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What to Expect for the iPad Mini: News and Rumors

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A look at its potential price, release date, and features.

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A leaked picture from ETrade Supply (via AppleInsider) of acquired parts of the tablet shows the potential screen aspect ratio of the iPad Mini and its potential battery. These photos show the display panel having an aspect ratio of 4-to-3, or the same as the 9.7-inch iPad. However, the images provided earlier by Nowhereelse suggest an aspect ratio of 16-to-9.

The resolution of the display may be 1,024 by 768 pixels, and this would allow applications designed for the iPad to run without modification on the iPad Mini.

The tablet may use 16.7Whr battery running at 3.72 V, making it three times larger than the iPhone 5 battery, which is a 5.45Whr battery.

As for network connectivity and storage sizes, two reports have been cited as likely containing the correct information. The list from Schimanke posted on October 13 shows storage options of 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB and color options of black or white. For connectivity, Wi-Fi only and cellular are listed as options. SlashGear says the iPad Mini will just have a 3G option for cellular connectivity..

AppleInsider released its own exclusive report with a list of 24 presumed iPad Mini product stock-keeping units, or SKUs. The list overall matches the list from Media Markt if the SKUs have been interpreted correctly, except for the availability of 4G.

The four different models of P101, P103, P105, and P107 likely indicates four different storage capacities 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB. The four models either had a "GOOD," "BETTER," and "BEST" next to them, probably referring to Wi-Fi only, 3G, and 4G LTE.

Each description either had an "A" or "B" next to it, which can be expected to indicate either the black or white color.

Details on some components have been leaked as well. AppleInsider reported this morning that Noweherelse released alleged images today of iPad Mini components for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS antennas. GPS connectivity would only be available for tablets with connectivity to 3G and 4G LTE networks. The tablet may have Bluetooth 4.0, known as Bluetooth Smart Ready because it can connect to traditional Bluetooth devices as well as smart devices such as heart-rate monitors or pedometers.

Other images from Apple.pro (via AppleInsider) show Lighting connectors purportedly for the iPad Mini.

Availability & Target Market

Brian White stated that he expects 5 million to 7 million units to be shipped for the fourth quarter. White said that more iPad Minis would have been available, but the suppliers have struggled to assemble the tablet. Earlier estimates expected shipment of 10 million units of the tablet in the fourth quarter. Other reports stated that suppliers had trouble with preventing scratches on the bodies of the black iPad Minis, similar to the production problems encountered in manufacturing the iPhone 5. The display panels proved difficult to produce as well.

According to Marketwatch, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who has been very bullish on Apple, projects that Apple's share of the 7-inch tablet market could reach 50% within a year. He says Amazon's Kindle Fire and Google's Nexus 7 tablet could reach 20% of the market share each.

As for the target market of the iPad Mini, Bloomberg released a report yesterday stating that Apple executives will highlight the iPad's educational capabilities at the media event today, according to a person with knowledge of the planning. Steve Jobs starting pushing tablets in education when Apple first released the iPad in 2010, and the company wishes to capture a larger share of the $19.7 billion information technology market in education.

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
The author has a postion in Microsoft.
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