Apple Announces iPad Mini

Today Apple announced the much rumored iPad mini during their launch event. The rumors swirling around this new form factor for the iOS platform had been going on for months leading up to today. Here are the specifics for the platform:

  • Sized to fit in one’s hand (H 7.87″, W  5.3″, D 0.28″)
  • 7.9-inch Multi-Touch display
  • FaceTime HD and iSight cameras
  • Faster wireless performance
  • 10 hours of battery life
  • Same Lightning connector as on the new iPhone 5
  • Weighs 0.68 pounds

It will be interesting to watch the uptake of this form factor in the iOS lineup. Apple had to try and balance pricing so as not to cannibalize sales from their larger (and more expensive) iPad while still adding consumer value. The 16GB Wi-Fi only model starts at $329 which puts it between the “new” iPad at $499 (16GB Wi-Fi) and the iPod touch at $299. What may prove to be a spoiler for the iPad mini is that the iPad 2 is likely to still be available for purchase from Apple starting at $399 for the 16GB model and the iPhone 5 is available for $199 (with a cellular contract).

While the five different display resolutions in the iOS product line can’t really be considered the “fragmentation” like the Android market, it will keep developers and designers busy in order to take advantage of the new sizes.