Sprint has announced it's now offering the iPad mini and fourth generation iPad with the choice of four data plans. All the plans are without contract, so you can cancel at anytime. Here are the plans:
- 300MB of data for $14.99 per month
- 3GB of data for $34.99 per month
- 6GB of data for $49.99 per month
- 12GB of data for $79.99 per month
“iPad mini and the fourth generation iPad, combined with Sprint’s 4G LTE network and our aggressively priced rate plans, offer customers an outstanding tablet experience,” said Fared Adib, senior vice president, Product Development, Sprint. “Sprint doesn’t put its customers on shared pricing plans like some carriers. With Sprint you get the best pricing for all the data you need without the worry of overages.”
Holding out for a Retina display iPad mini? According to supply chain sources in China, you could be waiting until next year. With the smaller iPad model just arriving this month, a report from SlashGear points to an annual refresh schedule for the smaller tablet.
The good news is that Apple is already working with suppliers to secure mass-produced 2048 x 1536 resolution 7.9-inch displays for the next generation iPad mini. These Retina-caliber displays clock 324 pixels per inch, and would be featured on the iPad mini 2 coming in fall 2013.
Tom Warren of The Verge has dusted off the old Xbox Surface rumor by claiming Microsoft is working on its own 7-inch gaming tablet to compete with the iPad mini and other portable gaming consoles. Warren said "multiple sources familiar with plans within Redmond" have confirmed earlier leaked specs were accurate, and the Xbox Surface will run a custom Windows kernel. The new device will also feature a custom ARM processor and high-bandwidth RAM suited for playing games.
According to Warren's sources, Microsoft will develop the Xbox Surface in-house while any future "Xbox 720" console will be handled by outside companies like Pegatron or Foxconn.
"We've learned that part of the Xbox Surface is being developed at Microsoft's offices in Silicon Valley. The software giant recently locked down several Xbox-related buildings, limiting employee access to the company's Interactive Entertainment Business division. The lock down is likely related to Microsoft's increased testing of the tablet, providing a way for other parts of the Xbox team to build games and software for the device. Providing the project doesn't get killed in favor of a full 7-inch Windows tablet, in the same way Microsoft axed Courier, expect to see the Xbox Surface debut ahead of Microsoft's future Xbox console."
While the East Coast was busy picking up the pieces after Hurricane Sandy this weekend, iOS developers MuscleNerd and Chpwn were concentrating on jailbreaking Apple's newly released iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad. The iPad mini was jailbroken by MuscleNerd only 24 hours after its release, and Chpwn announced he had cracked the iPad 4 on Monday. Both devices were released on Friday, November 2.
Both the iPad mini and iPad 4 jaibreaks will remain failbreaks until more exploits can be discovered. This means these jailbreaks are not ready for public consumption. However, this proves the iPad 4′s new A6X chip can be jailbroken, and that progress is being made. Hopefully, it's only a matter of time before an untethered iPhone 5, iPad mini and iPad 4 jailbreak is available to the public.
Apple sold three million fourth generation iPads and iPad minis in just three days since the launch of the two devices. Apple's CEO Tim Cook said Apple "set a new launch weekend record and practically sold out of iPad minis." Cook also noted Apple is working hard to build more iPad minis to "meet the incredible demand."
Apple also announced that the iPad mini with Wi-Fi + Cellular and fourth generation iPad with Wi-Fi + Cellular will be available in the US on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon in a "few weeks". The iPad mini will cost $459 for the 16GB model, $559 for the 32GB model and $659 for the 64GB model. The revamped iPad 4 will cost $629 for the 16GB model, $729 for the 32GB model and $829 for the 64GB model. The iPad 2 is currently available for $399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and $529 for the 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G model.
Online scalpers are already taking advantage of holiday shoppers by offering sold out items such as the Nintendo Wii U and Call of Duty: Black Ops II Care Package for double the price on Amazon and eBay. The new shopping app whohas.it not only helps holiday shoppers avoid paying too much for popular gifts, but it also eases holiday shopping headaches by allowing consumers to easily obtain sold out or pre-release items.
Shoppers who are tired of running store to store in search of sold out items can now use the whohas.it app to do all the hard work for them. The app and website monitors thousands of web pages and retailer databases for product availability, and sends realtime notifications or email alerts to users when a product becomes available for pre-order or purchase. Users can use the app to track and compare prices for a variety of items like the rare Cotton Candy Furby, Skylanders Giants: Character Packs , cameras, electronics and more.
Not surprisingly Apple's first batch of iPad mini and new iPad models have sold out. Anyone who hasn't already pre-ordered will not receive their tablet on launch day November 2. In fact, ordering an iPad mini on the Apple Store online means a wait of two weeks until the device is available to ship.
The A6X processor iPad with Retina display is also delayed, with shipping times listed at one week. Overall, it took somewhat longer for delivery times to slip when compared to some other Apple device pre-orders including the iPhone 5. Units of Apple's latest smartphone were sold out within hours, resulting in delivery times increasing to weeks on the first day.
More accessories are on the way from Apple to complement the full range of iOS products with Lightning dock connectors. One highlight is an update to the power adapter shipped with the Retina display iPad and iPad mini.
In order to meet the battery life demands on these power-hungry mobile devices, Apple has been forced to increase the capacity of built-in lithium-ion batteries. The new power adapter provides 12W instead of the previous version with only 10W of juice.
Many Apple fans were shocked by the $329 iPad mini price tag. Mostly because analysts predicted Apple would price the new tablet around $250 to $300 in order to compete with the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7. Phil Schiller defended the $329 price claiming shoppers will pay a little more for quality.
"The iPad is far and away the most successful product in its category. The most affordable product we've made so far was $399 and people were choosing that over those devices," Schiller told Reuters
But why did Apple really price the iPad mini higher than all the other 7-inch Android tablets on the market? According to the DigiTimes, the markup had nothing to do with "quality", but had to do with problems manufacturing the touch screen.
First time tablet buyers who are wondering if it's worth spending $329 to $659 on Apple's first 7.9-inch iPad, will probably want to consider why they want a tablet in the first place. Amazon kicked off the 7-inch tablet craze by introducing the Kindle Fire in 2011. The Kindle Fire didn't "kill" the iPad as some had predicted, but its decent sales did prove there was a market for smaller affordable devices. Google deciding to launch the $200 Nexus 7 earlier this year is what many believed led Apple to launch the iPad mini. It was widely believed Apple would crush the competition by pricing its own 7-inch iPad to compete with both the newly released Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7, however its steeper $329 price tag and disappointing screen resolution have left some people scratching their heads. But what tablet is the better buy?
The Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 are glorified eReaders, and I don't mean that as an insult. The tablets are sold at cost to push more content through Google Play and Amazon's App Store. The Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 are geared towards people who want to watch movies or read books on the go, not tech addicts or users looking for a complete tablet experience. Buyers on a budget who are shopping for their first tablet may want to consider sticking with the more affordably priced Android tablets. Buyers who were hoping to get the full Apple experience for a more affordable price may want to consider the iPad mini, or grab an iPad 2 before they disappear. If size is your concern, and not dollars, then the iPad mini is a great choice.