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New Apple iPad Mini – Release date, news and rumours

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) arriving later this year.

As the Amazon Kindle Fire steals the budget tablet show and with more small, cheap tablets on the horizon, such as the Google Nexus tablet, Apple may well want a bite of the, well, apple.

A new direction for Apple?

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 rumours suggesting a new iPad mini is in the works reveals a potentially new direction for the firm in its post-Jobs era.

Believe it or not, there’s certainly a lot of chat surrounding the iPad mini, 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.

Apple is known for its extravagant products, launch events and pricing policies, however the iPad mini 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.

It’s thought that Apple’s idea behind the iPad nano is to tackle the budget end of the which, where the Amazon Kindle Fire is currently king, and a Digitimes source predicts it could land with a very reasonable sub £200 ($249-$299) price tag.

Update: Could the iPad Mini be a super cheap tablet contender? It can according to one source, who claims it will land with a price tag between $200 and $250 (around £150) – we certainly hope this turns out to be true!

Update: Those famous “various analysts” and “industry sources” have spoken out again, confirming that the iPad Mini should arrive on the market for $249-$299 (around £159-£190).

New iPad mini display

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

In February we saw a report from the Wall Street Journal claiming a source from an Apple component supplier had confirmed it was testing a smaller screen for Apple, in the region of 8-inches with a similar resolution to the iPad 2.

At the start of March, Digitimes reported that the new iPad mini would actually come with a 7.85-inch display – a tad bigger than the 7-inch screen found on the Kindle Fire.

April saw Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu reveal that Apple had been testing devices with screens ranging from 4 to 12-inches and highlighted that the 7.85-inch format would be most likely “when, not if” the iPad mini is launched.

Wu also predicted the iPad nano would sport the same resolution as the original iPad and iPad 2, at 1,024 x 768 – meaning developers wouldn’t have to tweak their apps.

Update: According to an iMore source, the mini iPad will sport a 7-inch screen with the same retina display as the iPhone 4S and new iPad.

Update: The 7.85-inch screen rumour gets ever stronger as industry sources claim the iPad Mini will sport IGZO display panels, which are capable of delivering a retina-quality display.

Update: According to Bloomberg’s sources, the iPad Mini will not arrive packing the Retina Display featured on the new iPad 3.

Other specs

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.

New iPad mini release date, news and rumours

New iPad mini early verdict

Well, we’re still unsure whether Apple will go down the iPad mini route. Steve Jobs made his stance on smaller tablets quite clear and it would be a daring move by the Cupertino-firm to go against its popular former boss.

The budget tablet market is one which is definitely growing, and one which Apple is currently not part of, so it won’t be too much of a surprise if the firm does decide to go down this route.

We’d love to see a new iPad mini come to market, as it would certainly give Amazon and co a run for their money… plus it would be intriguing to see what Apple would do with the smaller format.

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New Apple iPad Mini - Release date, news and rumours

 


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