After years of rumours, Phil Schiller has taken to the stage again at the California Theatre and announced the iPad Mini, officially entering the Cupertino-based company into direct competition with Google and Amazon this holiday season.
As predicted by many bloggers, the screen size is at 7.9", with the same resolution as the original (1024x768). It's 7.2mm thick, 1/4 thicker than the fourth-gen iPad or, as Phil puts it, as thin as a pencil. It's also as light as a pad of paper: weighing .68 pounds.
It comes in either white (with a pure aluminium back) and black (with a black anodised aluminium back). After Phil's campaign against the Nexus 7 and android tablets, we got back down to specs. Dual core A5 chip, Facetime HD camera and a 5MP rear facing, all the wi-fi bands, 4G LTE, lightning connector and the same 10 hour battery life as its big brother.
Along with the same snap on smart cover as those previous, this is every much a competing tablet Apple required to make; but the pricing is gambling that people are willing to pay a premium. The 16GB version is available at $329 (about 200GBP), $429 for 32GB and $529 for the 64GB version. 4G versions are available for an extra $130 premium. Pre-orders begin on October 26th, with the wi-fi models becoming available on November 2nd: quite an attempt to take the wind out of Microsoft's sails on Friday.