Remember about two years ago when Apple founder Steve Jobs stated on an earnings conference call that it would be impossible to make a good tablet with a screen smaller than the iPad’s 10 inch display?
“There are clear limits of how close you can physically place elements on a touchscreen before users cannot reliably tap, flick or pinch them,” Jobs said, citing Apple’s research. And no, a higher screen resolution wouldn’t help upcoming Android-based tablets: “It is meaningless unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one-quarter of their present size.”
Okay, forget it! The new iPad mini has a 7.9 inch display and a 1024 by 768-pixel resolution, which is short of the ultra-fine Retina displays on the iPhone 5. The new iPad launched last spring has itself been replaced by a fourth generation model with a processor that Apple says is twice as fast.
Pre-orders will be accepted for the iPad mini starting this Friday with the tablet arriving in stores the following week just in time for the holidays. The 16 GB (gigabyte) model will start at $329 with Wi-Fi Internet access and a 32 GB edition for $429 and a 64 GB unit for $529. Another $130 will be added for mobile broadband support from AT&T, Sprint or Verizon Wireless. The versions with broadband support will arrive about two weeks later.
Those prices break with Apple’s past practices. The iPad beat the price of any well-known Android tablet by a large margin for many months.
Keep in mind that you can now buy a quality 7-inch Android tablet, such as, Google’s pleasant Nexus 7 or Amazons new Kindle Fire HD, both with a slightly higher resolution than the new mini for $199. And, the quality of these smaller Android tablets in terms of battery life, has also advanced greatly from the first and somewhat inadequate versions.
New Macs were also discussed at the California event.