We’re just a day away from the likely launch of an “iPad Mini,” and other goodies at Apple’s special event. Here is a rundown on what we should expect at tomorrow’s showcase at the California Theatre in San Jose, Calif.
The “iPad Mini” configurations, price, and street date
Apple’s smaller tablet is expected to be 7.85-inches in size and include a high-definition screen, Lightning connector, and be available in black and white. The most recent rumors suggest Apple will unveil four iPad Mini models, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB.
In terms of price, don’t expect Apple to follow the path taken by some competitors and offer the tablet at $199. Instead, AllThingsD reports that the tablet will run somewhere between $299 and $349. This would make the iPad Mini the “top of its class” in terms of price. Meanwhile, 9to5Mac considers $329 to be the tablet’s price sweet spot.
And no, the new tablet won’t come with a Retina display. Instead, John Gruber believes that Apple will follow past practice and hold this feature until a future update in “two or three years.”
Preorders for Apple’s new tablet could start as early as Friday, with sales beginning Friday, Nov. 8 in the U.S.
What’s in a name?
Apple is expected to NOT name their compact tablet the iPad Mini. Instead, Gruber predicts Tim Cook will unveil the iPad Air, or simply call it an iPad.
We have our own ideas on what Apple should name the tablet. Take a look here.
About the new iPad, and iPad 2
Apple will almost certainly refresh the new iPad to take advantage of the company’s new Lightning connector, which first arrived on the iPhone 5. Although summer rumors pointed to a much more significant refresh, the (new) new iPad will probably be very similar to the model now in stores. Besides adding the new connector, Apple’s flagship tablet could also get a modest battery upgrade.
As previously reported, the iPad Mini launch will probably mean the end of the $399 iPad 2. First launched in 2011, Apple’s second generation tablet is being removed to “lower the barrier to entry of its iPad lineup.”
Other products set to launch
Apple will likely unveil a 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display, a product that has eluded customers looking for that type of solution. In June, the company unveiled the first 15-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display. Still, non-Retina MacBook Pros aren’t going away. These less expensive models will remain on sale alongside the Retina variations.
Also expected tomorrow: a refreshed iMac, iTunes 11, and iBooks 3.0.
As a reminder, Apple’s second event in as many months begins tomorrow, Oct. 23 at 1 p.m. EDT. AppAdvice will be there and provide live coverage.
For more information on Apple’s big event, see The iPad Mini And Its Likely Competitors: Prices And Specs That May Work, Color Me Crazy, But Maybe Apple Should Launch Multiple iPad Minis, and All Of The Wacky ‘iPad Mini’ Rumors In One Fantastic Place.
Photo: iPad Mini rendering, Martin Hajek