iPad mini rumored for fall, priced at $249 to $300

iPad mini rumored for fall, priced at $249 to $300

The latest half-baked rumors from China are suggesting once again that Apple is preparing to kick off an iPad mini this fall, with an initial shipment of 6 million units. The supposed $249 - $299 price point would compete nicely with the lower-end Android tablets that are coming out of the woodwork, and meet upcoming Windows 8 tablets head-on. The source is apparently close to Hon Hai, the parent company of Apple's primary manufacturing partner, Foxconn.

These rumors are always especially entertaining considering how non-reactionary a company Apple has always been. They didn't release a budget netbook to meet cheap PCs head on, they released the 11-inch MacBook Air and the iPad. They didn't release a budget iPhone to meet cheap handsets head on, they kept around previous generation iPhones at increasingly lower prices.

We're reasonable certain Apple has an iPad mini in the labs, but if and when they choose release it, it will be because they've figured out a go-to-market strategy to sell hundreds of millions of them, regardless of what the Android and Windows tablet makers are doing (or not doing).

The iPod nano and iPod shuffle both addressed the lower end of the MP3 market and an iPad mini could address the lower end of the tablet market, or it could just clutter Apple's product line between iPod touch and iPad.

For now, all of this iPad mini talk is strictly in the realm of speculation; so here's the part where we ask you what you want. Have you held off on buying an iPad because of cost or size? Would an iPad mini get you to buy and Apple product when you wouldn't have otherwise?

Source: NetEase via Kotaku

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Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

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Reader comments

iPad mini rumored for fall, priced at $249 to $300


I love the idea of a smaller iPad, as I personally think the form factor has a market (I know Good 'ol Jobs disagreed). I have an iPhone, a 13" MBP, and an iPad. I find my iPad to be too big to comfortably carry around with me when I'm out and about, so I generally make due with my phone. When I'm at home, I always reach for the MBP. If there was a smaller version of the iPad, I could really seeing it become my go-to device.
That said, this rumored $250-300 price point worries me. I don't want a "budget" iPad. I'd ideally like a full-featured iPad, just in a smaller package. I understand there might be limitations due to its smaller size...but if they can get all the technology into an iPhone 4S (which retails for $649) they should be able to fit it into a 7.85" device. If the price is so low, where are they making concessions? I have no use for an Amazon Kindle Fire...and my fear is that's what I'd be getting.

I haven't held off buying an iPad because of the size - it is just right for what it is, any smaller and it won't be as useful. A 7in device (as is rumoured) is neither one thing or the other - too small for really good everyday use as a laptop 'replacement', too big to put in your pocket to carry around all day...
...but I might hold off buying the next gen iPhone if the screen isn't bigger - 95% of the use of my iPhone is for non-phone activities and the small screen is starting to get limiting, all that zooming in and out gets on your nerves eventually! I know a lot of people want a small device, but a 5in-screen device would still fit into any of my pockets - I don't even care if it doesn't have voice capability - I guess I'd like a 5in iPod Touch! Never thought I'd say this, but I have been seriously looking at the Android alternatives for that sized device as Apple doesn't seem to be looking to offer it.

A 7 inch tablet cant fit in your pocket? I carry one around all the time in my jacket. The smaller tablet does have a market.

An iPad mini would get me to buy an extra Apple product. I have my iPhone4 that I carry daily. I have an iPad2 for use at home, but I dont like carrying it due to its size.
I have tried several 7"-8" tablets, and while i LOVED the size (they would fit in my jacket pocket while in a bookcover case), I couldnt get over the issues of Android (force closes, inconsistency, etc.) and ended up returning them. I would LOVE to see the iPad2 in a smaller ~7" package.

If i am being honest, you make an apple product, whether it would be 3.5", 4.0" (for phones) 7" or 10" (for tablet) it will sell. i don't use either an iphone or ipad. but i can see that a 7" screen would appeal to many.
i think my wife's screen on the iphone is too small. i have a Samsung Focus (WP7 device) with a 4.0" screen. i like a large screen. at $300 dollar, some people would think that they could finally afford an ipad device. i bet they could have all the same tech, just able to see it for less because its smaller. in the end, it will make a killing.

An iPad with 7.85" 1024x768 IPS display, dual-core A5, 5MP camera with 1080p video-recording, 16-32GB of storage and 4G LTE and running iOS 6.1.
But there's a big deal here, if Apple would start selling it this fall when the new iPhone would be released?
The iPad had left the iPhone in the second place in product selling, yet. The iPhone and the iPods are being released together, this iPad would cannibalize the other products or it would help they sell more?

While I would love to see an iPad Mini simply for convenience. The iPad is a little too heavy to hold for too long in your hand while reading an ebook. I do think though this may be another rumor, we have heard this same rumor every year before every iteration of a device.
It would hurt the iPod Touch market. The competition from the various incarnations of the iPhone currently on sale and the full size iPad are already pushing the iPod into the margins and a mid size device between the iPhone 4s and iPod would put pressure on the iPod. I am sure that many people that purchase the iPod Touch now are the ones that don't want the bulk of the full size iPad but still want to stay in the safe walled garden built by Apple.
A mid size device such as this rumored device, even with its lower specification would hurt sales of the iPad and iPhone alike.
I don't think Apple wants to become another Samsung with multiple similar products. That was the issue that got them into trouble before the return of Steve Jobs, A Mac for every occasion instead of a few general purpose products!
If it does happen then I will be first in line for one but if it turns out to be a rumor, like it has before, then I won't lose sleep over it!

At $249 I'd definitely get one. The 10" size is a bit on the large side, especially when I use a desktop &/or laptop so often. My buddy has the 7" Samsung Galaxy. It's the perfect travel size.
Apple + 7" is a win in my book.

No way it will be priced at $250 - $300. Competing seven inch tablets are being sold at that price and Apple can easily charge a premium over competing devices. If they do make an iPad mini it would be priced at $350.

I'm sure Apple has run a Numbers spreadsheet and calculated the exact price range for an iPad mini. But the timing seems off. Apple never releases two major products or updates to existing products at the same time. This allows each announced product to stay in the spotlight for at least a month. For example, the original iPad stayed on Apple's home page for about five months, from its Macworld announcement in January until the iPhone 4 was released in June.
So, if Apple does ship an iPad mini, its release would need to be several months before or after the "new iPhone" is shipped. If the iPhone ships this summer, then yes, a mini iPad could ship in the fall. But if the iPhone ships this fall, the iPad mini would need to ship earlier. We'd guess that the releases need to be at least a month or 6 weeks apart for maximum effect.
The developer release of iOS 6 might play a critical role in all of this scheduling. It's best for Apple to let developers get up to speed on iOS 6's new features first, then ship the new iPhone later. This gives proactive developers time to update their apps to use the new iOS features, so their apps will be ready the day the new iPhone is released. And there are probably going to be some major upgrades this year (e.g. the mapping API.) But, of course, this all depends on the relative importance of iPhone vs. iPad mini on Apple's roadmap...

Makes a lot of sense, no matter what Steve said. A huge potential for small kids or even schoolbooks for the 6-12 year old. They have good eyes and small fingers ! And if they break it, it won't set you back $399.
My guess is more $299 though, at $249 they would have to make an 8GB version, but who knows....

I have been holding off on buying the iPad due to the size, and opted to get a kindle fire in the mean time. As soon as apple announces this product, I'll be preordering it.

Well take a look at the teardown photos of an iPad, not just the new one but also the original model and the iPad2. What's in there is 90% battery and any 7" device is going to have a battery less than half as big. Even though the display is smaller, the processor and radios will take the same power as the current iPad. This "mini" device would have very poor battery life.

The iPhone 4S gets "6 hours of Web browsing, 10 hours of video playback, and 40 hours of music playback" out of its battery. I don't see why a 7.85" iPad couldn't squeeze out equal or more life.

Sorry guys, I use to be one of the "hopefulls" on this subject but logic says, "No iPad mini... ever." For a few reasons:
1) Many would flock to the lower price point and not the current $499+ iPad.
2) It would kill the iPod Touch market (unless that's their intention)
Personally, haven't bought one yet because that would be a good chunk of the pay cheque. Not a baller yet...

I have a Galaxy Tab 7.7 and my wife loves this format for its portability and have already said that if iPad ever comes out with this form factor, she'll be the first one in line to get one. I think this size is the perfect ereader and personal media player outside the house but the 9.7" iPad is still the one to go to in-house. (How many pads do we need now????)

I've commented every time this has come up and I would LOVE a smaller one. I adore my iPad and am still rocking the first gen. It's due for an update but I can't justify all that money for essentially the same product.
I used to carry my iPad around in my purse but it just got too awkward to drag around everywhere. Instead I tote around a old kobo which works fine but it'd be nice to have a more portable iPad instead.

People who want the smaller iPad and held off because of the prohibitive price, are going to realize the specs will be on the lower end as well.
If you want the full featured fork out the dough and get a standard iPad
I wouldn't want an el cheapo, but might consider it as a gift for a grandparent

And no it won't kill the iPod touch market, as proven by the fact that iPhone/iPod and iPad have run side by side for this long. You're not going to use your iPad mini as your primary mp3 player for example
unless you went iPod nano + iPad mini which = more sales for Apple

The iPad does the same thing as your computer, Bips: input and optuut, with some magic in between. The rest is perception (aided by a lot of marketing)

I still say that if iPad Mini was priced probably about $50 - $100 cheaper, it would have been the best in the tablet arena. Or atleast apple should have provided the smartcover or a keyboard case along with it at the same price! Sigh.

I had to buy a separate keyboard cum case for my iPad from http://www.jsxltech.com/ . It is a smarter buy compared to the overpriced SmartCover.