Hot in the news these past few weeks is an ‘iPad Mini’. These rumors have hit the news outlets hard just this past week alone. Today a report from iMore states they have a, “proven reliable” source telling them that a 7-inch iPad Mini will launch in October alongside the iPhone. Price points will begin at $200 to $250 in order to compete with smaller-end tablets such as the Kindle Fire.
iMore’s source didn’t provide exact dimensions, but they are using 7 inches as an estimate, comparable to the Kindle Fire. Note that 7.85 inches is also very plausible due to quite a few past rumor reports. The screen resolution isn’t going to be all that bad either.
However, that the 7-inch iPad will be identical to the current 9.7-inch iPad, just scaled down. That seems to include a 2048×1536 resolution display, just like the new iPad. If accurate, that would put the pixel density at around 326 ppi, the same as the iPhone 4S (and higher than the 264 ppi new iPad) retina display.
This dismisses rumors of a less pixel-dense screen resolution of 1024 x 768 that we’ve heard in the past. The only problem is how can Apple pack 326 ppi for less than $250? Seems like an unrealistic and unprofitable situation. I could imagine Apple providing such a device for $299, although the ‘reliable’ rumor states under $250.
The first iPad Mini rumors surfaced after the launch of the original iPad in 2010. It wasn’t until a year later when companies like Amazon release 7-inch tablets that the rumors really started to pick up in pace though. The Amazon Kindle Fire for example is sold for $200, but reports state they are selling the device at a loss because of the profits from ebook sales.
And if you haven’t heard yet, Digitimes reported yesterday stating the iPad Mini would be released during August of 2012 at a similar pricing point.