Yesterday, we told you about a rumor that the iPad mini would hit store shelves late this summer. Well, today, iMore is reporting that the launch date of the supposed smaller tablet is going to be October.
While an August release would be nice, October is more on-par with Apple’s recent release schedule. Last year, the iPhone 4S was released in October.
According to a source close to the information, the mini iPad will have a predicted price point of only $200 to $250. This would make sense because the only reason Apple would release a smaller iPad is to compete with Amazon. The Kindle Fire sells for only $199, so in order for Apple to compete, they would have to price it comparably. At the same time, it doesn’t make sense because everyone knows that Amazon sells the Kindle Fire at a loss, but makes up for it in marketplace purchases. Apple is not in the market of selling downloadable products. They wouldn’t be able to close the financial gap from selling a super cheap tablet.
In addition to the release date and price point information, the source told iMore that the low-cost mini will come with 8GB of storage, instead of the minimum of 16GB that the larger iPads have. This would be a bad idea considering the size of apps have increased exponentially with the release of the third-generation iPad. I own a 16GB iPad and I run out of storage all the time. I have to constantly delete apps just to download updates. An 8GB iPad would be too small.
The sources for iMore are particularly reliable. Apple Insider points out that that same source accurately predicted the March 7 product announcement for the new iPad and anticipated that it would feature high-speed 4G LTE connectivity. So, the blog site has a fairly accurate track record.
My opinion about a mini iPad is starting to change. I’ve stated, many times, that Apple won’t make a smaller-screened tablet. However, rumors are hitting a fevered pitch these days, which usually mean that some version of it is true. Additionally, iMore pointed out that Steve Jobs also said that “no one wanted to watch video on an iPod and that Apple wasn’t interested in making a phone,” and both of those things became a reality eventually. I think I may be on the verge of being willing to accept the possibility of a mini iPad in the future. I’ll bet my mom would love one.