iPad Mini likely to be Wi-Fi and 4G capable

10 Oct 2012

A leaked image purporting to be the iPad Mini that was posted on Instagram by Sonny Dickson, a researcher for 9to5Mac

Unlike the launch of Apple’s iPhone 5 smartphone when everybody pretty much knew about every feature on the device, there is still a will-they or won’t-they vibe to coverage around the iPad Mini, Apple’s next expected 7.85-inch tablet. The latest rumours suggest the new device will either be Wi-Fi only or 4G capable, and a 9.7-inch 4G tablet is being developed for the 4G LTE networks in the UK.

Apple was forced to suspend claims of the new iPad launched in March being 4G in certain countries, including the UK, because the 4G LTE speed claims were immaterial because the frequencies were incompatible and the 4G spectrum didn’t exist in the first place.

On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that as many as 10m units of the iPad Mini will be produced for the fourth quarter of this year.

Yesterday, Twitter user Sonny Dickson, a researcher for 9to5Mac based in Australia, posted a number of images to his account of a device that looks to be an iPad Mini – or, at least, the shell of one.

According to The Guardian, industry sources indicated they don’t expect to see 3G versions of the iPad Mini. But while that may indicate Wi-Fi only versions, it does not discount the possibility that when the iPad Mini debuts as everyone expects this month it may be 4G-ready, as was the iPhone 5.

Indeed, the same report cites sources who say Apple is about to instigate a 4G refresh of its new iPad line-up with versions of the 9.7-inch device compatible with the Everything Everywhere (EE) 1800MHz network, including the 4G chip and the new Lightning connector.

Last week, Everything Everywhere revealed that the first 4G networks in the UK will go live in 10 cities on 30 October.

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