As expected, Apple unveiled the iPad mini at an event yesterday and initial reaction appears to be positive. I’ll withhold my own opinions until I’ve at least given you the full spec and pricing.
iPad mini Specifications
- Display: 7.9 inches – 23% thinner than the new iPad; 1024×768 resolution
- Weight: 0.68 lbs – 53% lighter than the new iPad
- Height: 7.78 inches
- Width: 5.3 inches
- Depth: 0.28 inches
- Camera: 5mp
- Video: 1080p HD recording
- WiFi and Cellular versions
- Lightning Connector
So basically, it’s an iPad. Just smaller. How have Apple achieved this? Essentially they’ve used iPhone 4S parts and whittled them down, including the dual-core A5 processor and they’ve reduced the width of the bevels significantly.
iPad mini Pricing
- 16GB – £269
- 32GB – £349
- 64GB – £429
WiFi & Cellular
- 16GB – £369
- 32GB – £449
- 64GB – £529
The 16GB WiFi only is pretty competitive at first glance but it feels like the top of the range WiFi and cellular 64GB version is priced so high you might as well go get the full size iPad.
iPad mini versus…what?
At the launch event Phil Schiller lined up the iPad mini and pitched it in direct competition with the Nexus 7. Alright, let’s look at that.
The 16GB, WiFi only top end Nexus 7 costs £199. The equivalent iPad mini costs £70 more. Apple are no doubt betting that, as they always have, consumers will pay more for better quality. It’s a bet they’ll win, of course.
But where does that leave the rest of the range? You could argue that the WiFi only 32GB and 64GB models are something the competition just doesn’t have and so Apple can afford to charge a premium for them, which is fine, but it doesn’t really put them in direct competition with the Nexus 7 or any other similarly sized tablet. The 32GB Kindle Fire is a massive £150 cheaper than the iPad mini and Google doesn’t have a 7″ tablet above 16GB. There is no competition or they’re seriously undercut.
Then we come to the WiFi and cellular versions which are not cheap…and don’t have any real competition. And if there’s no competition, why do they even exist? Is there a market for this when the new iPad exists?
The 64GB WiFi and cellular iPad mini is £130 cheaper than it’s equivalent big brother. Apple is basically pitching it against its own products, which just seems like madness. Given the choice between the iPad mini and the iPad with the same specs, I’m willing to bet big that the majority will go for the lighter, easier to handle and cheaper mini. It’s just common sense. So either Apple fucked up by producing the new iPad, or they’ve fucked up producing the iPad mini (at least in such a wide range of specs).
For me, Apple should have left out the 64GB versions and priced the others about £50 cheaper. That would have made sense. This just does not.
What would Steve Jobs have made of the iPad mini? Well, we don’t have to guess. He said it was good for nothing “besides surfing the web in the bathroom”.