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Round Two: Apple’s October Event

Right after announcing two iPhones during yesterday’s September event, Apple is gearing up for another major event in late October, according to our sources. Apple is preparing to unveil a full slate of updated devices on October 22, right before the holiday rush begins.

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Apple Announces Fourth-Generation iPad & iPad Mini

Blowing the minds of the press, Apple has announced the fourth-generation iPad, along with the expected iPad Mini. New to the fourth generation iPad is the A6X processor, Lighting port, faster wi-fi, FaceTime HD camera, and better LTE. Apple also unveiled the iPad Mini, a  7.2mm thin tablet, weighing in at a minuscule 0.68lbs, with a 7.9-inch display, and a resolution of 1024 x 768. The iPad Mini  also includes the A5 processor, LTE, Lightning port, and the familiar 10-hour battery life. The iPad Mini comes in white & silver and black & slate.

The iPad Mini starts at $329, while the fourth generation iPad starts at $500. Pre-orders start on Friday, and the wi-fi versions ship on November 2nd, with the wifi + cellular shipping two weeks after that, 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..

SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–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 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 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 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.

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It’s Official: Apple Schedules Media Event for October 23rd

Image Credit: Engadget

Apple has just sent out invites to an October 23rd media event, following recent reports of an imminent “iPad mini” unveiling. The invitation hints that the iPad mini will indeed be the subject of the event, teasing, “We’ve got a little more to show you”.

According to The Loop, the event will take place at the California Theatre in San Jose at 10AM PST.

The iPad mini is rumoured to have a 7.85-inch display, making it smaller than the current 9.7-inch iPad, yet bigger than most popular 7-inch class tablets such as the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire. Recent SKU leaks have indicated that a whopping 24 new iPad models will be released, which may be a combination of the iPad mini and an updated iPad 3 with Lightning connector.

Apple is also expected to unveil some new Macs at next week’s event. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display will finally make its debut, joining the larger 15-inch version that launched in June. An updated iMac with a thinner, ‘tear drop’ design is also expected, as is a minor Mac mini upgrade.

Source: The Loop, 9to5Mac [2], Macworld

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All signs point to October 23rd unveiling for Apple’s “iPad mini”

Mockup via. 9to5Mac, Martin Hajek

The iPad mini hype train is rolling full-steam ahead, as AllThingsD’s John Paczkowski reports this morning that Apple will unveil the new, smaller tablet on October 23rd. Previous rumours had originally pegged the event for October 17th, with press expecting invites to go out earlier this week. The invites, however, never arrived – a classic case of rumour gone wild.

This latest rumour seems to have a bit more weight behind it. AllThingsD has a pretty good track record when it comes to Apple event dates, and The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple has already given the October 23rd date his customary “Yep” seal of approval.

Paczkowski speculates that the event will be held at Apple’s Town Hall auditorium at 1 Infinite Loop. A smaller, more intimate event makes sense in this case, given that Apple held a major Fall media event just a few weeks ago, and the iPad mini is expected to be simply a smaller version of the existing iPad.

If you’ve been holding out for a smaller tablet from Apple, you can go ahead and circle October 23rd on your calendar!

Source: AllThingsD, The Loop

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Purported iPad Mini Design Shown in Photos

Leaked photos depicting the purported iPad Mini originally published by Chinese blog DGlte.com, and subsequently picked up today by French blog Nowhereelse.fr, have made their way around the blogosphere. While not guaranteed, this appears to be a mockup built with leaked design specifications of the rumored 7.85″ tablet. Accessory makers do have a good history of getting iOS device designs specifications before they are announced. Bloomberg has reported that the smaller tablet will be unveiled in October. More photos are below.

Source: Nowhereelse.fr, via BGR

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Tablets in Grade School: Why Apple Should Launch a Smaller iPad

Let’s get one thing perfectly clear from the beginning—despite speculation and rumors to the contrary, Apple could not have released a smaller iPad this year. The iPad line is still too new for Apple to split it in half and keep profits high. The production of a smaller tablet would have required that Apple retool their entire supply chain and give up tremendous economies of scale, sacrificing high margins to produce a new product that would cannibalize sales of the ten inch iPad.

But next year is a different year. By then the iPad will have reached its fourth birthday and competition from mobile phone and laptop vendors will be at a fever pitch. Window 8 will be on store shelves and Android 5.0 Jelly Bean will have been made available to vendors. Amazon’s second or third Kindle Fire will be up for sale, likely alongside a larger sibling, and Samsung will have had a chance to refine their tablet offerings and create a truly compelling S Pen. Much of the field will, like it already does, rely on smaller form factor tablets to clearly differentiate themselves from the new iPad. The launch of an Apple branded Lilliputian tablet would squash the development of Android market share while heading off a resurgence of the Microsoft brand. Small tablets are the most successful iPad challengers, but a smaller Apple tablet could easily destroy its burgeoning rivals.

Nevertheless, competitor offerings alone are not enough to justify a bifurcation of the iPad form factor. Apple is not a company that releases products just to be in the same space as other manufacturers. Apple never released a netbook, they pulled out of printers when they were most profitable, and they never made a serious play for the enterprise. Apple’s astounding success has come from it’s uncanny ability to see opportunity in the failings of other technology companies and respond to them with original hardware coupled to wonderful software. The iPad was a response to Microsoft’s attempts to slam Windows into a new market, the iPod was a response to terrible music players, the iPhone was a reply to crappy smartphones, and the MacBook Air was a rebuttal of Atom powered netbooks. Apple only introduces a new gizmo when it is absolutely certain it can innovate successfully while growing its share of the industry’s profits. Apple has already answered the call for a computer platform that moves beyond the PC; simply making it smaller would seem to do little to address an unmet market need.

But Apple has already told Wall Street what need it wants to meet. The education business is based on decaying models ripe for real disruption, and Apple wants to be the agent of change. In January, Apple held a large press conference for what seemed to be a relatively minor announcement—an iTunes category for textbooks, a WYSIWYG e-book creator, and a new version of iBooks. The products unveiled were not especially important, but Apple’s articulation of its vision for the future was. Tim Cook wants Apple to be the dominant player in classroom technology. The iPad, Apple’s post-PC success darling, was the star of the show. Students were shown flipping through pages of text, looking at diagrams, and playing videos without ever having to turn on a Mac or open a book. What was a little strange, though, was the age of the students Apple used to showcase its products. Apple chose not focus on colleges, or even high schools, where the high price of textbooks makes iBooks an easy sell and an obvious fit. Instead, Apple decided to pitch iBooks for grade schools and middle schools, and did its best to show how iPads for all could change the face of the primary schoolhouse.

The problem Apple failed to acknowledge at the event was not one of software, but of hardware. Children love using iPads, but its size gets in the way. When adults and teenagers hold an iPad, or any other ten inch tablet, there’s an easy intimacy that defines the relationship. The iPad strikes a wonderful balance between a larger screen size, better for productivity, and a smaller size that’s easier to handle and carry around. When you give a smaller child an iPad that careful balance is immediately disrupted. An awkwardness is present that is never seen when adults play with a tablet. Children’s iPads are left propped up or prone, they are almost never held in the hands for extended periods of time. The iPad’s 9.7 inches, so perfect for adults, are just too much for kids. If Apple is as serious about selling iPads to schools as they say they are they will need to introduce a miniature tablet, one small enough to not intimidate younger learners or interfere with their digital education. With the iPad 2 and iBooks they already have the price point and the software, now all they need is the form factor.

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