The iPad Mini is real, and it’s coming soon — but don’t expect it to debut along side the new iPhone. According to John Paczkowski at AllThingsD, Apple plans to launch it smaller tablet at an even in October. The report is based on information from anonymous sources (of course), but currently stands as the most reliable bit of information we have about Apple’s plans for a smaller iPad.
Prior to Paczkowski’s report, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, long considered an expert on all things Apple, speculated that Apple would not debut the iPad Mini along side the new iPhone, as previous reports stated it would.
“I don’t think Apple would want reviews of both a new iPhone and new-size iPad appearing at the same time. Why share the spotlight? Why have another Apple product battling with the iPhone for the top spots in news coverage?” writes Gruber. Instead, he says, “it makes more sense for Apple to hold two events.”
The new iPhone is expected to debut at an event on September 12 — few doubt this will happen. The sixth-generation iPhone will reportedly then be released to consumers on Sept. 21. Once all the reviews of the new iPhone are out, says Gruber, Apple will hold its traditional music-focused event in October, and that is where the iPad Mini will make its big reveal.
Paczkowski’s report essentially “confirms” Gruber’s informed speculation.
The iPad Mini (or whatever it will be called) is expected to sport a 7.85-inch touchscreen and look similar to the full-size, 9.7-inch iPad, but with thinner side bezels, like that found on the iPhone 4/4S. We don’t know much about its internal hardware at this point, but few believe it will be as powerful as the current iPad. This is mostly due to price factors: Many believe (or hope, as the case may be) that the iPad Mini will clock in at around $200 to $250 — the same price as the excellent Google Nexus 7 tablet, and the Amazon Kindle Fire. We’ll see. Fortunately, it looks like we’ll only have to wait until October to find out.