It would appear that the famous iPad Mini – famous before it’s even been confirmed – has a concrete date for its unveiling. And that date is October 17th, just two weeks time.
While the iPad Mini is still a matter of speculation, it’s almost certainly a device Apple has ready to roll, given the mass of reports we’ve heard over the last couple of months concerning the manufacture of the mini-tablet (not to mention leaked pics).
And now, another source has chimed in – Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt – whose comments regarding when the press invites for Apple’s launch event will be going out were highlighted by NBC News.
Apparently the press will be receiving invites to the iPad Mini launch (no doubt the usually cryptically worded ones) in a week’s time, with the event the following week, as we’ve mentioned.
The actual ship date for the iPad Mini would be the following Friday after the unveiling, namely October 26th, at least in the US. Which – the more date-savvy among you may realise – just happens to be the day of the launch of Windows 8 and Microsoft’s Surface tablet.
And if this is true, that’s a bit of a nasty low-blow from Apple, a company which traditionally draws all the press attention when it’s unveiling a new gadget.
With the iPad Mini, we know that it’s reasonably likely to be a 7.8 inch slate – or a close to 8 inch model. This is likely because Apple has traditionally taken pot-shots at the much-smaller-than-the-iPad 7 inch models such as the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7.
Leaked pics also confirm this display size, as we reported here. The slate will likely have the same new Lightning connector as the iPhone 5.
Price is the biggest issue of all, and whether Apple is going to truly take a stab at the budget tablet market, which after all, would seem to be the point of a smaller iPad, which is cheaper to produce.
However, with the Nexus 7 pitched at £159, that’s a pretty low-end price tag – and Apple traditionally doesn’t sell anything without a hefty profit margin.
A lot will probably depend on what sort of display the iPad Mini is graced with – some reckon a more basic 1024 x 768 affair, which would keep the price down somewhat. Others are talking retina displays, which wouldn’t.
We shall find out (hopefully) in a fortnight’s time.