On Tuesday, Apple announced that they will be releasing a smaller version of its popular iPad tablet, deemed “iPad Mini”.
“Others have tried to make tablets smaller than the iPad and they’ve failed miserably,” said Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller. “These are not great experiences.”
At a media event, Schiller unveiled the 7.9-inch tablet, which is 7.2 millimeters wide (the width of a pencil, Schiller said) and weighs less than 7/10ths of a pound.
The device’s screen has the same proportions as the larger iPads, meaning that apps designed for the tablet should also appear spectacular on the Mini. Apple promises 10 hours of battery life, and the Mini will have front- and rear-facing cameras like its bigger cousins.
It also will have the “lightning” connector that came new on the iPhone 5 and new iPods.
It will have the same display-resolution specs as last year’s iPad 2, not the high-definition Retina display of the newest iPad, which also got a new model on Tuesday.
The iPad Mini’s display will be nearly an inch bigger than similar models produced by Apple’s competitors, like Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Google’s Nexus 7.
The iPad Mini will start at $329 for a 16GB, Wi-Fi only version, and increase in power and capability up to $659 for a 64GB model with cellular access. The new Kindle Fire HD and the Nexus 7 sell for $199.
“This isn’t just a shrunken-down iPad,” Schiller said. “It’s an entirely new design.”
Pre-orders for the devices begin Friday, and the Wi-Fi only iPad Mini will go on sale in stores November 2. Models that have Wi-Fi and can connect over cellular networks will start shipping in a few weeks.