The sensational Sarah Lane guest-hosts for Leo Laporte, who's on the geek cruise down under, and talks iPad mini sales numbers, iPhone loyalty waning, Apple and Intel going to Splitsville, and more, with Andy Ihnatko, Alex Lindsay, and yours truly.
Once upon a time Apple had a big, industry leading product that they fearlessly overshadowed by releasing a slightly cheaper, more portable version. That was January, 2004 and the product was the iPod mini. This is October, 2012 and Apple has just done it again with the not-coincidentally named iPad mini.
Like the iPhone 5, the iPad mini looks and feels almost unreal. It's not much smaller than the full-sized iPad 4, 7.9-inches diagonally across the display rather than 9.7, but it's almost 25% thinner -- as thin as the last generation iPod touch -- and over 50% lighter. Yet it still runs the same tablet-optimized version of iOS 6 as the iPad 4, and has access to the same 700,000+ apps, 275,000+ of which are tablet-optimized.
Unlike the iPhone 5 and iPad 4, however, the iPad mini uses last year's specs to get that thin and light, and run all those apps. That means no Apple A6-series processor, and most noticeably, no Retina display.
So does portability ultimately win out over power and pixel density, or is Apple's iPad mini a non-Retina non-starter?
The newly released iPad mini comes with two cameras: a 1.2-megapixel front-facing FaceTime HD camera and a 5-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera with a f/2.4 five-element lens, hybrid IR filter, and backside illuminations. In fact, this is the exact same camera featured in the iPod touch 5.
Yes, Apple is still the biggest company in the world. But since hitting a high of over $700 in late September, the stock is off about 20%. Putting this in dollar terms, the value of Apple, as a company, has fallen by nearly $140 billion compared to the September highs.
During this 20% drop, Apple’s market value has fallen by 32x the total market value of RIM. Talk about a metric that puts things in perspective! Apple has also lost more value than 60% of Google’s total market capitalization, and more than Verizon’s entire market cap. Why?
Rene already expressed the opinion that if Amazon, Google, et. al really want to come at the iPad mini based on price, what they're really doing is telling people to buy a $150 BlackBerry PlayBook. So, in the interest of science, I picked one up to put it's through it's paces.
The iPad 4 has an Apple A6X system-on-a-chip (SoC) is marketed as twice as fast, both in central and graphics processing, as the iPad 3 released only 7 short months ago. Apple's custom, manually-set ARM v7s processor -- called Swift -- remains the 32nm CMOS dual-core beast found in the iPhone 5, but it's been cranked up to 1.4 GHz. The X in the iPad 4's A6X once again represents a quad-core graphics processor, this time the PowerVR SGX554MP4. On spec, that's some serious fire-power.
The iPad mini, by contrast, has the same die-shrunk Apple A5 SoC found in the iPad 2. That's a 1GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A9 and PowerVR dual-core SGX543MP2. But the iPad mini also has the same 1024x768 display as the iPad 2. It's smaller but denser, going from 9.7-inches to 7.9 inches, and 132 ppi to 163 ppi, but it's the raw pixel count here that makes the difference.
Retina comes at a price, and that price is performance for the first generation devices that have to support it. The iPad 3, iPhone 4, the iPod touch 4, even the Retina MacBook Pros were and are maxed out trying to push all those pixels. Once that's done, though, once the price has been paid, however, performance improvements go back to where they belong -- making things feel faster.
So, even with the older, less powerful Apple A5, the iPad mini should fly. But will the new A6X help the iPad 4 do likewise?
Apple has just announced that it has sold a staggering three million Wi-Fi-only iPad and iPad minis over the opening three days of sales. The figure of three million has not been broken down between devices so includes both the iPad 4th generation and the iPad mini. It does not include cellular iPads which may have been pre-ordered but won't ship for another couple of weeks. The three million figure eclipses the last opening weekend figures of just 1.5 million Wi-Fi units sold of the new iPad (third generation).
Rene Ritchie and Ryan Block of GDGT talk Apple's recent management re-organization, the future of Forstall, the iPad mini launch and where Apple goes from here, and the LTE compromise in the new Nexus 4. This is an iMore show special edition.
The iPad mini is the first non-Retina display iOS device Apple has introduced since the iPad 2 in the spring of 2011. The iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 5 are all Retina devices, as are the iPod touch 4 and iPod touch 5. There's are a lot of technical reasons why Apple made that choice. Lighting, powering, and paying for a 2048x1536 panel would have resulted in a substantial thicker, heavier, more expensive iPad mini. But how much of a difference does it really make?
If you just got your new iPad 4 or iPad mini and you're wondering which apps and games you need to download right now to show off that gorgeous new piece of tech, you're in luck. We have your list right here!