The rumours were true, the iPad mini exists, and will arrive in stores and in the hands of those who preordered on 2nd November. Perhaps the real surprise, though, is the availability of the next generation regular sized iPad on the very same day.
Pushing the iPad platform up
The new iPad, which we will be referring to as the iPad 4 from herein, is essentially the iPad we expected to see in March 2013. It's an impressive push upwards, doubling both the CPU and GPU power of the iPad 3 in just 8 months. With the iPad 4, Apple has created a tablet computer that is fully capable of running just about any collection of code that Apple or third party developers can realistically conceive of. We can't overstate how impressive the iPad 4 is on paper. It's a tablet computer with the general computing power of an iMac from just a few years ago and graphics power equal to the Playstation 3 and XBOX 360. Combine this power with a 3 mega pixel display and a 10 hour battery life and it's not at all hard to see why the iPad 4 is such an important piece of computing hardware.
Pushing the iPad plaform down
We believe that the smaller display of the iPad mini will restrict it's productivity for the kind of activities that we feature on iPad Creative. Having said that, we are completely confident that tablet computers are the future of general purpose computing, so expanding the range is the right thing to do at this time.
The iPad mini is the new entry level iPad. If Tim Cook felt that the best way of protecting the more profitable end of the range was to reduce the size of the display, then so be it. We think that many iPad mini owners will eventually upgrade to the full 9.7" experience, or perhaps even own both.
In our next article we'll take a look at where Apple can push the iPad next. If the iPad 4 is the iPad we expected Apple to launch in 2013, where does that leave the possibility of a refresh in Spring 2013?