The iPad Mini is meant help Apple enter a new market and grow its consumer base, but if it sports a high price tag, will it? (Photo : thedroidguy.com)
Apple is expected to officially show off the iPhone 5 at an event on September 12. Rumors indicated that the iPad Mini could also debut at the same event, but it seems like more and more analysts are thinking otherwise. Instead, consensus seems to be that the iPad Mini could come out at a second event in October, in order to allow the iPhone 5 time to sell, and keep interest in both products at an all-time high.
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The iPhone 5 is expected to begin selling on September 21. Carriers AT&T and Verizon have announced vacation blackout dates for its employees from September 21-30, indicating that the carriers are gearing up for a big launch.
This move could indicate that Apple wants to give the iPhone 5 room to sell before the iPad Mini hits the market. This way, consumers don't have to choose between the two, and might be able to simply pick one up after the other.
A later release date also allows Apple to keep the media focused on its products. Competitors Samsung, Microsoft, and Nokia are all expected to debut more devices in the fall, and while Apple undeniably remains the center of attention, by having two separate ad campaigns and launches instead of one, Apple could keep its iDevices the most sought-after and talked about electronics devices.
"I don't think Apple would want reviews of both a new iPhone and new-size iPad appearing at the same time," Daring Fireball's John Gruber said in a post.
"Why share the spotlight? Why have another Apple product battling with the iPhone for the top spots in news coverage? ... The more I think about it, the less sense it makes for the iPhone to even share the stage at the announcement with any other product. The iPhone is too big, too cool, and garners too much attention - and it's in Apple's interest to keep that attention undiluted."
The iPad Mini will also open up a whole new market for Apple: the smaller, budget tablet market.
The new iPad features a 10-inch screen and starts at $499. Both the size and price tag can be a turn-off for many consumers, who instead opt to go with the smaller, cheaper Amazon Kindle Fire or Google Nexus 7, two tablets with 7-inch screens and a $199 price tag.
The iPad Mini will be Apple's attempt at directly competing at this lower price range. Its screen should be in the 7-to-8-inch range, and sources are predicting it will begin selling at $249. This would provide an attractive and cheap iPad for students and other consumers strapped for cash.