Tuesday, 16 October 2012

iPad mini to come with cellular and Wi-Fi options

The Apple iPad mini was reported to available in only a Wi-Fi option, in order to keep the price of the forthcoming tablet to a minimum. A recent report indicates that the 7.85-inch tablet will now come with both Wi-Fi as well as cellular capabilities.

It appears that the Cupertino-based brand is not holding back any punches with this smaller iPad, and launching it in various storage capacities such as 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, and the top-of-the-line model at 64GB of internal storage.

As per a related report published by Engadget, “According to a proven source of Mobile Geeks, German electronics retailer Media Markt has the iPad mini in 16 flavors in its inventory system. The company's internal documentation shows the rumored tablet at 8, 16, 32 and 64GB configurations, with each offering a choice of black or white, as well as a choice of 3G or just WiFi. The retailer is listing sticker prices, too: for the WiFi-only flavor, €249 buys an 8GB model, €349 snags 16GB, €449 for 32GB and €549 scores 64GB of storage. Looking for a slab with cellular connectivity? Stack an extra €100 on each of those prices.”

Considering that the regular sized 16GB iPad is priced at $399 in the US, the iPad mini may be expect to cost approximately $250, which would roughly translate to around Rs 13,171.

However, one should not be too hopeful of getting the tablet for this price tag. It is likely that it could be priced significantly higher, as was the case of the new iPods. The portable media player cost much more than models being sold in the US.

That being said, Apple has been losing its market share in the tablet segment to the likes of Amazon with its Kindle Fire, and Google with its Nexus 7 tablet. For Apple to stay in the run, and cater to a customer base that would want a smaller tablet, Apple would have to launch a 7-inch tablet to cement its throne as the leading tablet manufacturer. The Google Nexus 7 tablet is faring exceedingly well in the market and rumours suggest that a 3G version of the tablet may also be in the works. Apple would need to step into this segment to battle the increasing competition from other manufacturers.

Speculating on the competition at hand, while the prices of the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire are similar, both of which are Wi-Fi only, the Nexus 7 seems to be the device of choice as it comes with beefier hardware along with access to Android v4.1 (Jelly Bean) as well as future Android releases. However, Apple has its own iOS operating system. When it does announce the iPad mini, it will most likely launch it with iOS 6 straight out of the box.

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