So, as you know, the rumored iPad mini was finally revealed this week. About a month back, I predicted the five things that were going to be featured in the device. Let’s take a look back at what I got right and wrong about the iPad mini.
What I completely missed
I completely missed the iPad mini’s price and internal chip. Speculation and the market for seven inch tablets suggested that the iPad mini would be anywhere in the $249 – $299 range, but Apple really surprised us by pricing the device at $329. Just days before a rumor appeared saying that the device would be priced at $329, but it was really hard to believe. I predicted the price to be $299, but suggested that it may be offered at $249. Apple isn’t feeling the competition and doesn’t want to compete in the “cheap” tablet market by selling them at a loss. During Apple’s earnings call this week, Apple CFO Pete Oppenheimer revealed that even at $329 the iPad mini has a substantially lower product margins as a whole.
In addition, I thought the iPad mini would feature an A5X chip due to the third generation iPad having one, but instead Apple used the same A5 chip used in the iPad 2. It seems that the A5X chip was the odd man out all along.
What I got right
This did happen. Apple ended up putting a 7.9 display, but also added a nice touch to it. It runs existing iPad apps seamlessly out of the box and the screen has the same aspect ratio and resolution as the iPad 2. I feared apps would have to be remade from scratch specifically for the iPad mini, but I’m glad this didn’t end up being the case.
No Retina Display
Oh boy, was I bummed out about this. A Retina display in an iPad mini would have been killer feature, but this didn’t happen. Apple probably did this in order to keep costs down and a reasonable profit margin. Unlike majority of its competitors, Apple is actually making money on hardware. I know! What a concept!
iPad mini featuring 4G/LTE was inevitable. We have quickly transitioned from 3G network technology to 4G/LTE networks. In order to market it as the perfect on the go tablet, supporting a technology any other than 4G/LTE would not have made sense.
Called it. The iPad mini is as thin as a pencil, weighs just 0.68 pounds, and features a 9 pin Lightning connector. Besides a new type of color styling, the device looks very similar to an iPad. Apple also eliminated a lot of bezel for the best iPad mini experience possible and to added some software logic to avoid accidental touches. With every major new Apple product introduction, it seems that their products just get thinner and lighter. It’s Moore’s law at its best.
FaceTime + Siri:
FaceTime and Siri went from being an exclusive feature on only certain iOS devices to making its way to every latest device. It has also improved over the years from just FaceTime to FaceTime HD. Interestingly, the FaceTime camera has also be renamed to “iSight.” Surprisingly, the iPad 2 still doesn’t offer Siri though.
So, there you have it folks. An entire new line up for iPad, which will progress over time. I predict a little under 6 million iPad minis will be sold by the end of this year, and the number would be much higher if it wasn’t a challenge meeting demand. Overall, the iPad mini is not revolutionary, but it is an even further step into the “post-PC era.”