iPad mini round-table - reactions to Apple's latest and greatest product announcements

Yesterday was a busy day for Apple fans and we're rounding up reactions from all of iMore's contributors to see how they feel about the iPad mini, the 4th.-generation iPad, and other new products announced yesterday. We've also tapped some of our buddies from Android Central to see how they feel about the new Apple stuff, especially with the Nexus 7 figuring prominently in the keynote. 

Chris Parsons

Overall I wasn't overly impressed with the iOS device announcements. The iPad mini didn't create any desire within to make me want to pre-order it and the iPad 4th generation kinda annoyed me. Out of all things announced, I'm more excited for the new iMac than anything. Let's not confuse my comments with how I think Apple will do with the new products though. It's still very much an iPad market vs. a tablet market and Apple will sell boat loads of them but the excitement for me personally just wasn't there this time around nor did Apple use the now famous distortion field to create it. Maybe Rene was right, I'm getting old.

Chris Oldroyd

I think the iPad mini was everything that was expected, small, beautiful and fully functional. I was all set to buy one before the event but now I am not so sure. I can't decide how small it is without physically holding one so I am going to hold off and see it in the flesh. If I do decide to go with it, I will want one with cellular services so I can't order yet anyway.

The biggest surprise for me was the 4th generation iPad release, this was only a minor update but a processor and graphics bump as well as a better camera are not to be sniffed at. Seems a strange move by Apple to refresh it in this way mid cycle; maybe it intends changing the release cycle in the future. 

Joe Keller 

As the owner of a third-generation iPad, you might think that I would be irritated by the introduction of the fourth-generation iPad a mere seven months after the third made its debut. But I’m not. If Apple had stuck to the original release cycle, this is the same iPad that we would have seen in March, just five months earlier. Double the performance is nice, but I have no pressing need for the Lightning connector, and my current iPad has LTE. It seems that Apple wanted to shift the iPad release cycle to the fall, and they chose to debut a new iPad now rather than have users wait eighteen months for it.

I want an iPad mini. I want an iPad that I can comfortably hold in one hand. But I don’t want it yet. I’m waiting on a couple of things. First and foremost, a Retina display. I will not go back to non-Retina iOS devices. Seeing as the iPad mini is essentially an iPad 2 in a smaller frame, I also want to see how much longer the iPad 2 is going to last, and what it, and thus the iPad mini, might miss out on when iOS 7 comes around next year. But despite my reservations about its long-term usefulness, my immediate gut reaction is “I want one.” 

Kevin Michaluk

As an owner of the new iPad, I'm a little miffed it's already deemed obsolete with the update to the 4th generation. I'm a gadget guy. I like having the latest and greatest. But this upgrade just came so soon. But I'll have to do it, if for nothing else so I can upgrade all of my cables to have the lightning connector. It's really frustrating at the moment to have the iPhone 5 with the lightning connector, but then the iPad with the old style.  

As for the iPad mini, it's a nice of piece of kit but at a starting price of $329 it's not that compelling in my opinion. For the average consumer, it makes more sense to spend $71 and go for the iPad 2. Maybe if the iPad mini had a retina display (complications of that aside), it would be more worth it for the price. Though honestly, once you get used to retina on the new iPad, going down to non-Retina feels a bit like taking sandpaper to your eyeballs. 

The new iMac is hot. I have the 15" Macbook Pro retina already which I love as my mobile workhorse, but may have to pick up the 27" iMac to have at home. It just looks cool. 

Allyson Kazmucha 

I currently own a third generation iPad and really don't have any intention of getting a fourth generation model. Considering mine is typically used as the office point of sale, a reading device, and something to browse the web on or play games casually, it does what I need it to do and then some. While it would be nice to be able to ditch "all" my 30-pin cables, we ordered a bunch of adapters so it isn't a huge deal to disconnect an adapter when needed. After all, I only find myself having to charge my iPad about once a week anyways.  

As far as the iPad mini goes, I'm intrigued by it but still unsure whether it's something I'll pick up. I could see it being a nice device to have around the office so I can keep my personal iPad at home and not have to worry about bringing it into the office everyday but other than that, I can't say I have much use for it.  

To be honest, the real news of the announcement for me was the new iMac line. I'll be ordering a 27" in December and couldn't be more excited about that. The iPads, I can wait until the next go around to upgrade I think. 

Jerry Hildenbrand 

It is meaningless, unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of the present size. Apple's done extensive user-testing on touch interfaces over many years, and we really understand this stuff. There are clear limits of how close you can physically place elements on a touch screen before users cannot reliably tap, flick or pinch them. This is one of the key reasons we think the 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps. 

Richard Devine

iPad 4... Hmm, felt a little like Apple was throwing specs out there as a worthy upgrade. Didn't feel very 'Apple.' Felt more like an excuse to throw the new dock connector on there.

iPad Mini - the worst kept secret yet the least exciting product I've ever seen Apple release. I LOVE 7-inch tablets, I have a Nexus 7 and a BlackBerry PlayBook, but nothing about the iPad Mini excites me. Especially not the price.

However, the Mac stuff was impressive. If I hadn't just bought a Mini and a MacBook Air in the last 12 months I'd be all over it. Thin doesn't equal good to me, but the new iMac looks incredible.

Sean Brunett

I was very surprised at the extent Apple went to attack the Nexus 7 during their iPad Mini announcement. I believe this is one of the first times that we’ve seen such a pointed comparison at an event rather than slight references. But onto the actual device, I’m not overly impressed. Less resolution than the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD and a dual-core processor vs. quad-core for the 7 for much more money ($349 vs. $199 base price). Die hard iOS folks will likely want the device, but I think Google’s got a real chance next week to turn heads if they continue to drive down their price while maintaining the quality of the Nexus 7.

Simon Sage

The only thing I really cared about from the whole announcement was the iPad mini, and two things struck me about it. For one, the 7.9-inch screen is a relatively unexplored size, but its difference from the established 7-inch norm feels completely arbitrary. The 7-inch tablet scene is getting pretty crowded, so I could see why Apple would want to stay differentiated. If they're going to go on inventing their own product subcategory though, Apple can't put the iPad mini in a side-by-side comparison with the Nexus 7, which is effectively punching at a different weight class.

The other thing that slightly irks me is the $329 pricetag. That amount seems palatable when compared to the minimum $499 you'd be paying for a 4th-gen iPad or even $399 you'd pay for an iPad 2, but that's going to be a hard sell with cheap Kindle Fire tablets available that will do 80% of what most users want for half the price. Of course Apple has a lot of additional selling points to justify the slightly higher price and I have no doubt that the iPad mini will sell in record numbers, but I don't see it turning the tide against Amazon. 


But enough from us, how do you feel about all of the new products? Be sure to let us know what you're buying in our poll, and leave a comment here with what you think the announcements yesterday mean for Apple in the long run. 

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Simon Sage

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

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iPad mini round-table - reactions to Apple's latest and greatest product announcements


Having owned both an ipad 3 and a nexus 7, I cannot see how google has a shot at apple without making some serious improvements to the app ecosystem and the user experience. I got the nexus 7 to ween the wife away from my iPad, on which I do alot of reading. Within two weeks, she was back to stealing my iPad, so I tried switching over to the 7. I like the form factor, but there is a reason she stole the ipad back. For non-techy people, it is just a much better experience. In fact, though the price of the nexus 7 is only 200$, for someone like her, a 500$ (or 329$ most likely) iPad would be a much better deal, because she would actually use it. That is the problem I see with android tablets at this point. No matter what the price, if it doesn't get used, it is still a waste of money.

I really hope Google gets its game together though. Hopefully they've got something more up their sleeve at the event next week beyond a lower price.

Darthgreg, I wish you had mentioned some more information on how you dislike the Nexus 7. I am thinking if getting this device this Xmas when it will likely be reduced further. My wife has the iPad 3 and we're really upset with Apple and what they're doing. (read below).

For me this is really the last straw. Having bought the iPad 3 a few months ago and more recently the iPhone 5, I can say I am truly disappointed in Apple, their products, their attitude, and approach these days.

Apple used to set itself apart and not play the same games as their competitors,.Rumors about their products were never true. Apple had a set time frame of launching new and innovative products. Apple was different. They had innovation, they had appeal. Now, what do they have? Rumors that are spot on and loyal sheep who can't think for themselves and buy any Apple branded product just because.

Apple is the same as everyone else now. Yet, they expect the same results. That will remain to be seen. Apple is no longer innovative in their products, they no longer have the appeal they once had.

Apple products are more expensive and restrictive than the competitors. What is the appeal there? At least we knew the "rules" of the game with the competitors -- they really had none. However, the price of their product helped rationalize that fact and that they could launch a new product earlier than later and do whatever they wanted. Often, they too have no respect for their customers. That was not so with Apple. They had their own game and their rules were pretty much etched in stone....until now.

It's a pity. People were always looking forward to the next best thing from Apple, usually on schedule or at a particular time. Now, it's whenever they feel like it. Apple is all but ditching their past customers. This is truly a slap in their face. It shows a lot of disrespect for their old customers. In a way, it's like the mobile phone carriers who will treat you like King until you sign up and then, you're just trash.

As far we're concerned, we're done with Apple. Our next tablet and smartphone will not be Apple. Good bye Apple and also my ranting about your insanity. I'm done with you.

Apple products expensive? Nothing new. It's been that way since the Apple II. It seems that you're upset because your IPad 3 isn't the latest and greatest anymore. Look, if you were happy with your iPad 3 Sunday, why are you not happy with it today? It still will have the capability to do everything you need for a long time to come. You don't need to upgrade every time apple feels the need to increase their pile of cash.

I read your comment. I still don't get your point. You're done with Apple because they upgraded the iPad out of the cycle you expected and because rumor sites were accurate?

Nope. I was on the fence before the iPad 4 announcement. Apple's attitude has changed and so has their "vision" in my opinion. Whether or not Jobs'would've allowed this is anyone's guess but Apple has NOW become "meh" at best.

Apple has done that before, upgrading their product before the usual time frame for updates or upgrades. Maybe you are just kinda new to Apple. Post-iphone probably. And yes Apple has never been cheap. Some People have always said you paid extra for Apple products but I think you payed for a better experience and product. Just like the ipod, the macs and iphone. And you do sound irritated with Apple just because they upgraded the ipad. You typed (read below) for the reason you were unhappy about apple but i didn't really got your point either just that you thought apple had cheap products and they always have had a time frame for upgrades. You know the Mac line up had been waiting for a refreshed for quite a while, just look at the mac pro.
You mention that Apple doesn't innovated anymore but thats not entirely true. Do you expect them to come up with a new revolutionary product every year or every 5 years? People used to say the iphone was not revolutionary at all same with the ipod when it came out. That it was so expensive.

I would just recommend before You buy a Nexus that you go and try it out same with the ipad mini and see which one you like the best

Your case against apple doesn't even approach "meh," at best. i challenge you to find a better tablet than the iPad 4 (hint: you won't), a better 7 inch tablet than the iPad mini (hint: you won't,) a better ultrabook than the Air (hint: you won't,) a better all in one than the iMac (hint: you won't). If you don't want to pay the price for those devices, then that is a separate question, but Apple's never made any bones about that issue before.

Apple is consistently making the best products on the market, and you are complaining because they don't have enough rumor control. What a freaking joke.

Oh well..ask me if I care? lol. "Better" is a relative term. While at the granular level there may not be anything "better" right now; there are other much better options available and cheaper.

I am sorry that you just got bitten since your initial post by an Apple vampire and have Apple blood running through your veins. Perhaps a witch can someday make you human again. Have a nice day.

Enough with the hostility, but really... you did complain about the rumor control and the update to the iPad cycle.

Did you consider how immensely huge Apple's supply chain is? That is how every one of the rumors starts... They can't spend all of their time and effort in China making sure that people aren't dropping hints or taking pictures of parts to the products before they are assembled.

Who's complaining? Sounds like you are?!
Time to remove those those tinted glasses you're wearing. Apple has long maintained secrecy about their products and the rumour mill was wrong. Apple always crushed the rumours. Now, since Jobs died, the rumours that we've been hearing have been spot-on. Things are changing at Apple, and likely for the worse for consumers. 'nuff said.

The more of your posts I read, the more I understand your username.

I'll just repeat what i said as you fail to provide any compelling reply.

Apple is consistently making the best products on the market, and you are complaining because they don't have enough rumor control. What a freaking joke.

So you are disappointed with Apple as a company because...you don't think they are innovative anymore? I don't see that at all. You sound like someone who discovered Apple during their iPhone and iPad renaissance and now you are disappointed because everything is not bombshell huge now like it was then. Maybe you're not that, but you certainly sound it.

If you really want a Nexus 7, go for it. I recommend going and using one at the store before you jump though. Because there isn't even a comparison. But you seem to choose your tablets based on how much you like the company that makes them and how much, "their rumors are never true," not based on how well the device actually does what it is supposed to do. Given that, I'm not sure my experience will be very helpful to you.

Second keynote since 1997 that I have nothing to preorder. I skipped iPhone 3G as well.

iPad mini need Retina screen option. It has same dpi as iPhone 3GS. Are you kidding me? iPad 4th gen is not lighter and thinner. I will pass since I already have a clunky iPad 3.

I am waiting on MacBook Air with Retina screen and Mac Pro replacement. Maybe next year? Fingers crossed.

Yeah, I decided I wasn't getting anything when Apple didn't announce a new, air-powered-lasts-forever-battery-with-an-infinity-processor-that-never-needs-to-be-upgraded. I'm just disappointed.

I am an Apple user (iMac, iPhone 4) and have an iPad 2 and a Nexus 7. I have been looking forward to the iPad Mini as a way of combining the best of my 2 devices (Apple ecosystem with Nexus 7 size/price) and then selling my current tablets. But after the announcement, that isn't going to happen.

I'm pretty bummed that the specs of the iPad mini are so low (especially the A5 processor). With future updates, I see this hardware becoming outdated pretty quick (seeing how it is already almost 2 years old). The $329 price also adds to this: The value just isn't there.

I found it odd that they kept talking about a "bigger" screen.. I thought the whole purpose of an iPad "mini" was for it to be easier to carry?? The Nexus is a perfect size for me to carry around with me so I don't exactly see that as a positive for Apple. I guess the iPad mini will give first time buyers a smaller, less expensive iPad option, but it doesn't provide me (an existing iPad owner) with anything I don't already have or anything I want.

It's not all bad though - at least buying the cheaper Nexus 7 gave me opportunity to try Android without having to sign a 2-year phone contract (and consequently gave me my first positive Android experience). I'm sure it will be a gateway device for many other people too. At this point, who knows what I will do when my phone contract is up in December....

I'm pretty sure that the mini has the same footprint as the nexus, but more screen real estate.
I'm still getting a nexus 7 though.

Yes, they made it seem that way at the keynote, but the iPad mini is 14.7mm wider than the Nexus 7. While that might not seem much, the width adds up when trying to pocket/hold a device, especially with a case on it.

The iPad mini is an iPad 2 with a smaller screen. Once you go retina, you can't go back, so the mini is no good for me.

The iPad 4 upgrade is enormously strange. It felt forced in just to update the lightning connector. It is also strange that you have to pre-order the iPad 4 instead of it being available now. You can't even order a new iPad 3 on Apple.com anymore. Really odd.

Probably trying to get everything they can into the fall/pre holiday season release cycle. They had to bite the bullet at some point. Now is probably as good a time as there ever will be.

Apple is earning millions of dollars in Iphone n Ipad.. i thought they would show some generosity wid Ipad mini. I always thought Apple bragged abt havin "the" finished product in market, premium feel, eco-system, apps, etc... but wid ios 6, iphone5 n now ipad mini m started to see a decrease in the strides of Apple. i guess its lack of vision or innovation by Tim cook that causin it. Plus no steve jobs to create that larger than life statements in the events is also a factor. Apple still has a big fan followin n this may not hurt them ryt now, but if Apple doesn't start to present the best products in business.. people will either go samsung(android) or nokia(windows) ways.

I was waiting for the Ipad mini , but its not going to happen because of price.
I DO GET the screen factor that alot of people are missing the point of. Outer shell is about the same as these other 7 inch tablets , just no wide bezel all away around so you get more screen.
I have no problem with non-retina on a small tablet , but with the other specs ... this should have been priced at $249 if it wanted to crush the cheap ( not well built ) android nexus 7 and the limited Amazon Fire HD. the $50 premium would have been enough , but apple shot them selves in the foot this time.
So I will wait until they get it right.

You show me yours, I'll show you mine.
I'm anything but shy.

Just promise you won't fall in love. I know how you apple fans get when you see something pretty.

anything but shy... as a Hobit in liliput-land ...jerry...no need to go cocky on this one ... I'm 6.5 foot tall, shoe size 13... how tall are U DUDE...do U really think U could live up to the challenge ??? The difference would be like between Tom & Jerry.... also judging by how fast U bit on this topic... U kinda answered it, without even knowing that ... or... U mean what's little... is pretty...??? BTW... how does a joke about Ur's knobsize make me a apple fan???...that would count all Ur's girlfriends automatically to apple fans... DUDE !!! : )

didn't think so.... lil jerry mouse... U lost Ur sense of humor now... DUDE......
didn'tcha ??? come back when Ur brain OS get upgraded from this 4 year old version : )

I'm unimpressed with the iPad mini. Way too expensive for its specs. Maybe an iPad 4 in my future, but not likely. The iMac looks nice but again price/capability on these has never been so great either.

I have been waiting for the iPad mini since I first put my hands on an iPad. I've always hated how big it was and felt like it lacked portability because of it. I tried out an Android tablet at one point but the main apps that I used on my iPad either didn't exist or didn't provide the content that they did on iOS. So I sold that and went back to the iPad 2. Since the iPad Mini is basically a smaller version of that I am not losing anything going from my iPad 2 to that. The price of the iPad mini won't be a problem for me because with my iPad 2 being in such mint condition I've already got someone possibly lined up to buy it for $300 so that leaves me wit less than $20 out of pocket (I get a discount through my employer). So getting the iPad mini is a no brainer for me. I will be online as soon as pre-orders open up, ordering mine.

What is most surprising is the complete indifference to the Mini. Nobody seems to think it is a "must-have", not even the Apple bloggers.

I mean usually Apple mobile products fall into the "I don't need it but I really really want it" category. I'm not getting that vibe at all from anybody with the Mini. Is the shine starting to dull?

On the contrary, this make a perfect device for a kid who doesn't need a data plan. But still a tad pricey.

For us? I'd have to say no. An iphone 5 is preferable to read on over this and is even more thin & light. It makes more sense to grab an ipad 4.

I've purchased hundreds of ipad education apps since my daughter was around 3 (since the first ipad). She's grown up with them. She's also had an ipod touch before she was 2. Let's just say the tablet apps (education especially) are way better. iBooks (or at least textbooks) are better on the ipad.

An ipod touch has its place and definitely the ipad was too big for her sometimes but this ipad mini seems to be the answer I was waiting for.

Actually, by saying you're personally not interested but trying to justify who may be and even then admitting it is rather expensive, you kind of proved my point.

"It seems that Apple wanted to shift the iPad release cycle to the fall, and they chose to debut a new iPad now rather than have users wait eighteen months for it."
OK! So, now we are stuck with a non-retina iPad Mini with an A5 processor priced at $329 until next fall?

A bad strategic move for Apple to compare the Mini against the Nexus 7. It inadvertently promoted Nexus 7 (Android) to the world at no cost; given Google more impressions (no necessary sales). As a shopper, I now have another option to select from. "Thank you Apple." Google.

I am very happy with my Nexus 7 and won't be getting an iPad Mini. Its the perfect size to carry in my purse, it does everything I need it to do, and JellyBean runs like a dream on it.

Ok, I just watched the keynote. I feel the only FAIR thing to do is buy an iPad mini so I can compare them appropriately before deciding which is better. Bwhahah! (Damn. I'm so weak.)

The iPad mini is exactly what I need. I've waited a long time for this device, and will pre-order one on Friday. I wanted a smaller, lighter, more portable device for reading (mainly reading), occasional gaming and web browsing. The mini is far more than a 'shrunk-down' iPad 2. It has better WiFi, LTE, Siri, better display, better battery, better case, etc. Most important is the Apple ecosystem that comes with it. I can have iBooks AND Kindle on the same device and enjoy the best of what each has to offer.

Most experts predicted a price point of $299 + for the mini, so I have a hard time understanding people who think Apple would put out a device like this for $199. Amazon and Google devices are sold at or below cost and subsidized by ads or content purchases. Apple has never been in that game.This is a high quality device - not cheap plastic like a lot of products. The cost-to-build (parts, labor), is at least $200 from what I've read. So the pricing does not bother me, as long as I get a quality device and the advantages of the Apple ecosystem.

I was surprised by the iPad refresh. I upgraded from the original to the "new iPad" as soon as it was announced and love the retina display. I don't have a reason to upgrade to the iPad 4 but I'm hoping this doesn't mean a new iPad next fall since that's when my wife and I will upgrade our iPhones (4S).

I don't really have use for the iPad mini. If I was that interested in a device just for reading, I'd get an e-ink Kindle.

My real excitement before the announcement was the 13 inch retina. My current 15 inch MacBook Pro is over four years old. As a retiree, the 15 inch is a pricey buy, and moving to a smaller Flash memory from spinning disk means changing the way I organize my photos. So looking at the new 13 inch retina, I was hoping for a significant price break. Unfortunately it didn't happen. When I compare the base 13 inch to the base 15 inch, there is a $500 difference. But $300 dollars of that disappears if you upgrade the 13 inch to match the 256G Flash drive in the 15 inch. Now the remaining $200 buys you a bigger screen, a quad core processor instead of a dual core, and a better graphics card. It's hard to see how the 13 inch makes any sense unless it's the max you can afford. Am I missing something?

I think that at $329, Apple will sell the heck out of the iPad mini. My wife and I have a 1st & 3rd gen iPad (both with cellular) and will definitely be replacing the iPad 1 with a mini. Sure I would have loved a retina screen, but I don't think it's necessary on the smaller screen. The black mini is a sexy device. I have talked with a lot of friends, family, and co-workers that are not fanboys or really gadget geeks, and the $329 price point seems to be a wow factor (in a good way) for the people I have talked to. I think it's a good price and it will sell like crazy. Also I am a little confused as to why people are fuming mad that apple updated the "new ipad" so quickly. Sure it's 5 months sooner than expected, but it still works just as we'll as it did 2 days ago. And really the upgrade to the A6x processor isn't going to make a difference to your average user. I would rather have apple replace all of the 30-pin devices at once vs over the next 18 months. I am honestly surprised the iPad 2 didn't get dropped for the iPad mini.

Where Apple really has a hold and something people don't talk too much about is that you got some (or a lot) of each platform when you get an iOS device. With a kindle, it's amazon content for most part with no apple. With a Nexus, you get some amazon, but mostly google and no Apple. With an ipad, you get it all. With an ipad mini you get it all.

Google or Amazon have no choice. There's millions of iOS customers. Their respective primary businesses NEED us. They have to cater to us. Apple could care less about porting any of its iOS apps over. There's no need to.

And as a user, you can't ignore the millions of iOS users either. Without iOS, you miss out on all the unique Apple services iOS users enjoy. Gamecenter, imessage, facetime, ibooks, itunes, you have to know someone who uses them. And if also own a Mac, you miss out on those as well.

So sure, buy a Nexus or Kindle. Save a hundred or so. Perhaps using those stretched out smartphone apps is worthwhile?

Are you kidding me? I have had iPhone(s) for the last 4 years bit recently bought a galaxy S3. The freedom I have over iOS has astounded me. The iPhone and iPad are very nice pieces of kit, but I could never go back.

Please, go to your local phone shop and play with a Jelly Bean equipped phone (like the S3) for 30 minutes.. if you still prefer iOS then at least you will be content in the fact your choice of OS is an informed one.

Now I see, they updated the iPad so that it would have the a6 processor since it sells at a premium compared to the mini with its a5.

I really am disappointed with the iPad mini. I may end up with one but will probably end up an iPad 4. I really like the 7" size but $329 is to high. I have a Blackberry PlayBook and while it is heavier than the iPad mini, it was less money and is even less now. I was hoping that the iPad mini and an iPad could be replacements for a laptop and just use iPad's and an iMac. Not so this time around. The new iMacs are where my money will go.

Issue that seems to be coming up with iPad Mini is that Apple is building a new device with hardware from a device over a year and a half old (iPad 2), which only 6 months ago they derided as being old hat when they released the 'New iPad'.

(No irony lost on the fact that the iPad 2 survived the latest update, but the New didn't. But I digress...)

Then, to this dated hardware, you then add the usual Apple Tax, which while competitive to the Company's own products, is excessive when compared to the competition. I guess Apple is hoping that the competition doesn't get its act together and offer a cohesive user environment / app store experience or that current users of their iDevices don't relish the hassle of moving to another platform.

I have no real plans to chuck my iPad 2 anytime soon, but a smaller, capable tablet is certainly something I'd look at when the time comes. Question is, will the Mini still be around and/or be competitively priced with current tech rig when I do?

Quality will always be the guiding factor when it comes down to what a consumer will pay. Apple stands for Quality. I will always pay extra as I know it will mean a better overall experience in the end. There is no comparrison to Apple products.

iPad 4 is ridiculous, Apple treading dangerous grounds from the link I posted above.

At the Apple event yesterday we were all waiting to hear news on the iPad mini, which duly arrived. However we were certainly not expecting to hear about the iPad 4, which was also announced. This one took everyone by surprise with Apple simply calling it the iPad 4th generation, a follow on from its ‘new iPad’ (iPad 3) that arrived earlier this year. This has caused mass consternation among the experts and public alike, so much so that we’re wondering if the arrival of an iPad 4 now is just plain ridiculous and whether Apple could be treading on dangerous ground.

To many of us it seems just plain odd that Apple would bring out another new iPad so shortly after the third generation iPad. The iPad 3, or as Apple called it, the ‘new iPad,’ only arrived in March this year and although we had heard rumors of a minor refresh to the iPad third-generation that could be announced at the event, we definitely were not expecting Apple to tout this as a fourth-generation iPad as we did not expect an iPad 4 until next spring. The difference between the iPad 3 and 4 is really more of a specs bump and so we’re wondering why Apple has decided to call it the fourth generation, implying an altogether new device.

The changes between the iPad 3 and iPad 4 fit more with a refresh. For instance the iPad 4 has the new Lightning connector that featured on the iPhone 5 and comes with an A6X processor claiming to offer double the processor and graphics performance of the A5X used in the iPad 3. There’s also a bump to a 720p FaceTime camera, dual-band WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n and new image signal processor. However it looks the same as the iPad 3 and apart from these things there’s little difference between the third and fourth generation iPad and Apple is even maintaining the current prices of the iPad 3, with the same pricing structure for the iPad 4. While some potential iPad customers may be pleased to get a spec update in time for purchasing one, others are already expressing their unhappiness with the iPad 4 following on so soon.

Many people who have purchased the iPad 3 on release have expressed major dissatisfaction at the fact that a new iPad has turned up only 7 months later and it’s even worse for those who bought one more recently. It seems that at least one Apple store has accepted there might be some who are disappointed by this as earlier today we told how a store in San Francisco is willing to freely upgrade iPad 3s purchased within the last 30 days to an iPad 4. However, it’s not yet clear whether this is a blanket customer policy or whether this will only occur in certain stores.

Either way we think the offer would have gone down better if it applied to purchases within the last three months rather than just one and some comments to our post about this show that some people are certainly displeased and feel let down. From a consumer perspective we’d say that most people who buy an Apple mobile product expect a new version to come along around a year later as has traditionally been the case with the iPhone and has occurred with every new iPad. Thus people think they will have the latest ‘best thing’ for at least a year if they purchase it early enough.

It’s also confusing when you take a look at Apple’s online site as under iPad, we now see listings for the iPad mini, iPad 2 and iPad with Retina display where details of the fourth-generation specs are available even though the iPad 3 also had a Retina Display. There’s no individual mention of iPad third-generation or fourth-generation so that the iPad 3 appears to have been swept under the carpet and the two have morphed into one. In a way you could look at this in a positive way and if you’re about to buy one then be grateful that you will have one with higher specs but we think Apple would have been better off announcing this as just a minor update and sticking with the iPad 3 or ‘new iPad’ name, and then calling a new model next year the fourth-generation iPad.

Bringing out an iPad 4 now also seems to us to be setting a dangerous precedent as potential customers may be more wary of rushing out to buy the latest version when it launches, just in case Apple has something to top it a few months later and from reading about this today it seems that plenty of usually loyal Apple customers feel they have been ripped off. Apple needs to be careful that it doesn’t alienate its customers by attempting this sort of strategy too often or its once-faithful fan base may start looking elsewhere. No doubt Apple decided that bringing out a fourth-generation iPad in time for the holiday season meant it could cash in on this lucrative time of year but we would have imagined that there was plenty of scope for that in the iPad mini and that could now be in danger of being overshadowed by this controversy.