The tablet, while not a new device, has seen an impressive revival over the past four years. This is largely due to Appleâ€™s iPad which has captured the imaginations and wallets of retail customers worldwide. On October 23, Apple launched not one but two new iPads, including a new smaller version called the iPad mini.
Below is more information on the two recently introduced iPads.
The new, new iPad
Apple has wisely decided to go back to adding numbers to their products. In fact, the launch event contained no words on the new iPad (iPad 3) at all. Apple seems to have swept it under the rug, as you can no longer find the â€˜iPad 3â€™ on the Apple store, itâ€™s been replaced by the iPad with Retina display – read: iPad 4.
The iPad 4 contains a new processor, the A6, which according to Apple, â€œis up to twice as fast as the previous-generation A5X chip [featured in the iPad 3], and it delivers up to twice the graphics performance, without sacrificing battery life.â€ Users can look forward to a smoother operating environment, a difference that will be noted by users of the older first and second generation iPads.
Other new features include the new charging port that Apple introduced with the iPhone. The Lightning connector is a port that replaces Appleâ€™s 30 pin connector and can be plugged-in in any direction, meaning you can just plug the device in and not worry about ruining the connector ports. The downside to this is: older peripherals wonâ€™t work with the new iPad without an adaptor which currently costs USD$29.00.
Aside from a new processor and connection port, the iPad 4 is the same as the iPad 3. The screen is still 9.7 inches, LTE is featured and from what we have heard, battery life is the same. If youâ€™ve purchased an iPad 3 in the past 30 days, contact Apple as you may be eligible to return the iPad 3 for an iPad 4 at no extra charge.
Itâ€™s like the iPad, only small(er)
Over the past year, Samsung and Google managed to highlight that there is wide demand for a device thatâ€™s smaller and more portable than Appleâ€™s iPad. Their 7 inch tablets have been great sellers and Apple has now entered into the 7 inch fray with the 7.9 inch iPad mini. The screen has a resolution of 1024 X 768 which puts it at the same resolution as the iPad 2. The key with the screen is that it doesnâ€™t have a Retina display, a confusing move on Appleâ€™s part considering nearly all their new devices have it.
The processor in the mini is an older A5, the same processor found in the iPhone 4s and the iPad 2. While it may seem like a big step down, remember that these two devices are only a year and 1.5 years old, respectively. This means the mini should have no problem running apps already available on the App store. We do predict one potential issue with this however. With the introduction of the new A6 chip, many developers will be starting to develop apps that only run with this, thus rendering devices running an A5 chip obsolete much faster. Time will tell but donâ€™t worry too much as it will be at least a year, probably closer to two, before this potentially becomes a problem.
Other features business users will enjoy include the Lightning connector, 10 hour battery life – according to Apple – and the ability to connect to 4G networks if they are offered by mobile providers in your area.
Prices and availability
Both the iPad 4 and Wi-Fi versions of the iPad mini will be available for pre-order on October 26, and in stores November 2 for most countries, including: Australia, Canada, the UK and the US among others. Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad mini models will be available in mid November. The iPad 4 will be available in two different models:
- Wi-Fi only:
- USD$499 for 16GB
- USD$599 for 32GB
- USD$699 for 64GB
- Wi-Fi + Cellular:
- USD$629 for 16GB
- USD$729 for 32GB
- USD$829 for 64GB
The iPad Mini will be available in two different models:
- Wi-Fi only:
- USD$329 for 16GB
- USD$429 for 32GB
- USD$529 for 64GB
- Wi-Fi + Cellular:
- USD$459 for 16GB
- USD$559 for 32GB
- USD$659 for 64GB
With the iPad mini, Apple has stayed true to history and chosen to present it as a tablet with a luxury price tag. Will it sell well? Most likely. Should you buy one? If you have the budget, go ahead, but we donâ€™t predict the iPad mini sales will be huge in the business market, itâ€™s simply priced outside the budget of most small businesses to make it a viable device. At the very least, hold off until the first week of November, as Google has scheduled an event where itâ€™s rumored to be launching new tablets too. Once the event is revealed it might be a good time to look deeper into the iPad.
Do you plan to get a new iPad? What do you think of Appleâ€™s latest offerings? Let us know your thoughts on this.