Apple introduces iPad mini, prices start at €339 – also reveals fourth-gen iPad

23 Oct 2012

The new Apple iPad mini

Apple today took the wraps off its fourth-generation iPad with Lightning connectors and a faster chip – it also revealed the new 7.9-inch diagonal iPad mini which, compared to its competitors, provides a one-third larger display area than its 7-inch competitors.

The new iPad mini, which works with all existing iPad apps, is 53pc lighter and and 23pc thinner than the new iPad launched in March. It weighs just 0.68Ibs and is as light as a pad of paper.

The new device is also just 7.2mm thick – thinner than a pencil.

Apple also revealed the fourth-generation iPad featuring a 9.7-inch Retina display, a new Apple-designed A6X chip, FaceTime HD camera and enhanced LTE performance.

The devices were revealed at a special event in San Jose, California, today alongside a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina technology and a new slimmer iMac desktop.

Introducing the device, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the new iPad mini can be held in the palm of the user’s hand. “It’s an entirely new design,” he said.

SVP of marketing Phil Schiller said that comparing the iPad mini with competing 7-inch devices from Google and Amazon is “the difference between night and day”.

He said the 7.9-inch diagonal gives it a larger display area and is capable of 10 hours of battery life.

The new iPad mini comes with an Apple A5 dual-core chip, a 780p HD FaceTime camera at the front and a 5-megapixel iSight camera at the back capable of capturing video in 1080p high definition.

Schiller said the new device can run the 275,000 apps developed for the iPad.

Apple’s chief product designer Sir Jony Ive said the iPad mini is not just a reduction of the original iPad but a complexly new design. “It is a concentration of the original, not a reduction,” he emphasised.

Apple also revealed new Smart Cases for the device that enclose it entirely.  The Smart Cases come in pink, green, blue, light grey, dark grey and red for €39.

The iSight camera on the iPad mini promises the same image stabilisation and illumination as on the third- and fourth-generation iPad and will be available in black and white and options for Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi plus LTE and DC-HSPA.

iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad pricing and availability

Wi-Fi only versions of the new iPad mini will be available for pre-order this Friday and will ship and retail from 2 November starting at €339 for the Wi-Fi only version with 16GB, €439 for the 32GB model and €539 for the 64GB model.

The iPad mini with Wi-Fi and cellular will start shipping a few weeks after the Wi-Fi models, starting at €469 for the 16GB model, €569 for the 32GB model and €669 for the 64GB model.

The fourth-generation iPad with Wi-Fi will also be available on 2 November starting at €509 for the 16GB model, €609 for the 32GB model and €709 for the 64GB model.

The Wi-Fi and cellular versions will also begin shipping a few weeks later, starting at €639 for the 16GB version, €739 for the 32GB version and €839 for the 64GB model.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years