Think Mini: a 7.85-inch iPad Likely on the Way

Today, Apple PR sent out a message inviting people to an event on October 23, where all evidence indicates they will announce the long-rumored iPad Mini (exact naming may vary). A smaller sized iPad, released right before the holiday shopping season would compete directly against cheaper tablets like the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7, while drawing attention away from Microsoft’s own tablet, called Surface, release.

Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs had a deep dislike for the crop of sub-10 inch tablets competitors were making, he famously said: “The current crop of 7-inch tablets [is] going to be DOA, dead on arrival. Their manufacturers will learn the painful lesson that their tablets are too small and increase the size next year, thereby abandoning both customers and developers who jumped on the 7-inch bandwagon with an orphan product…. The 7-inch tablets are tweeners, too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with an iPad.” While this didn’t exactly happen the way Jobs predicted, it has become more clear by the day that the iPad is a very different product than the smaller tablets made by competitors. And the best way to compete, is to make a direct competitor.

What do we know?

The first report with any validity came from the Wall Street Journal‘s Lorraine Luk, who said Apple was testing a smaller iPad with a screen size of about 8 inches. This story was corroborated by Daring Fireball‘s John Gruber two months later. He said Apple had been testing a 7.85-inch iPad prototype but didn’t say whether or not it was intended to become a product—Apple tests many different versions of different products. In later months, these claims were backed up by Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and All Things D.

With all their reputations on the line, we know we’re looking at a 7.85-inch screen iPad.

To help understand what a 7.85-inch screen looks like compared to other offerings, twitter user Trojan Kitten made a chart showing how the 7.85-inch screen is effectively 40 percent larger than 7-inch competitors (it has to do with surface area).This speculation accounts for a 4 by 3, 1024 x 768 screen similar to the iPad 1 and 2. This would be a 163 pixel per inch screen similar to the iPhone’s pre-retina display days. However, the screens for an iPad Mini could be cut from the slabs used on the iPhone 4S and Forth generation iPod Touch, however the performance setbacks from a retina display would likely drive the price way above $200-$250 and plague the device with batter issues.

We can assume a retina display won’t make it in this version of the device.

Hardware leaks from Ukrainian iPhone suggest a design more similar to an enlarged iPhone or iPod touch and less like a minimized iPad, giving it a more narrow bezel on the left and right sides of the device. French website Nowhere Else backs up this claim with a complete mock-up of the device, showing a flat and geometric back, Lighting port connector, front and back-facing cameras and thinner size bezels.

We can assume Lightning port connector, front and rear-facing cameras, ultra-thin geometric design.

What’s harder to peg down is an exact cost. The New York Times reported it to be “significantly less than the latest $499 iPad.” Significantly less would be about half, and at $250, it can directly compete with the $199 Amazon Kindle Fire and Google Nexus 7.

We can assume between $199 and $399 (current cost of iPad 2) with it leaning closer to $250.


The Wall Street Journal
The New York Times
All Things D
Twitter, Trojan Kitten
Ukrainian iPhone
Nowhere Else

  • Delaware payday loan

    Looking Fantastic.

Commentary Ticker

  • Google Glass Lets You Take Photos With Your Brain
    July 12, 2014 | 4:02 pm

    If you haven’t heard, electroencephalograms (EEGs) have been getting better. Way better. Artificial limbs and even video game controllers are utilizing the non-invasive brain-wave monitoring method to guide computers by thought. Now English startup This Place has developed a way to bring the technology to Google Glass, allowing Google’s wearable to read your mind. Well, […]

  • Android Art: The Accidental Selfies of Google Art Project
    July 5, 2014 | 11:11 am

    Within the cultural centers of the world lurks a mechanical beast draped in silver spinning madly and capturing everything, sometimes even itself. In 2011 Google created the Art Project, an initiative to bring their Street View technology inside the cultural epicenters of the world. Google enlisted 17 world-class museums in short time. Institutions such as […]

  • Purple Mountunes Majesty: The Most Patriotic Playlist
    July 4, 2014 | 12:13 pm

    A while ago, Paul Lamere of The Echo Nest, a music-analysis company, took to finding each state’s most distinctive, yet popular, artist in a viral article. Spotify took note, purchasing Echo Nest for their analytical talent. Together, they’ve released a blog post documenting each state’s most distinctively American song creating a patriotic playlist for the […]

  • Emojinealogy: Where the Heck Emojis Come From
    July 2, 2014 | 3:10 pm

    On June 16th, the Unicode Consortium announced that 250 new emoji would be added to the list of symbols available to people’s cellphones and computer devices. The list of the new symbols can be found on Emojipedia. And no, the list doesn’t include the much needed minority representation, but it does include your favorite (?) […]

  • The Decline and Fall of the American Mall
    June 24, 2014 | 9:07 pm

    For ages, the shopping mall was as essential to the architecture of suburbia as Levittowns and freeways. But in an era of online shopping, these epicenters of brick and mortar yesteryear are quietly being abandoned across the country. While the U.S. currently has around 1,500, the number may soon shrink, and rapidly, leading to abandoned […]

  • RSSArchive for Commentary Ticker »

Join our mailing list!

Trending on The Airspace