The rumor mill is churning out rumor after rumor at full speed about Apple’s purported smaller iPad. Indeed, even some friends who do not follow the latest developments in the tech industry have asked me when the iPad Mini might come out.
That, of course, still isn’t clear even to us who religiously track updates in the industry. What also struck me though is that these friends knew there are rumors about a certain “iPad Mini”, the name the blogosphere has christened this rumored smaller Apple tablet with.
As such, let us compile here what is currently out there about the iPad Mini.
The most recent word out there is that Apple has ordered over 10 million iPad Minis to be made. That reportedly comes from Asian suppliers Apple have, The Wall Street Journal says. This report also notes that “strong consumer demand for Samsung…and Amazon’s 7-inch [tablet computers] show that there is demand for a smaller tablet.” That makes sense.
Because Apple will be competing with surprisingly affordable smaller tablets from Samsung, Amazon and Asus (remember the Google Nexus 7?), the specifications sheet for the iPad Mini will not be that great, reports say. “Apple may need to limit its features, storage space, or processor speed,” MacWorld says.
MacRumors adds that the iPad Mini may run on Apple’s cheaper A5 chip. Not that something is wrong with that. It is just that people should not be expecting an A6 chip powering this tablet.
As for the screen, it is rumored it will have a 7- to 8-inch display panel, says Bloomberg in the report which was one of the starters of the rumor. The current buzz suggest that the new tablet may have a 7.85-inch unit, as the New York Times suggested. This screen size was also noted in a report from Taiwan United Daily News from October of last year saying Samsung and AU Optronics have sent Apple prototypes of a display panel of that size.
As mentioned above, though, Apple will be keeping costs down so no Retina Display is expected for the iPad Mini. But wouldn’t it be a deal maker if Apple chose to make the iPad Mini with a Retina Display and still have a low price?
Meanwhile, just for the fun of it, if you are looking for the first report that mentions a 7-inch screen for the iPad, iLounge said way, way back in 2009 that the iPad actually started as a 7-inch tablet. Of course, there is also DigiTimes which has been at it since 2010. The publication, which has had quite a lot of things reported right (and a lot of things wrong too though), said in April of 2010 that Apple may launch an iPad Mini in 2011 that has a screen that measures 5 to 7 inches diagonally.
There’s CNET which chimed in on November 2010 saying “lot of original design manufacturer activity around a 7-inch iPad” and Reuters which said in December 2010 that an iPad “about half the size of the current tablet computer” is being prepared.
DigiTimes also said last year that Apple may launch a 7.85-inch iPad during the fourth quarter of this year, which is now. Back in February, The Wall Street Journal said “people familiar with the situation” have told them Apple is making an iPad that has an 8-inch.
As for the unveiling date, it was said back in August that the iPad Mini may be released in October. In fact, there was buzz then that Apple may unveil its new tablet together with the iPhone 5. Alas, that rumor proved to be wrong. The sites which reported about this were All Things Digital and Bloomberg. Rumors point to this month as the most likely time frame that Apple will launch the new tablet with a release date two weeks after the launch date.
As for pricing and definite specifications, those are still up in the air.
How do you want the iPad Mini, if it really is being developed by Apple? Tell us in the comments below.iPad Mini renderings from the talented Martin Hajek whose work you can see on Flickr here. This man previously got the iPhone 5 right and even managed to fool tech news sites, which he did not intend to do, into believing his renderings are really leaked photos of the iPhone 5.