Apple rocks tech world again with iPad minion October 23, 2012 @ 10:48 am (Updated: 12:45 pm - 10/23/12 )
Check the specs
"It's as light as a pad of paper," said Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller.
The tablet features the same resolution as the iPad 2. It runs on an Apple A5 chip and features a Facetime HD camera and a five megapixel camera capable of taking pictures and video. The company says its battery life is 10 hours for surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video or listening to music.
"The technology inside is equal to, if not better to, the iPad 2 in every way," Schiller said. "It's not just a shrunken down iPad, it's an entirely new design."
The company also surprised Apple watchers by unveiling a next generation, full sized iPad. The new iPad has twice the graphics and image-processing power of the previous generation, and still has 10 hours battery life. It'll feature the new Lightning connector introduced in the iPhone 5. The next generation iPad will sell for the same price, starting at $499, as the previous iPad launched just seven months ago.
The iPad mini will be available for pre-order starting Friday, with the Wi-Fi version going on sale Nov. 2 while cellular versions of the device will arrive two weeks later.
The Wi-Fi model starts at $329 for 16 GB of storage while the cellular model running on next generation LTE networks like the iPhone 5 begins at $459.
The iPad mini will compete with popular smaller tablets like Amazon.com's Kindle Fire HD and the Google Nexus 7 for consumers who don't want to pay the extra several hundred dollars for a full-fledged iPad. But at $329 it costs nearly twice the price of the basic Kindle Fire. Still, Schiller made clear the company was going directly after the lower priced competitors, many of whom run on Google's Android operating system.
Schiller didn't pull his punches when comparing the iPad Mini to the competition.
"Others have tried to make smaller tablets, but they've failed," Schiller said before pulling up a photo of the Nexus 7.
Analysts predict Apple will sell upwards of five million iPad mini's during the holiday season.
"At $329 you should expect more people getting into the tablet market," Julien Blin, an analyst at Infonetics Research, told CNET.
Schiller announced the company has now sold over 100 million iPads since April 2010.
Watch the Apple iPad mini video here.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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