The iPad Mini should be joining Apple's ranks this fall. (Photo : thedroidguy.com)
The countdown to September 12 started weeks ago and the rumors continue blossoming as the day approaches.
On that day, Apple will reveal the coveted iPhone 5 to the world. But if rumors are true, that is not the only item that will be on display. A new iPod Touch and Nano have been in the rumor mills, but the hottest item that has also been rumored for that day is the iPad mini/iPad 4.
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Today, 9 to 5 Mac revealed information on the tablet that finally confirms Apple's direction with the new item. The thickness of the iPad mini will be around 7.2 to 7.3 millimeters**Correction** and will feature a 7.85 inch display. The cost is slated to be around $249 to $299 and the tablet is slated to look like a bigger sized iPod touch with a smaller bezel. The tablet will also offer 4:3 display
These proportions and costs certainly put the item right in competition with such devices as the Google Nexus 7 and Apple Kindle Fire in the 7 inch tablet sector. Those two tablets seem to have an edge in portability over Apple's current tablet.
With the iPad mini, Apple now enters into a market that they have often ignored: the small tablet market. They already have a strong hold on the phone market with the iPhone and the impending iPhone 5. The tablet market is theirs with the iPad. The Macbook Pro and Air already service laptop users. They took over the MP3 market years ago with the iPod, iPod touch, and iPod Nano. And now, the customers who simply want a tablet to read from that is portable and comfortable can be theirs as well. The price point is competitive with what Amazon is offering for the Kindle and Barnes and Nobles is offering for the Nook. But with no new versions slated for announcement, Apple's announcement will help move those customers looking for an upgrade.
Is this the best move for Apple? Considering that Samsung is pre-empting with the Galaxy Note 2 "phablet" Apple really has no choice but to catch up with their hated foes in the small tablet market. Apple has already spent a great deal of time establishing itself in other markets and while they may be late to the party with small tablets, they will likely bring along a large market of Apple faithful that will enable them to plant themselves firmly in this one. If the iPad mini is the major success many predict, than Apple has a presence in all mobile device markets and all types of users.