Is it time to say goodbye to the iPad 2? Rob Cihra, analyst with Evercore Partners thinks so. Cihra told investors Apple will most likely discontinue the second-generation tablet after announcing the iPad mini on October 23.
According to Cihra, Apple's goal is to offer "clearer product tiers", meaning the iPad mini will replace the iPad 2 as the lower tier entry product of the iPad lineup. If true, Apple will be replacing the $400 iPad 2 with a more affordable $300 to $350 smaller tablet. This has most analysts calling the iPad mini the "competition’s worst nightmare.
Apple has "a little more" to show us according to invites sent out for an October 23 press event. The company is widely expected to reveal a smaller version of the iPad, as well as 13-inch MacBook Pros with Retina displays. Also rumored is an update to the iMac line, with a redesigned profile.
The event will take place next Tuesday at 10 AM Pacific time at the California Theatre in San Jose. The venue is known as one of the country's best preserved examples of a late 1920s motion picture house, complete with a 1927 Wurlitzer console organ. Previously the event was rumored to be taking place on the Apple campus in Cupertino.
Apple fans and tech bloggers are still wondering what happened to the iPad mini event invites Apple was rumored to be shipping out on October 10th. Low yield rates of the tablet’s black aluminum chassis, and stricter quality requirements for all new iOS devices are the rumored causes for the delay. However, the reliable John Paczkowski from All Things D claims Apple is still going forward with a second fall product event to be held on October 23.
"People familiar with Apple’s plans tell us that the company will unveil the so-called 'iPad mini' on Oct. 23 at an invitation-only event. That’s a Tuesday, not a Wednesday, so this is a bit of a break with recent tradition. It also happens to be just three days prior to the street date for Microsoft’s new Surface tablet. Sources declined to specify where the event is to be held, and I’ve not been able to confirm a location."
Sources in Apple’s supply chain in Taiwan are reporting slow iPad mini shipments due to the low yield rates of the tablet’s aluminum chassis. According to the Digitimes, the critical anodized finish process for the black aluminum chassis is slowing down progress.
"The iPad mini reportedly will come in native- and black-colored aluminum chassis, which are more vulnerable to scratching, said the sources, adding that the anodized finish process on the black cases is more critical, which often results in lower yield rates."
Purported iPad mini manufacturer Catcher Technology said "its capacity utilization rates as well as yield rates for various products all meet its product roadmap." Meaning if the iPad mini rumor is true, and Catcher is indeed manufacturing iPad chassis, then Apple's demand is being met.
Update via The Wall Street Journal: "Apple Inc.’s Asian component suppliers have started mass production of a new tablet computer smaller than the current iPad." It will feature "a 7.85-inch liquid-crystal display with a lower resolution than the third-generation iPad with a 2,048-by-1,536 pixel Retina display."
It looks like the three-year old iPad mini rumor is finally coming to an end on October 17th, 2012 when Apple is expected to unveil the long awaited device at a special keynote. Press invites for the rumored event are purportedly shipping on October 10th. The "iPad mini" (aka the iPad Nano or iPad Air) is Apple's answer to the popular 7-inch Android tablets such as the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7 that have been flooding the market. Here are the rumored specs for Apple's new device:
The iPad mini is expected to be a lot like the 9.7-inch iPad but scaled down to 7.85-inches. It will obviously feature the same 8-pin Lightning dock connector and repositioned headphone jack (mind blown) as the iPhone 5 to conserve space. The front bezel is also rumored to be smaller, and it will most likely sport the same thin profile as the latest iPod touch.
That's right everyone. Apple is set to announce the smaller iPad Mini (or iPad Air) at one of their typical press events, and the invitations are slated for delivery on October 10. This is according to a report in Fortune, citing an inside source. This would put the keynote date at Wednesday, October 17 with a product launch on Friday, November 2.
The smaller 7.85-inch screen iPad Mini, also described as the iPad Nano or iPad Air, is said to have already begun production at a Foxconn factory in Brazil. Apple is said to be ramping up production to prepare for the cheaper, thinner tablet's release before the holiday shopping season. The device would fill a gap between the current full-size iPad and the 4-inch screen iPhone 5.
A model of the upcoming iPad mini has purportedly been photographed and leaked to Gotta Be Mobile. Photos show what the site claims to be an engineering sample, which is a scale model of the device used to improve production processes and test accessories designed for the tablet.
The photos of this plastic mold were delivered to the site by a "trusted source" within Apple's supply chain. According to current reports, production of the iPad mini is scheduled to begin at a Brazilian Foxconn plant in September. With a 7.85-inch display, this new iPad model will be approximately two-thirds the size of the Apple tablets seen to date.
Photos from a source in China have been sent to case maker ZooGue, purportedly of an upcoming iPad Nano body. The silver case looks familiar, except there are notable differences on the bottom of the design. According to these photos, the iPad Nano will feature the same mini-dock connector already seen on iPhone 5 part leaks.
Not only this, but the device features two speaker grills for stereo sound. It looks like something is missing from the top of the part, possibly black plastic which would cover cellular data antennas. This is assuming Apple uses a similar design for the iPad Nano as the current iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular model.
The iPad mini sounds like a knock off product or cheap imitation of the iPad, however according to supply chain mag DigiTimes displays for the rumored device have already been ordered. Apple has placed the 7.85-inch LCD panel orders with AU Optronics and LG Display.
Forhouse, an affiliate of AU Optronics is said to be making matching backlight units for the smaller iPad screen. DigiTimes didn't stop there, with the report also explaining that the assembly contract for the iPad mini will go to Pegatron Technology, not Foxconn, the current producer of the iPad 2. The report follows several back and forth rumors over Apple's plans for a smaller tablet, or lack thereof.