oct. 23. If the launch event occurs on that date, iPad Minis could start hitting store shelves as soon as two weeks later.
Connectivity: 4G LTE
Rumors of a 4G LTE-capable iPad Mini are picking up as of late. Apple Insider points to a photo of an alleged iPad Mini chassis posted on Ukrainianiphone.com that appears to show a nano-SIM tray, which is what Apple traditionally uses for adding cellular capabilities to its devices. If Apple does offer a 4G LTE-capable iPad Mini, chances are the company will also create an iPad-only version of the device.
Design: Very Thin
9to5 Mac first reported that the iPad Mini will be as thin as the iPod touch and with a thinner bezel on the sides of the display. If that's true, then the ultimate question will be 'how are you going to hold it without obscuring content?' According to calculations done by Daring Fireball's John Gruber, the iPad mini will be about one-thirds thinner than the Nexus 7.
Display: 7.85 Inches
Multiple sources have reported that the iPad mini will not be as small as the Kindle Fire-- instead, it will have a 7.85-inch display with a 4:3 ratio. This drawing from @trojankitten shows how the iPad Mini might compare to the Nexus 7 and the iPad.
According to Taiwan’s The Liberty Times, LG and AU Optronics will act as suppliers for the iPad Mini’s LCD panel, and the Mini will not have a Retina display.
Pricing: How Low Will Apple Go?
It seems like the Internet is very undecided on the price of the iPad Mini. iMore reports that the device will be Wi-Fi only and the it will only sport one camera instead of the two that are on the new iPad. If this is true, the starting price will most likely be around $200 to compete directly with the Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7.
MacRumors , however, is saying that the more realistic starting price will be around $249.
Cameras: We Bet Two
The majority of rumors seem to lean towards the iPad Mini having two cameras -- a front facing shooter for FaceTime calls and a rear-facing camera. However, some people wonder whether Apple will sacrifice the back camera to keep its smaller slate closer to the $200 price range. Though many question the need for a back camera on tablets in general, it makes more sense on a smaller slate than a bigger one.
Living Room/TV Experience
9to5 Mac points out that the iPad Mini might be the perfect universal remote, and it is possibly the television device Steve Jobs told Walter Issacson about during their time together. It would work with the Apple TV to create an innovative TV experience -- like previewing media on the iPad Mini and then watching it on the TV. It's also possible that Siri could come in to play, letting you find things to watch and change channels using your voice.
Specs and Dock Connector
Tech2 predicts that the iPad mini will have a smaller dock connector just like the iPhone 5, plus a front-facing camera with a noise canceling microphone for video calls.
So what about the processor? According to Instapaper founder href="http://marco.org/2012/08/30/ipad-mini-internals">Marco Ament, the iPad Mini will likely share the same A5 chip as the iPad 2 to keep the price down. Also expect GSM and CDMA versions for the carriers.
It looks like users will have a rather large selection of iPad minis to choose from. According to MobileGeeks , an alleged screenshot of an inventory screen at a major European electronics retailer posted on the blog, Schimanke, shows a total of 16 different iPad minis. The different versions include Wi-Fi-only and Wi-Fi and cellular Minis in both black and white color schemes.