Report: iPad Mini to debut in October

Steven Loeb · August 25, 2012 · Short URL:

Apple to stagger events for iPhone 5 and iPad Mini to get maximum exposure for each device

If you’ve just become the most valuable U.S. company ever, and you’ve got two products you know fanboys just can’t wait to get their hands on: do you A) release them both at around the same time, or B) drag this thing out as long as you can, build up anticipation even more and separate them into two huge events instead of one?

It’s kind of a no-brainer, honestly.

Despite some previous speculation that both the iPhone 5 and the iPad Mini would both be released in September, debuting with in a week or so of each other, or perhaps even at the same time, a report from AllThingsD on Saturday is now saying that the iPad Mini will actually be released in October.

The report cites anonymous sources, and was not confirmed by Apple.

If this report is true, then the iPhone 5 will likely be debuting on September 12, and the iPad will not debut until the new iPhone is on the market.

New device specs

The iPad mini will likely have a seven or eight inch screen and is expected to sell for $200 to $300, which would be a major blow to other tablet retailers, who consistently relied on providing a cheaper alternative to Apple products.

In comparison, the new iPad released earlier this year costs from $499 to $829.

The new iPhone is rumored to have both a larger screen, and a thinner body, than previous iPhone models. It will supposedly have a four-inch, 16:9 screen, and a smaller dock connector.

This will be Apple’s first redesign of the popular smartphone since 2010’s release of the iPhone 4. It was widely speculated that the iPhone 5 would be released last year, but the company decided to go with a retooled version of the iPhone 4 instead, named the iPhone 4S.

By staggering the releases of these devices, Apple is making sure that each one gets the attention it needs, without diminishing either one.

Not that they have much to worry about, considering how popular Apple products are, and how they dominate the market.

In June, the International Data Corporation increased its tablet sales forecasts for this year, and 2013 as well. Predictions were boosted by strong sales predictions for the back half of 2012 based on the sales of Apple’s new iPad released earlier in the year, and on rumors of the iPad Mini.

"After a very strong launch of new products in March, Apple's iPad shows few signs of slowing down,"  Tom Mainelli, research director, Mobile Connected Devices at IDC, said in the report.

"The addition of the Retina Display and 4G capabilities to the third-generation products clearly enticed many current owners to upgrade. And Apple's decision to keep two iPad 2s in the market at lower prices—moving the entry-level price down to $399—seems to be paying off as well. If Apple launches a sub-$300, 7-inch product into the market later this year as rumored, we expect the company’s grip on this market to become even stronger."

The IDC  predicts that iOS sales will be 62.5% of the market in 2012, up from 58.2% in 2011.

report by Changewave in July found that, out of 4,000 people surveyed, nearly a third, 31%, said that likely to buy an iPhone 5.

What would Steve Jobs say?

Of course, not everyone loves the idea of a smaller iPad. And one especially important person famously hated the idea of a smaller iPad so much so that he called the idea of a seven-inch iPad “dead on arrival.”

“7-inch tablets are tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with the iPad,” Steve Jobs said in an earnings call in October 2010, almost one year exactly before his death.

Increasing the resolution of the display to make up for the smaller size would be "meaningless, unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of the present size,” Jobs said.

Apple could not be reached for comment

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