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Apple iPad Mini: Rumour round-up, release date, news and features

Apple has sent out an invite for an event taking place today on October 23 and as we reported earlier, the event will also be live streamed on Apple TV. The invite states “we’ve got a little more to show you” – which we’re assuming refers to the iPad mini.

We’ll be at the event, covering all the announcements live when it kicks off at 10:00 PST / 18:00 GMT on our iPad mini launch live blog, and we’ll be posting links and summaries of all the key stories.

» iPad Mini live blog here

In the meantime, why not read on for the rumours we’ve reported on leading up to today’s event!

iPad Mini: Design & Build

The new iPad has been and gone, sporting a chunkier and heavier build than the iPad 2, which left some wondering: what’s with all the extra weight?

However, it looks like Apple may be about to aid those conscious of extra grams in their bags, as rumours hot up about a potential iPad Mini (or iPad nano, if you prefer) as the Amazon Kindle Fire, Google Nexus 7 and Nook HD steal the budget tablet show.

TechRadar’s video team has pulled together all the rumours below and created a 3D render of what the iPad Mini could look like.

iPad Mini: Release Date

Update: And this is a big one folks – Apple has sent out an invite for an event on October 23. The invite states “we’ve got a little more to show you” – which we’re assuming refers to the iPad Mini.

The iPad Mini release date is still a big unknown, as Apple has not given any indication that it is working on a smaller form of its popular tablet.

Rumours seem to suggest the iPad Mini release date will be before Christmas, with analyst Shaw Wu saying the “exact timing” for an iPad mini release date “is difficult to predict”, but its launch is a “question of when, not if.”

There was speculation that we’d see the iPad Nano at WWDC in June, but no mini iPad appeared and rumours claiming we’d see Apple take to the stage on September 12 to show off the tablet alongside the iPhone 5, also turned out to be false.

October seems to currently be the most likely month for the iPad Mini release date, with the date being mooted by an AllThingsD source, while another report claimed the iPad Nano launch event would be on October 10, with the iPad Mini release date set for October 17.

Clearly October 10 was also incorrect and the date now on everybody’s lips is October 23, where various sources suggest Apple will hold a special event for the iPad Mini – and this has now been confirmed after Apple sent out an invite.

Further rumours say we could see the iPad Mini release date just three days later on October 26.

Alternatively… the iPad Mini release date may be pushed back until November, because manufacturing issues has led to delays in tablet production – with Apple apparently having ordered 10 million of the pint-sized slates.

The November date seems the most likely, giving Apple ample time to get the iPad mini launch right – although this is still at the ‘whispers’ stage.

iPad Mini: Display

As the name suggests, we’re looking at an iPad that will be sporting a screen smaller than the stock 9.7-inch display found on the first three Apple tablets.

In February a Wall Street Journal source, from an Apple component supplier, ‘confirmed’ it was testing a screen of about eight inches for Apple, with a similar resolution to the iPad 2 – this has been backed up by Bloomberg’s sources who said it will not have the Retina Display featured on the new iPad.

Digitimes reported that the new iPad Mini would come with a 7.85-inch display – a tad bigger than the 7-inch screen found on the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7, and this screen size was confirmed by other sources “with knowledge of the project”, while industry sources have also come out in favour of the 7.85-inch dimension – and a recent leaked picture onec again showing the 7.85-inch screen.

Apparently Apple is using displays from AU Optronics Corp. and LG Display Co. for its highly anticipated mini tablet and there’s a notion that the new iPad Nano will have a 16:9 display, eschewing the 4:3 option of its bigger brother and falling into line with the iPhone 5.

iPad Mini: Price

Apple is known for its extravagant products, launch events and pricing policies, but the iPad Nano may herald a new era for those who long for an Apple device, but simply can’t part with an arm and a leg to buy one.

With the reasoning behind a smaller tablet being to compete with the likes of the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire at the lower end of the market, we expect the iPad Mini price to be competitive against its super-cheap competition.

The New York Times spoke to people “with knowledge of the project”, who claim the iPad Mini will be significantly cheaper than the iPad, while analyst Brian White reckons the iPad Mini price will be between $250 and $300.

A Digitimes source predicts the iPad Mini price could be sub £200 ($249-$299), another reckons it will be between $200 and $250 and a third says it will cost $250-$350 (around £160-£230).

German site MobileGeeks claims to have a screenshot from an inventory system used in Europe and Asia showing the iPad Mini price in Euros – apparently the tablet will start at €249 (around £200/$320/AU$310) for the 8GB version, rising all the way to €649 (around £522/$837/AU$820) for the 64GB Wi-Fi + 3G/4G model.

And another rumour has seemingly corroborated this, stating the smallest-capacity iPad Mini (probably 8GB) will sell for $329 in the US – that’s around £200 or AU$320, give or take a bit of tax.

Interestingly, the smallest-capacity iPad Mini is the only one expected to come with a cellular data connection (whether that’s 3G or 4G, we don’t know) so you cloud storage can pick up the slack.

The data-enabled iPad Mini is expected to set you back $459 (£286 or AU$445).

iPad Mini: Overview

Back in 2010, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that smaller screened tablets were not “sufficient to create great tablet apps” and would be “dead on arrival”, so the suggestion that a new iPad mini is in the works reveals a potentially new direction for the firm in its post-Jobs era.

There’s certainly a lot of chat surrounding the iPad Nano, so we’ve scooped it all up, mushed it all together and expelled it into a handy round up, allowing you to keep track of every twist and turn.

If you’re pressed for time then check out our iPad Mini rumour roundup video below.

According to analyst Ben A. Reitzes, the iPad Mini would not be a threat to Apple’s current domination with the new iPad, and is likely to be a favourite among gamers as well as educational institutes, particularly with the electronic textbooks introduced earlier this year.

And if you were ever wondering, will Apple really go with the iPad Mini name, an “Asian source” quoted by a Japanese site seems confident that yes, it really will be called the iPad Mini. Wow.

Of course there’s always the chance it won’t be, with iPad Nano another naming contender for Apple’s smaller slate.

iPad Mini features

To help keep the cost of the iPad Mini down, one source reckons it will ship with just 8GB of internal storage – the same amount as the Amazon Kindle Fire and the smaller Google Nexus 7.

Macotakara cites an unknown source, claiming the iPad Mini features a body which is just 7.2mm thick and would come with 3G functionality.

However UK newspaper The Guardian suggests the iPad Nano will be Wi-Fi only, with Apple ditching the 3G/4G support we’ve seen in the new iPad.

Both rumours hold water, although recent SKUs from retailers suggest we’ll be getting 24 configurations, which would mean multiple storage sizes and both Wi-Fi and 3G models.

A leaked screenshot which made its way onto MobileGeeks apparently reveals more iPad Mini features, suggesting the tablet will come in 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions, with the option of Wi-Fi only and 3G/4G also thrown into the mix.

Plenty of pictures have appeared online claiming to reveal some of the iPad Mini features, from screen size and design, to battery size and dock connectors.

Here’s a little round up of some of the key iPad Mini pictures.

Some dodgy pictures claiming to show the back case of the iPad Nano reveal there may be no rear-facing camera at play.

iPad Mini LEAK

  • Credit: Sina Weibo

The image below also claims to show the rear case of the iPad Mini, and seems to disagree with the leak above as this one clearly has a camera hole in the top corner.

iPad Mini case LEAK

  • Credit: digi.163.com

Another set of iPad Mini image leaks, this time coming via a source in a Chinese factory who sent the snaps to UkrainianiPhone show the front and back panels of the tablet.

iPad Mini - LEAK

  • Credit: UkrainianiPhone

iPad Mini - LEAK

  • Credit: UkrainianiPhone

This image popped up on Twitter, showing off the iPad Nano next to its bigger brother – with a camera, lightning dock connector and black antenna cover all present.

iPad Mini - LEAK

  • Credit: 9to5Mac

New images suggest that the iPad Mini will sport a battery which is three times bigger than the iPhone 5′s and a third of the size of the new iPad’s power pack – clocking in at 4,490mAh.

iPad Mini battery - LEAK

iPad Mini: Accessories

Even though there’s been no official work from Apple on whether it’s even building a mini iPad, it hasn’t stopped third party manufacturers predicting the Cupertino firm’s intentions and producing cases for the tiny tablet.

One case which appeared online in China showed an additional hole in the back of the cover, prompting questions on what Apple may be adding to the back of the iPad Mini – possibly a rear-facing microphone?

iPad Mini: Round-up

If the Apple event scheduled for October 23 really is to show off the iPad Mini (which may be called the iPad Nano) you can expect TechRadar to have its hands on iPad Mini review up on the day of the announcement.

Our full, in-depth iPad Mini review will then likely follow about a week later, as the pint-sized tablet hits stores.

Here’s some more articles you might like:

Apple iPad Mini: Rumour round-up, release date, news and features

 


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