If you haven’t heard the latest Apple news then you’re not yet back from your visit to the International Space Station. Apple went crazy with another product announcement, and this time introduced the much anticipated iPad mini.
It’s an iPad but, well, you know, smaller than an iPad. If you love your iPad (and Apple says they’ve sold over 100-million) it’s already looking long in the tooth, and the pundits and prognosticators hate it.
Smaller, Thinner, Lighter, Cheaper, Hated
First things first. I love it. I want one. No. Maybe two. Maybe three. At a starting price of $329, the iPad mini is sure to fly off the shelves as Apple fanboi and fangrrl alike throw credit card balances to the wind.
Secondly, the iPad mini is mostly an iPad 2 (not the iPad 3 with Retina display) but smaller, thinner, lighter, much less expensive and ready to be fully scrutinized and vapidly criticized.
Scanning my Twitter feed I found complaints about the price. It’s just too expensive for some in the blogging community.
At $329, the iPad mini is much less than the $399 iPad 2, or the $499 iPad 3 (which is really an iPad 4), but still more than the Kindle Fire HD at $199, or the Google Nexus 7 at $249 (all three with 16GB of storage; but compare the specs, folks).
Wait. There’s more. Despite Apple’s best effort to make the iPad mini smaller, thinner, and lighter, battery life remains at about 10 hours.
The mini comes with dual cameras (FaceTime HD and iSight camera), a screen size the same in pixels as the iPad 2 (and larger than either the Kindle Fire or Nexus 7), Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, plus options for 3G and 4G LTE wireless connectivity.
What’s not to like?
Complaints abound. There’s no built-in SDXC card slot. There’s no standard micro USB connector. There’s no HDMI video connector. Where’s the quad-core CPU? Why is screen resolution and PPI (pixels per inch) less than Google’s Nexus 7 or Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD?
See? Tech media pundits and prognosticators have a laundry list of items that every tablet needs, and they’re rightfully miffed because Apple pays no attention to them and does what the company sees fit, and charges more for it anyway.
If only those 100-million iPad customers knew that other devices have a longer list of bullet point features. Alright, here’s the official mini bullet point list.
- 7.9-inch screen with 1024-by-768 resolution
- New aluminum glass enclosure
- 23% thinner than 4th gen iPad at 7.2mm thin
- 0.68 lbs (half the weight of the 4th gen iPad)
- Dual-core A5 chip
- FaceTime HD camera
- 5MP iSight camera on the back
- LTE wireless with 802.11a/b/g/n dual-band WiFi
- Lightning connector
- 10-hour battery life
- Comes in black and white models
- 16GB Wifi starts at $329
- Pre-orders start October 26th
- Wifi models available in stores Nov. 2nd. Wifi+4G available mid-November
Apple wasn’t content to simply dump a smaller iPad onto the world. Even the iPad 3 with Retina display received some love with a 720p FaceTime camera, a new A6X CPU for faster processing and better graphics (is it safe to call it iPad 4?).
Still, the complaints roll in. Why is the iPad mini so expensive? It’s way overpriced?Why is a refurbished iPad 3 less expensive than a new iPad 2? The screen isn’t 16:9 aspect ratio so no true HD. There’s no built-in keyboard cover like Microsoft’s Surface.
Bah humbug. All Apple did was make a smaller iPad 2 that’s more expensive than the competition. Isn’t that just like Apple to overprice everything?
What gives, people?
Just over two years ago, when Steve Jobs introduced the original iPad at $499, the collective pundits were impressed at the aggressive pricing strategy. There wasn’t much tablet competition back in those days. Today, those same pundits and critics now think $329 with better, faster, thinner everything is a dud. Gimme a break.
Let me do some predicting. By the end of next year, Apple will sell more iPad mini models than any other device, and collectively more iPads than all other tablet manufacturers combined.