Apple's last event was entirely dedicated to the iPhone 5, but once that was done and over, rumors quickly turned to an eventual "iPad Mini" release. Citing the usual unnamed sources, several sites have been putting together the pieces of what could be a 7-inch version of the ubiquitous tablet, possibly slated for launch next October 23rd.
The most logical step would be for Apple to target the Kindle Fire tablets and other Android competitors, such as the Nexus 7, which as far as tablets go offer a whole lot of convenience for less than half of what the base iPad currently sells for. Perhaps just as important, Windows RT tablets will start to pop up along with Windows 8 by the end of this month, although at less attractive prices.
Current iPad Mini rumors point to a 7.85-inch device that would be sold in several configurations, Wi-Fi and models with cellular connectivity, as well as internal memory ranging from 8GB to 64GB. The base model would be Wi-Fi only and carry 8GB of storage. Pricing for this device could be anything from $250 at the lowest point to $350 at the highest. Surely Apple wouldn't want to compromise its margins or cannibalize (original) iPad sales, so somewhere around $300 sounds most likely. On the opposing end, the 64GB iPad Mini with cellular wireless could sell for over $800.
It is also believed that Apple could introduce a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display at the same event. The laptop would sell at a premium like the current 15-inch MacBook Pro Retina, carry a high resolution 2560 x 1600 screen, while inheriting the new thinner unibody frame, come standard with a SSD and not offer the option of an optical drive.
Apple usually starts shipping products a week or so later after the announcements, so at the end of October or beginning of November could mark the actual release of both products. Once again, note the timing of the iPad Mini, just days before Windows 8's launch which is expected to have a marked focus on slates.
The Google Nexus 7 has the distinction of being the first device to run the Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" operating system. It measures 198.5mm x 120mm x 10.45mm in size, weighs 340g, and features a 7-inch IPS display that is protected by scratch-resistant glass. The Nexus sports a 1280 x 800 pixel display. It runs a quad-core Tegra 3 processor and 1GB of RAM, it also comes in 2 versions: 8GB and 16GB capacities.
The Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display is equipped with a third generation Intel Core i7 processor clocked at 2.3GHz, 8GB of DDR3L 1600MHz RAM, 256GB of flash storage, Intel HD 4000 Graphics, a discrete Nvidia GeForce GT 650M GPU with 1GB of GDDR5 memory and a built-in FaceTime HD camera. It sports a SDXC card reader, HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports, MagSafe 2 power connector and a dual Thunderbolt ports.
The Apple iPad (3rd-gen) includes a Retina Display operating at a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536. Powering the new iPad is a dual-core A5X processor with quad-core graphics, it also gets upgraded optics in the form of a 5MP backside illuminated sensor that features a 5-element lens, IR filter and ISP built into the A5X chip. Apple claims The new iPad is good for 10 hours of battery life and nine hours when using 4G LTE.
Amazon sent a wave crashing through the mobile industry when it announced its Kindle Fire would land with a price of $199. This is likely the best value in a tablet on the market, and will make tablet computing accessible to many people that either couldn't afford an iPad or couldn't tolerate Honeycomb tablets.
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