iPad Mini tipped for launch on 23 October

Rumours suggest Apple is on course to unveil a new addition to the iPad family later this month.

Trio of iPads

Consumer electronics giant Apple is expected to unveil a smaller version of the iPad on 23 October, sources have indicated.

Wall Street market watchers predicted months ago that Apple was planning a smaller and cheaper version of the device, a move that analysts say might hurt the vendor's margins, but would prevent its rivals from dominating an increasingly important computing segment.

The source did not specify what the product would be and an Apple spokesman declined to comment. However, tech blog AllThingsD reported on Friday that Apple would launch the mini iPad at the event. The device is expected by many experts to have a screen size of seven to eight inches.

The 7.85-inch iPad Mini fit our hands like a glove.

A smaller iPad will directly compete with Amazon's Kindle Fire HD tablet and Google's Nexus 7. Both devices have 7-inch screens and sell for $199. The first Kindle Fire, launched last year, grabbed about a fifth of the US. tablet market.

The Nexus 7 has also seen a successful start, with the tablet selling out soon after launch.

One Wall Street analyst claims to have seen the smaller tablet, dubbed iPad mini by the media, while visiting component suppliers in Asia.

"We actually had the opportunity to play with a pilot iPad Mini used by one of the vendors," Topeka Capital analyst Brian White said. "This 7.85-inch iPad Mini fit our hands like a glove and we were easily able to tuck the device in our sport coat, offering consumers a more mobile iPad experience for certain use cases."

Small risk

A mini version of the iPad marks a departure for the company that now has just one 9.7-inch iPad, although it does come with various storage options and starts at $499.

Late Apple founder Steve Jobs famously derided the 7-inch screen as unwieldy for tablet applications, saying the devices should come with sandpaper so that users can file down their fingers to use them.

But an internal email revealed during the patent trial showed that internet chief Eddy Cue argued there was a market for a 7-inch tablet and that Apple should have one. The email, sent in early 2011 to top Apple executives, said Jobs had warmed up to the idea.

Struggling Silicon Valley technology icon HP was among the first to show, albeit unwittingly, that there was indeed a healthy market for cheap tablets. Sales of the TouchPad took off after the company slashed the price to $99 from $399 and $499 after deciding to kill the product.

Featured Resources

Humility in AI: Building trustworthy and ethical AI systems

How humble AI can help safeguard your business

Download now

Future of video conferencing

Optimising video conferencing features to achieve business goals

Download now

Leadership compass: Privileged Access Management

Securing privileged accounts in a high-risk environment

Download now

Why you need to include the cloud in your disaster recovery plan

Preserving data for business success

Download now

Recommended

AWS’ new S3 Storage Lens gives an in-depth view of cloud storage
Amazon Web Services (AWS)

AWS’ new S3 Storage Lens gives an in-depth view of cloud storage

19 Nov 2020
IT Pro Panel: The state of cloud infrastructure
cloud computing

IT Pro Panel: The state of cloud infrastructure

26 Oct 2020
News publishers challenge Apple over revenue sharing
communications

News publishers challenge Apple over revenue sharing

21 Aug 2020
Amazon bucks remote working trend with office expansion plan
Business strategy

Amazon bucks remote working trend with office expansion plan

19 Aug 2020

Most Popular

Samsung Galaxy Note might be discontinued in 2021
Mobile Phones

Samsung Galaxy Note might be discontinued in 2021

1 Dec 2020
Microsoft Teams no longer works on Internet Explorer
Microsoft Office

Microsoft Teams no longer works on Internet Explorer

30 Nov 2020
Sopra Steria cyber attack costs to hit €50 million
Security

Sopra Steria cyber attack costs to hit €50 million

26 Nov 2020