Apple had taken the tech work by storm when it had launched the iPad Mini back in November 2012. However, we are fast approaching the first anniversary of the launch, which means there is a new version in the making and should be ready for prime time action soon. Also, the immense popularity that the first gen iPad Mini enjoyed has only led to the hype surrounding the second gen device to reach almost frenzied proportions.
It’s the talk of the tech town, which coupled with the complete secrecy that the device is shrouded in right now has only meant we can be at our speculative best to ascertain what to expect in the next couple of months from Apple. That it would be a significant improvement over the current version is all too well known, though all the curiosity is centered on by what margin. The iPad Mini is already an excellent device, (not for nothing did it go on to outsell its own stable mate, the iPad) and we all are eager to know how much better the next generation iPad Mini 2 will be.
Mentioned here are some of the key aspects of the iPad Mini and what we can expect from the iPad Mini 2.
One of the biggest debates currently centered on the iPad Mini is whether or not the iPad Mini 2 will sport a Retina display. There are a lot of factors which makes us believe there is no reason why the next gen iPad Mini won’t have such a display. After all, the lack of a retina display is considered one of the biggest flaws (if it can be considered a flaw in the first place) of the mini iPad and the biggest improvement Apple can implement with its next generation is to incorporate the high resolution displays. It can be considered a glaring omission given how obsessed Apple is with high resolution panels which it calls retina displays. The regular 9.7 inch sized iPads (4th generation onwards) all come with such displays, including many of the Macbook versions as well.
Another point in favor of Apple going for a retina display is the new font that is a bit narrower being used in the iOS 7. Apple has announced the new platform in early June. With this being the operating system for all future mobile devices from the company, it would be a compromise on something as vital as reading experience as the slightly lower resolution displays (1,024 x 768) of the iPad Mini could prove the thinner fonts a bit less appealing.
However, with that being the general expectation, those with their ears to the ground have however picked up a different trend. That Apple might skip on such displays for the new iPad Mini and the reason is being attributed to there being a lack of the said displays in adequate numbers. These rumor sources are claiming Apple will launch a new iPad Mini soon but it won’t have the Retina display, something that we got to wait till next year to see becoming a reality. Surely it is hard to believe the new iPad Mini will be missing out on Retina displays one more time, though it is only time and Apple that can tell what it has in store for us.
One of the biggest USPs of the iPad Mini has been its looks. Its light and thin, which combined with its even thinner bezels along the sides, has ensured the device is nothing short of a stunner. This combined with its 7.9 inch display ensured the iPad Mini is just right as far as portability and ease of use is concerned. It marked a complete departure from the iPad design which has remained more or less consistent ever since it was launched back in 2010. In comparison, the iPad Mini might look somewhat like an enlarged iPhone though there is nothing wrong in it being so. The sales figure is ample proof of that.
Now coming to the iPad Mini 2, expert opinion on this has generally been varying from an even thinner bezel to the bezel being completely non-existent. Also, the two usual qualities that gets further impetus with the new version of the devices, thinner and lighter, is also likely to be applicable to the iPad Mini 2 as well. However, it’s here that things can get a bit tricky for Apple as incorporating a Retina display will call for a bigger battery unit to ensure the tablet can stick to the 10+ hours of charge it is capable of. However, a radical new design should not be expected.
Apart from sharing the same resolution display as the iPad 2, the iPad Mini is also powered by the same Apple A5 dual core chip. That Apple will up the ante on this front is almost a certainty, more so if a higher resolution display is used since the latter will call for a more efficient graphics processor. Meanwhile, the iPad 4 equipped with retina display is powered by the faster Apple A6X processor and chances are that the same could also find its way into the iPad Mini 2 as well. Or even if it’s the same low resolution display is continued on the new iPad Mini, the A6 will no doubt do a world of good to its processing capabilities.
Meanwhile, Apple is also working on an even faster A7 chip as well and it shouldn’t be surprising if the same end up at the core of the new iPad Mini 2 as well. This will ensure Apple has the same chip in use across all its iPad range.
Currently, the iPad Mini is available in the 16, 32 and 64 GB storage options and that Apple will stick to the same with the new iPad Mini 2 is all too evident. However, a surprise addition could be a new version that comes with 128 GB of storage. Apple already offers an iPad with that much of storage, which means it perhaps won’t be too way off to assume an equivalent iPad Mini 2 variant might also be in the offing.
Rumor mongers have been really wild on this one though the one schedule that perhaps makes the most sense is a launch during the October November period. For not only does this make almost a year after the first gen version was launched, this period also goes well with what Tim Cook had announced that they have new exciting products to be launched after September. Further, Apple has also stated their new iOS 7 platform will be available in all its glory only in autumn.
Meanwhile, another school of thought had been maintaining that Apple will launch a non Retina panel equipped iPad Mini 2 this fall and will come up with a new iPad Mini complete with a Retina panel early next. This seems least likely as Apple surely won’t risk pissing off its fan base by launching a new variant of the iPad Mini so soon. Also, sales generally tend to drop off a bit right after the holiday season, a period that major manufacturers generally tend to skip launching any new product.
Apple has never adopted the low initial price bait to lure in consumers. What this means is that a price cut for the new iPad Mini 2 as is being rumored in some quarters seems least likely. Instead, the new iPad Mini will slot into the same price range as its ancestor. The price range starts at $330 for the base Wi-Fi only version of the tablet with 16 GB onboard, going all the way up to $659 for the top of the line LTE version of the Apple tablet with 64 GB of storage.
Also of course, the coming of the iPad Mini 2 should not be considered as the end of the road for the first gen version. Instead, Apple could well use the same as a weapon of choice to decimate the challenge posed by the budget Android tablets, including the new Nexus 7 2 which is expected to hit streets sporting a price tag of $230. A $100 discount is all that is needed to pitch the iPad Mini bang in the Nexus 7 2 territory. After all, the first gen iPad Mni is still going strong enough and continues to sell in numbers higher than its bigger cousin, the iPad. If that be the case, then both the two generation of the iPad Mini devices could be seen ruling the roost in the low to mid end smaller tablet segment.