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iPad Mini News,Specs,Rumors Roundup

The Apple rumor mill has been abuzz lately with talk of an iPad Mini release. Apple is heavily rumored to be announcing and releasing a new, smaller 7.85-inch iPad in 2012 to go along with the third-generation new iPad that is already on shelves. Here is the roundup of iPad Mini news, specs and rumors we plan to keep lovingly updated, and also one that should serve as a tasty grain of salt to take with any rumors that make their way out in the next few months.

iPad Mini May Be iPad 2 Spinoff

Marco Arment, the creator of Instapaper, recently speculated in his blog that the rumored 7-inch iPad Mini may be a spinoff of the iPad 2, using the same components found in the more recent.
With previous iPad releases, the code name “iPad2,1” through “iPad2,3” have represented variations of the iPad 2, such as the WiFi model and the GSM and CDMA models. The code “iPad2,4” represented a cheaper version of the iPad 2 that was launched alongside the “new iPad” that debuted in March.
The names “iPad2,5” and “iPad2,6” have not appeared before in any logs, indicating that this may signify that a new iPad is coming soon. That said, the iPad Mini may be a 7-inch version of the iPad 2, sporting an A5 SoC with 512 MB of RAM and enough GPU juice to drive the Gruber Display, but not the spiffier Retina Display.

iPad Mini Release Date

Apple fansite iMore, which has credible sources within Apple and is often proved accurate with predictions, reports that Apple is expected to unveil a new, smaller iPad on October 17th, 2012, and invites to the event sent out on October 10th. This could be the most anticipated iPad release yet, bringing the apples-and-oranges competition between Amazon’s Kindle Fire and the newly-releaced Google Nexus 7 to a boil just in time for the holiday gift-giving season of 2012. We’re all extremely excited to see what this heavily rumored new form factor will bring to the table, and how Apple will position the device in its already spectacularly successful line of iOS devices.

It would be nice to think of a new iPad(may be called iPad Air) coming within a couple of months. And it does make sense for Apple. A October launch date allows the iPad Mini to take full advantage of the holiday season.

iPad Mini Specs

The biggest difference between the 9.7-inch iPad that’s currently on the market and the iPad Mini is likely to be 7.85-inches in size. 9to5Mac seemingly led off the reports by posting an article displaying mockup renderings, supposed back casing part leaks, and purported cases for the device. According to the report, the iPad mini will not keep the thick bezels of the 9.7-inch iPad on all sides, but will instead feature smaller bezels along the sides in portrait mode, separated volume buttons, and a mic in the middle of the back. That premise is then used to validate a set of purported schematics from mid-July—originally posted by a hitherto unknown site called Think iOS—that showed such a device, measuring 7.3mm thick by 134.73 mm wide and 200.13 mm tall. These measurements would place the iPad mini in the same thickness range as an iPod touch.

About camera, Apple is said to be upgrading the FaceTime camera on the iPhone 5 to HD quality so it’s possible that we could see that with the iPad Mini as well. There is also speculation out there that Apple might actually be introducing an 8-pin dock connector instead of a 19-pin, which, if true, might also end up on the iPad Mini.

About LTE,some of the shells above appear to have a gap for Apple’s telltale cell radio bar, so that is likely to be an option. The ZooGue does not have that top area that is usually reserved for cell radios—perhaps giving more weight to the low-end Wi-Fi only camera-less model. This sounds exactly like the kind of cost/feature-cutting strategy Apple could use to get to a $200-ish price point. Again, this is only speculation.

iPad Mini Price

One of the biggest question marks, besides the specs, that consumers have is about how much Apple is going to be charging for the iPad Mini.
The noteworthy takeaway from the New York Times report is mention that the device “is likely to sell for significantly less than the latest $499 iPad.”

Other analysts have been predicting a price of $299 which would allow Apple to reportedly make a 31% profit on each tablet sold. That $299 price tag likely would represent the cheapest model with a the 16GB model possibly costing $399.