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Review: Apple's iPad mini  

post #1 of 90
Thread Starter 
Apple's new iPad mini is likely to become its most popular iPad, due to a light, thin design that delivers tablet optimized apps in a more portable package at a reduced price.

Jump to a section of this reviewA new form factorWhy no Retina display?Big iPod touch, iPad featuresMost popular iPad ever?Wi-Fi, other hardware & software, and wrap-upSave time & money when buying


What is the iPad mini?

?

Apple's new iPad mini, at first glance, appears to be an attempt by the company to annex the only portion of the tablet market it doesn't already own: the niche between the new 4-inch iPod touch and the full sized, 9.7-inch iPad.?

iPad mini


Amazon, Google and a variety of other Android licensees have attempted to establish a position in 7-inch tablets that they can use to grow upward (and in some cases downward) in size.?To many observers, the iPad mini is simply following this trend, albeit with a significantly more expensive entry point.

Apart from price, critics are also complaining that the iPad mini lacks the high-end Retina display of the latest iPad 3 and 4 (and Apple's most expensive new MacBooks, and all models of iPhone and iPod touch currently being sold).

However, looking at the iPad mini as a low end, 7-inch rival is just as misleading as the perspective of those who saw the original iPad as a poor netbook option saddled with such flaws as not having a physical keyboard or mouse and lacking the ability to run conventional desktop apps. People who thought that in 2010 were blindsided by the success of the iPad and the collapse of netbook sales.

Similarly, the iPad mini is not a cheap, low end tablet trying to establish the first rung of a new platform by stretching some existing smartphone apps across a larger screen.?

iPad mini


Instead, it's a reinvented iPad, designed to be as thin as the company's newly released, 4-inch iPod touch and iPhone 5 while running the full library of tablet-optimized App Store titles (and a wide array of custom corporate apps being used in government and the enterprise) that fill out Apple's full sized iPad ecosystem.

iPad mini: a new form factor of iPad



Most of the critical engineering decisions Apple made in the design of iPad mini were clearly aimed at delivering a functional and popular mobile device, not just a very low priced one.?

iPad mini


Apple could have reached lower into the bargain bin to give it A4 "celeron" power, created an entry point offering a paltry 8GB of storage, or relied on other OEMs to crank out a generic, thick slab of plastic and simply label that product with the sales power of its "iPad" brand, all of which are commonplace practices in the tech industry.?

On the other hand, Apple could have sourced a mini-sized iPad Retina Display, paired it with its new A6X processor and 128GB of storage, and sold it to a few million people who would pay anything (probably around $1200) to have the latest iPad device.?

Instead, Apple gave the iPad mini specs comparable to iPad 2, but reduced in size. This reduction sheds a lot of weight (from 1.33 lbs or 601 grams to the iPad mini's 0.69 lbs or 312 grams). In addition to its new thinness and more hand-friendly rounded rectangle shape (shown below, next to iPad 3 and iPhone 4S), this huge weight reduction makes iPad mini far more portable.

iPad mini


It's still too big to stick in your jeans pocket (a smartphone level of mobility that Steve Jobs said no tablet could realistically offer), but it's effortless to hold or carry around. It's a very different kid of iPad experience.?It makes full-size iPads feel clumsy and heavy in comparison.

In addition, the new iPod touch/iPhone 5 body style of the new iPad mini also makes it easier to hold, and its two-thirds size makes it both easy to grab in one hand and much less of a stretch to thumb-type or play games on when held in landscape orientation.

iPad mini


It feels a lot more like a "big iPod touch" than the full sized iPads, but this comes at a cost: the screen is scaled down. Text on the screen is smaller, but interestingly, the title bar and lock screen text and graphics that appear about 60 percent smaller than other iPads is now about identical to the size of those elements on the iPhone. This evokes memories of lugging around a 17-inch MacBook Pro until realizing that, if you can get the same resolution in a smaller, lighter machine, why wouldn't you?


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Why no Retina Display?



To achieve this light and thin design at a reasonable cost, Apple didn't include a Retina Display. However, because the screen is reduced in size, it delivers better screen sharpness and less obvious pixelation than iPad 2, which shares the same?resolution at a lower pixel density (iPad mini is 163 ppi vs iPad 2's 132 ppi).

The result is that, while the iPad mini doesn't have the razor sharp, "electronic glossy magazine" appearance of the Retina display iPad, it's also noticeably less pixelated looking than the original iPad. It's hard to accurately capture this in a photograph without minimizing or exaggerating the difference, but below you can see the difference between a standard iPad (top), Retina display iPad (middle) and the iPad mini.

iPad mini unboxing


Steve Jobs debuted Apple's first Retina display on iPhone 4 in 2010; the fourth generation smartphone was the first time Apple had changed the iPhone's?resolution, and it did so on a screen the same size as previous models, resulting in a very distinct difference between old iPhones and?the?new Retina ones.?

Apple did the same thing with the "new" iPad 3 earlier this spring, and again with its 15-inch and then 13-inch high end MacBooks. The new iPad mini is different in the fact that it delivers the same resolution in a significantly smaller screen, resulting in a modest improvement over the already very popular iPad 2.?

While comparing similarly-sized screens at 1x or 2x the resolution makes for a very noticeable difference, comparing the iPad mini to a Retina Display iPad is less obvious of a difference. In fact, if you were told the iPad mini had a Retina Display, you'd probably believe it if you held it up to the original iPad. Only when looking closely at text is the iPad mini's standard resolution noticeable.

While the iPad mini's resolution?(1024x768 or 786k pixels)?is effectively very close to iPhone 5/iPod touch?(1136x640 or?727k), it uses its pixels very differently. The iPhone's Retina display basically makes it a very sharp looking version of the original iPhone screen (480x320), just as the Retina display iPad is a very sharp looking version of the original resolution iPad.?

In both cases, the Retina display is not showing more screen real estate, but rather just rendering the same screen area in a higher resolution. Taking the iPad mini to a Retina display would offer a more modest increase in text sharpness because it already shows the same screen real estate as iPad 2 on a smaller display.?

Jumping to a higher resolution display for iPad mini would require a screen with more pixel density than the iPhone 5 or iPad 4. It would also require a thicker body, more computational power to drive all those extra pixels, and more battery to support both the screen and faster chips. While it's popular to say that the iPad mini "needs" a Retina display, it really doesn't feel like it (and, notably, the rest of the industry hasn't been quick to deliver Retina-like screen resolutions on tablets or computers either).

The iPad mini is also not likely to get a Retina Display inside of two years, just as the iPhone didn't get one in its first 3 years, or the iPad didn't get one until its third year.?As a user of Retina Display smartphones since 2010, and a regular user of iPad 3, the iPad mini's screen doesn't seem dated or pixelated-looking in the way that older iPhones or the original iPad look to me today, largely due to its slightly higher PPI than earlier, non-Retina display iPads, and the fact that text on the screen is all about 60 percent smaller.

iPad mini unboxing


The way the iPad uses its screen pixels also results in a sharper looking display, particularly in text, than other 7-inch tablets that boast a higher resolution specification. In part, this is because iOS appears to render fonts better. But it also wastes less of the screen in user interface controls (above), often making more of a web page visible, and almost always making text on web pages look much nicer and less "computery" looking.?

Below, the Retina display iPad (left) makes this Wall Street Journal text appear razor sharp and smooth, while the standard iPad resolution (middle) looks noticeably pixelated. Text on the Kindle Fire HD, despite having 30 percent more pixels on a smaller screen, looks significantly worse though, indicating that pixels don't act in isolation.

Retina Display iPad


Because the iPad mini is a scaled down iPad, and not a scaled up smartphone, it also presents a very different experience than the small ebook and tablet devices that are frequently being compared to it, which run smartphone-style, wide resolutions and display stretched smartphone apps.?


Jump to a section of this reviewA new form factorWhy no Retina display?Big iPod touch, iPad featuresMost popular iPad ever?Wi-Fi, other hardware & software, and wrap-upSave time & money when buying




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Big iPod touch, but?iPad features



Handling the iPad mini, it doesn't feel as much like an iPad as a big iPod touch, likely because of its skinnier margins around the screen. Other 7 inch Android tablets typically?mimic?the iPad's large screen margin, resulting in a?significantly?smaller screen in a device that's very similar to the iPad mini's overall size (but much thicker).

iPad mini


However, despite?resembling the iPod touch (or an?iPhone) in both its screen-to-device ratio and its thin profile and light weight, the iPad mini is very much an iPad, running Apple's enhanced version of built-in apps such as Mail, Clock (above), Calendar and Notes; larger, more engaging?experiences?when using Safari or Maps; and having a huge library of iPad-optimized third party apps to choose from.?

The reduced size of the screen has an impact on the size of text and button targets, similar to the MacBooks offering higher resolution display options. The scaled down display didn't seem to present significant problems in using any?iPad-optimized apps, even for a user like me with huge hands.?

iPad mini unboxing


However, the reduced size of the device makes touch typing quite cramped, to the point of not really being possible (you can, but it's very much like typing on a cramped netbook keyboard: you'd only do it if you were a salesman tying to prove one can, not because it's actually something anyone would actually want to do).?

When Apple introduced iPad, it presented it as being a productivity tool you could type out documents on (including iWork apps at its launch). Realistically, however, if you want to use iPad as a notebook replacement and do serious typing on it, you'll?probably?want to pair it with a Bluetooth keyboard. The same thing applies to iPad mini, even more so because of its significantly reduced-size, on-screen keyboard (unless you've filed off your fingers with sandpaper, or have tiny fingers already).

Alternatively, thumb typing on the screen of a full sized iPad (in either orientation) is a bit clumsy because of its size and weight. It's hard to hold up an?iPad?and?type?any long?amount?of text in, far more so than typing on an iPhone.?

iPad mini


With iPad mini however, the vast reduction in weight means that, while you can't really comfortably touch type on it like a notebook, you can hold it with two hands and thumb type, more?comfortably?than an iPhone and much easier than a full sized, relatively heavy to hold-and-type-on iPad.?

iPad mini


Combined with its skinner margin around the screen, this makes the iPad mini feel much more like a fusion of the iPad and iPod touch than I expected. It appears the iPad mini will be very popular for gaming, portable point of sale tasks, and other applications where its light, thin profile makes it far easier to use on the go than the iPad, but its screen resolution makes it better suited to sophisticated apps than an iPod touch.?

iPad mini unboxing



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Most popular iPad ever?



In fact, it seems like the iPad mini has the potential to become Apple's most popular iPad. Its light weight and thin profile means users will want to take it on the go more so than a full sized iPad. Its price reflects its 66 percent scaled down screen: $330 for the iPad mini versus $500 for the entry level full sized iPad 4.?

If you want a cheaper experience, the only option from Apple is the $200, previous generation iPod touch (the latest model is actually $70 more expensive than the entry level iPad mini, albeit packing 32GB of storage; equivalently sized versions of the two devices leave the iPad mini separated by a $130 premium over the new iPod touch: $430 vs. $300).

Alternatively, other vendors are offering $200 to $250 mini-tablets, Web-books and netbooks, providing either a stretched smartphone experience or a scaled down browser-only environment. Historically, however, these types of devices have repeatedly failed to gain much traction in the market place at any price.

Over the last several years, consumers have consistently picked $500 iPads and $1000 MacBooks over $200 netbooks, making it hard to understand why large numbers of shoppers would suddenly start picking $200 to $250 ebook readers and web-netbooks over the $330 iPad mini, Apple's cheapest iPad offering ever.?

Hardware performance



Unsurprisingly, the performance of the iPad mini is very close to the iPad 2, which shares the same processor and has the same display resolution. Apple's latest iPad 4 has a significantly faster A6X chip, but also drives four times the pixels.?

While the overall usability of iPad mini (and other A5-class devices, including the iPod touch and iPhone 4S) isn't slow or laggy, there are areas where the faster A6 and A6X of the newest iPhone 5 and iPad 4 are put to good use; one notable area where CPU speed is evident is in the loading of games or other substantial apps.

iPad mini unboxing


The iPad 4's benchmarks are significantly higher. This indicates Apple is pushing the performance of iPad 4 along with its larger screen as a premium tier above the iPad mini.?

iPad mini


At the same time, the iPad mini gets many of the other updates of the new iPad over last year's iPad 2: a Lightning port, vastly improved FaceTime HD and iSight cameras, Wi-Fi with channel bonding (HT40) up to 150Mbps, Bluetooth 4, AirPlay Mirroring and support for 1080p AirPlay, and optional support for enhanced 3G/LTE/DC-HSDPA service based on the newest silicon shared with the new iPhone 5.


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Faster WiFi



People are still reporting some issues with Wi-Fi connectivity in the recently released iOS 6, which introduced problems for users who want to connect to Wi-Fi for local, non-internet connectivity (such as in some corporate settings).

In our initial testing of iPad mini, it didn't appear to be any faster at Wi-Fi, seemingly refusing to connect to an AirPort any faster than the 54Mbps top limit previous iPads, despite the base station configured to support HT40 "channel bonding." Other devices had no problem. Later on, however, we did note the iPad mini reported a 150Mbps connection, so it does indeed support using two 802.11n 5GHz channels to dramatically boost its wireless speed.

The limited information exposed in iOS about the Wi-Fi configuration makes it difficult to explain why iPad mini sometimes connects at 54Mbps, and sometimes reaches 150Mbps. Other devices that support HT40 channel bonding (and MIMO) also fluctuate their connection speeds, but the iPad mini seemed to drop channel bonding support more frequently, and turned it on only when the device was in active use (below).

iPad mini

iPad mini HT40


There are devices with faster Wi-Fi; Apple's recent MacBooks use multiple "MIMO" antennas, enabling wireless connection speeds of up to 300 or 450Mbps (effective data transmit rates are lower) with the same base station. Other tablet devices, such as Amazon's Kindle Fire HD also use MIMO, making it potentially faster at Wi-Fi than Apple's iPads, including iPad mini.

In actual practice however, the iPad mini performed data-depended tasks, including loading web pages, significantly faster despite a hardware disadvantage. Still, Apple should be delivering leading WiFi features across its iOS devices; there is certainly room for improvement, as Amazon's cheaper device indicates.

Other hardware details



Apple will likely update the iPad mini's CPU performance at regular beats, but it doesn't currently feel slow or seem to have any trouble playing iPad games or using other apps or features such as AirPlay.

This is in large part because Apple originally developed iOS to take full advantage of the GPU to animate effects that make devices appear and feel faster than they actually are. At the same time Apple also engineered iOS as a platform that doesn't need virus screening in the background and isn't hobbled by unrestricted third party background tasks that gobble up resources and require users to manually kill processes just to get their devices to run reasonably fast.

In other areas, the iPad mini's hardware seems well appointed: the screen is vibrant and bright enough, the audio is impressively loud and clear (and benefits from dual speakers, although like previous iPads is still very directional from the bottom of the device), and the front and rear cameras are (like the new iPod touch) very close in performance to the latest iPhone 5, although like all iPads it still has no support for HDR or Panorama features, taking snapshots while recording video, and it lacks an LED flash.

iOS 6.0.1 & iPad mini software



Since the debut of the new iPad 3 earlier this year, Apple released iOS 6, adding a variety of new features to all iPads (apart from the original 2010 model stuck on iOS 5). Apart from the previously missing camera effect features, there are several iOS 6 features that don't work on iPads, or Wi-Fi-only iPad models.

Some iOS 6 features are only intended for smaller devices: Safari's new full screen view isn't supported on iPads, presumably because you're already seeing enough of the page. iPads also lack support for Passbook, as well as lacking widgets like Calculator, Stocks and Weather.

This year's iPads do support Siri (unlike iPad 2), and also support FaceTime over Cellular (if you have a 3G model of course). iOS 6 also introduces new Maps with 3D perspective, the 3D Flyover feature and Turn-by-Turn directions, although this feature requires GPS, which requires the 3G/LTE hardware option.

iPad mini


Because iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and the 2012/2011 iPod touch all lack support for 3D Maps and Flyover, there is a significant portion of the iOS installed base that hasn't actually seen the full extent of Apple's Maps. These new features are particularly impressive on the iPad's larger screen.

iPad mini in review



It's light, thin and carries an almost imperceptible weight when thrown in a backpack or purse. What's not to like about an iPad that's easier to carry? It's not hard to imagine it being better: it could have faster Wi-Fi, it could have a Retina display, it could have more substantial speakers and an A6X chip with extra system RAM to lubricate the loading of web pages.

But those features would all add cost, or weight, or eat into battery life. That makes it difficult to take issue with the design decisions Apple's engineers made to deliver the iPad mini as its existing price, performance and physical dimensions. It's really thin, so much so that it feels like a big generational leap over previous iPads, the same way that iPhone 5 and its companion new iPod touch similarly trounced the iOS devices they replaced at the top of the heap.

But which model to choose? Apple is really good at holding out a perfectly good product and then making options, some of which are rather expensive, available for a little bit more, just to upsell you to an even nicer one. In the case of the iPad mini, the entry level $330/16GB version is fine, but it would hold a lot more stuff at 32GB, for an extra $100.

This is a rather expensive upgrade, particularly given that there are so many new fat games and apps (many of which are even fatter due to Retina display graphics, which the iPad mini doesn't even use. It'd be nice to be able to strip these resources out, perhaps automatically by the device itself. There's also that 5MP camera and the videos it can capture, both of which can quickly take up lots of room. Think about how many apps you currently have, and whether you need as much storage on an iPad as you have on your iPhone.

The cellular option is another question for would-be buyers: don't just consider whether you'll be using LTE a lot. It's a nice option to have, and unlike a smartphone, you're not tied to an ongoing fee if you only want to sign up for sporadic use (say, when taking a trip). Remember too that the mobile option ($130 extra over the base price) also gives you GPS, making it more useful even if you don't have data service, because you can locate yourself on an offline map. The mobile option is also required when using Maps with turn-by-turn directions.

Almost a decade ago, Apple spawned itself a big new iPod business when it introduced the iPod mini (and later nano) as an alternative to the standard iPod. Besides being smaller, the iPod mini was less capable and had a lot less storage. This year, the iPad mini does everything the full sized iPad does, differentiated only by its screen resolution and size and its pure computational power (something few users would probably notice). It's not hard to predict that this will sell really well.

Score: 4.5 out of 5



ratings_hl_45.png

Pros
  • Thin sturdy construction
  • Compact size but full power iPad
  • Very easy to setup and use
  • Very good cameras
  • Compass, GPS, mobile data options iPod touch lacks


Cons
  • Not a Retina Display
  • No LED, HDR or Panorama features


How to save money when buying



Since the ASP -- or average selling price -- of the iPad mini fairly low, there is little room for authorized resellers to discount pricing. Instead, some of the retailers listed in our iPad Price Guides ( relevant portion below ) will occasionally offer easier financing options, throw in a 2-in-1 stylus, or take $5 off phone orders. Therefore, one of the easiest ways to save on a new iPad purchase is to sell your existing iPad or mobile device to one of the many trade in services, which in many cases pay hundreds of dollars for old iPads, for instance.




Jump to a section of this reviewA new form factorWhy no Retina display?Big iPod touch, iPad featuresMost popular iPad ever?Wi-Fi, other hardware & software, and wrap-upSave time & money when buying
post #2 of 90

"No Retina Display" is not a deal-breaker.

 

Why?

 

Because iPad Mini build quality + iOS = Apple user experience. Which = the Gold Standard in the industry. 

 

You can put iOS on potato and it's suddenly the "Starch era." 

post #3 of 90

Just like the iPod mini that exceeded the original iPod's popularity. Good for Apple! Good for the tablet platform!
 

post #4 of 90
The new argument why an Apple product will fail is because it doesn't have a Retina display. At least they've let go of the lame SD card slot, removable battery, and USB port arguments.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

post #5 of 90
Two problems. Your "2012 iOS Tablets" graphic has the iPad Mini the same height and width as the 4th gen iPad. Your Geekbench scores shows the iPhone 5 as being much better than the iPd 4th Gen for the Egypt HD benchmark even when you have numbers right above that saying the opposite.
post #6 of 90
How in the world could you possibly screw up the dimensions of the iPad mini in this critical 1st review?
Epic fail!

None the less the iPad mini will no doubt succeed with consumers especially once the LTE equipped versions are available. The niggling over specs will pale compared with demand. I'll gladly trade my iPad 2 with 3G for a new 64Gb LTE iPad mini. Hope I get my chance before Christmas.
post #7 of 90

There is a problem, the hardware and price. If you are going for premium sell a iPad Mini Retina & with A6 chip. If you will go with non retina and A5(which the A6X makes obsolete) then don't ask 329$ (premium amount compare to the competition). A lot of people will be disappointed with the mini IMHO. Sure next year they will upgraded but it will still be outdated when new top of the line iPad is release...

 

That being said it will sell millions and normal people wont realize its under power until next year.

post #8 of 90
The iPad mini is essentially a large iPod Touch running iPad software, and will replace it as early as next Summer.

Prediction:
Apple will continue offering the current 5th gen. iPod Touch for $200 after the next iDevice product cycle upgrade until it sells out. Then it will be dead. Long live the Touch.
The iPad mini will drop to $300 with only a processor upgrade, filling the void left by the Touch. After the Touch is discontinued, the mini 2 will drop to the $200 price point after the next refresh and the 3rd gen retina mini assumes the $300 price point.
The iPad 2 will be replaced by the current iPad (4) at $400 as the new iPad (5) takes the top spot.

The iPhone will be the last device left running the small screen version of iOS, and why shouldn't it be? If people really are clamoring for a more mobile iPad, then the Touch will be redundant. At least until the mini is able to make phone calls, the iPhone is safe. However, I wouldn't rule out people buying an LTE mini and using it with VOIP apps as a traditional cell phone replacement. Maybe we have it backwards and they will keep their full-sized iPads and get rid of their iPhone instead!

Product snapshot circa Summer 2014:

IPod Suffle (6) -- $50
IPod Nano (9) -- $100
IPad mini (2) -- $200
iPad mini retina -- $300
iPad (5) -- $400
iPad (6) -- $500
iPhone (8) -- $600 (unlocked)
Edited by Mac_128 - 11/6/12 at 10:21am
post #9 of 90
Originally Posted by ShAdOwXPR View Post
A lot of people will be disappointed with the mini IMHO.

 

The price won't be why. How do SO many people still not understand Apple pricing?!

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
post #10 of 90
I have he iPad mini with 32 gigs wifi only. It is awesome.
I just downloaded pages and numbers last night and now I'm on fire.
Doing my work at my hotel job has just gotten easier. And when I get faster wifi in my house ill be a hot mess!!
Build quality is phenomenal.
And I got the product red cover to last night. Wow!
The Apple store was packed last night. The line for the mini jus kept forming as the last line of people left with thier new bling.
Damn.
Nex up? The new iMac !!
post #11 of 90

Nice review, but the sixth photo in the review, the one showing the different displays, needs to be rotated. It is currently wrong.

post #12 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post

The iPad mini is essentially a large iPod Touch running iPad software, and will replace it as early as next Summer.

 

This statement is complete bull. If anything is going to replace the iPod touch, it is a low cost, unsubsidized iPhone. I can't believe that people still don't realize that the iPad mini and iPod touch serve different purposes and target different markets.

post #13 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post

The iPad mini is essentially a large iPod Touch running iPad software, and will replace it as early as next Summer.
 

Yes, because lots of people can jam an iPad mini in their pockets.   /s

 

 

 

I finally got to hold one at an Apple store yesterday. I'm very impressed by its build quality and weight. The screen isn't good enough for me though as my eyes are spoiled by (near) retina displays. One funny thing was that a girl there asked if she could put in a sim card and use it as a phone. Even though I found it funny, if they made it, I'd buy it to replace my work phone. I only use a headset with my work phone and it would be great if I could use the mini for other things while on a call. Do they not allow this for iPads with cellular options because the carriers won't let them? Or because Apple wants to make two sales?

post #14 of 90

The issue with the retina display NOT being on the mini is the fact that we all know apple well enough that in a year or two, we will have a mini with retina display and it will be marketed just as the full sized iPad is now. I find this argument about utilizing pixel density in a "special" way invalid. If Apple has perfected the screen for the mini, then we will never see a retina display integrated into this product. I am sorry, but these reviews can make all the excuses for Apple such as the ones stated in this article, but that will just delay the company in putting in the features consumers want.

post #15 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

"No Retina Display" is not a deal-breaker.

 

Why?

 

Because iPad Mini build quality + iOS = Apple user experience. Which = the Gold Standard in the industry. 

 

You can put iOS on potato and it's suddenly the "Starch era." 


I agree but for the last statement. That seems to be a vote for Forstall and against Ive ;-)

 

But seriously, many pundits are suggesting this is the "perfect size". Normally, i say pundits be damned. But this time, I agree. The sad thing about this for the "others" is that they came out with the "perfect size" first but few people noticed. Maybe because the iOS ecosystem is better. Maybe because build quality is important. Regardless, this is another instance of Apple triumphing, and getting something "right" first rather than getting it out first.

post #16 of 90

"Jumping to a higher resolution display for iPad mini would require a screen with more pixel density than the iPhone 5 or iPad 4."

 

Why would a higher resolution on Mini require a screen with more pixel density than the iPhone 5?

 

And "more pixel density" doesn't even make sense. Should be higher pixel density, no?

post #17 of 90

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post

The iPad mini is essentially a large iPod Touch running iPad software, and will replace it as early as next Summer.
 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by OllieWallieWhiskers View Post

 

This statement is complete bull. If anything is going to replace the iPod touch, it is a low cost, unsubsidized iPhone. I can't believe that people still don't realize that the iPad mini and iPod touch serve different purposes and target different markets.


Those predicting the demise of the iPod Touch should check the Apple Store. Damned if the Classic isn't still around! How many premature obits have been written for the classic Classic?

 

So, stop making fools of yourselves.

post #18 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalG View Post

Yes, because lots of people can jam an iPad mini in their pockets.   /s

 

 

 

I finally got to hold one at an Apple store yesterday. I'm very impressed by its build quality and weight. The screen isn't good enough for me though as my eyes are spoiled by (near) retina displays. One funny thing was that a girl there asked if she could put in a sim card and use it as a phone. Even though I found it funny, if they made it, I'd buy it to replace my work phone. I only use a headset with my work phone and it would be great if I could use the mini for other things while on a call. Do they not allow this for iPads with cellular options because the carriers won't let them? Or because Apple wants to make two sales?


The cellular version is coming.  In fact, the form factor argues to have people carrying it around all the time.  WiFi will not be sufficient. 

post #19 of 90
I don't get all the people saying the Mini will fail due to its lack of retina display. There's an iPad 2 in the house (which I rarely get to use) and its screen is perfectly fine. Perhaps I'm just not spoiled by retina yet, but shrinking the display size means the Mini has a higher PPI than the 2 so its text should be perceptibly sharper. My concern over the Mini is the use of an outdated processor. Other than the occasional blip about it, I've not heard any real-world mention of whether this makes the device usable or not. All reviews seem to be focused on the lack of retina. Anyone?
post #20 of 90
Dunno, I have the mini and love it. It's not a replacement for a pocket iPod music player but it does replace the iPad quite well. My wife has a reg iPad and I have the mini. There's nothing her's does better IMO.

I do think the mini will take a lot of sales from the reg iPad.
post #21 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post


I agree but for the last statement. That seems to be a vote for Forstall and against Ive ;-)

 

But seriously, many pundits are suggesting this is the "perfect size". Normally, i say pundits be damned. But this time, I agree. The sad thing about this for the "others" is that they came out with the "perfect size" first but few people noticed. Maybe because the iOS ecosystem is better. Maybe because build quality is important. Regardless, this is another instance of Apple triumphing, and getting something "right" first rather than getting it out first.


I still prefer the size of the original iPad except that I want one that is as thin as the mini.  That would be sweet.  When you get older like me, you would prefer bigger screen.  The real estate on the 7" tablet is so small, it would be hard to design new UI that is sufficient different from the phone. 

post #22 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieWallieWhiskers View Post

This statement is complete bull. If anything is going to replace the iPod touch, it is a low cost, unsubsidized iPhone. I can't believe that people still don't realize that the iPad mini and iPod touch serve different purposes and target different markets.
And your statement is complete opinion. Show me anywhere on the web where your opinion is substantiated by an "expert" , and not just some guy in his living room.

From what I can tell, the mini is more of what people buy the iPod Touch for.

You are not wrong, In that as more and more kids are being given cell phones by their parents, the iPhone will replace the purchase of a Touch. And as many could tell you, parents have long been giving their old un-activated iPhones to their kids to use as iPod Touches, with the added security that they can make 911 calls.

But the reason people by iPod Touches, and the market demographic Apple is targeting has more to do with gaming. Otherwise, why not just buy a Nano? Yes it offers some organizational features via iCloud, but its a wifi ONLY device. So that's not a priority since it can't be used anywhere. Such devices are used to conveniently load the device with video games, movies and music, then hit the road ... Not keep their digital lives in sync, or surf the web, or get e-mail.

As such, the mini makes for a much better option for that demographic. It's not so big you can't carry it around with you like a Touch, and the added size makes using it so much better than a Touch.

at the risk of being anecdotal, I don't know a single person person who owns both an iPhone and an iPod Touch, nor do I know anybody who owns a Touch and an iPad, though I'm sure there's more evidence of the latter than the former. But the real question is whether a kid, or an adult for that matter, would buy both a Touch and an iPad mini now that the mini is an option.

But instead of proclaiming my opinion complete bull, why don't you substantiate your OPINION as to how the markets are so different that the mini will never replace the Touch.
post #23 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post


Those predicting the demise of the iPod Touch should check the Apple Store. Damned if the Classic isn't still around! How many premature obits have been written for the classic Classic?

So, stop making fools of yourselves.
Seriously? The classic hasn't changed since 2007 ... It costs Apple nothing to make it, and offers something you can't get anywhere else ... 40,000 songs in your pocket and 36 hours of battery life. The perfect option for outdoor enthusiasts, car trips, family vacations, trips to foreign countries, etc. where the iPhone, Touch and other devices may not function on cellular or wifi radios.

Please, nobody is embarrassing themselves here. The iPod Touch is a duplication of efforts by the iPhone and now the mini, it is expensive to build as it must be redesigned and marketed to keep it relevant (the Touch has changed 5 times since 2007), and as such, doesn't just cannibalize sales from other devices, it costs Apple money to keep it in the inventory.

The Classic is a bad example as it continues to serve a specific need no other Apple device can offer. The Touch did as well back in 2007, specifically those who wanted the functions of the iPhone, but either already had a mobile phone, couldnt afford a cellular phone bill, or werent old enough to have a cell phone. The Touch arguably drove Apples entry into the gaming field thanks to this particular demographic, and changed the market for this device as the industry evolved as people fulfilled their contracts and became eligible for cheap subsidized iPhones, lines were drawn between Apple and Google users, pre-paid contracts have become available, people are dropping their land lines in favor of just one mobile phone bill, and kids are being given cell phones younger and younger every year, and with a glut of cheap previous generation iPhones out there, deactivated iPhones make great iPod Touches for significantly less than the new ones Apple is selling.

So the Touch is clearly destined to be absorbed by another product category, and considering what seems to be a primary motivation to buy a Touch in today's marketplace, the mini seems the most likely replacement. It offers more of what the Touch does best without significantly sacrificing size.
Edited by Mac_128 - 11/6/12 at 11:05am
post #24 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post


Seriously? The classic hasn't changed since 2007 ... It costs Apple nothing to make it, and offers something you can't get anywhere else ... 40,000 songs in your pocket and 36 hours of battery life. The perfect option for outdoor enthusiasts, car trips, family vacations, trips to foreign countries, etc. where the iPhone, Touch and other devices may not function on cellular or wifi radios.
Please, nobody is embarrassing themselves here. The iPod Touch is a duplication of efforts by the iPhone and now the mini, it is expensive to build as it must be redesigned and marketed to keep it relevant, and as such, doesn't just cannibalize sales from other devices, it costs Apple money to keep it in the inventory.
The Classic is a bad example as it continues to serve a specific need no other Apple device can offer. The Touch did as well, specifically those who wanted the functions of the iPhone, but either already had a mobile phone, couldnt afford a cellular phone bill, or werent old enough to have a cell phone. The Touch arguably drove Apples entry into the gaming field thanks to this particular demographic, and changed the market for this device as the industry evolved as people fulfilled their contracts and became eligible for cheap subsidized iPhones, lines were drawn between Apple and Google users, pre-paid contracts have become available, people are dropping their land lines in favor of just one mobile phone bill, and kids are being given cell phones younger and younger every year, and with a glut of cheap previous generation iPhones out there, deactivated iPhones make great iPod Touches for significantly less than the new ones Apple is selling.
So the Touch is clearly destined to be absorbed by another product category, and considering what seems to be a primary motivation to buy a Touch in today's marketplace, the mini seems the most likely replacement. It offers more of what the Touch does best without significantly sacrificing size.

 

Simple—iPod Touch is pocketable, iPad Mini is not.  There may not be a market for people who want both (I'd bet there is, though) but there is definitely two separate markets for those who want a pocketable device, and those than want a small, transportable tablet.

 

I have an iPhone... Yet I still bought an iPad Mini.  I don't know why it would be different for people with iPod Touches and iPad Minis.

post #25 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

I have he iPad mini with 32 gigs wifi only. It is awesome.
I just downloaded pages and numbers last night and now I'm on fire.
Doing my work at my hotel job has just gotten easier. And when I get faster wifi in my house ill be a hot mess!!
Build quality is phenomenal.
And I got the product red cover to last night. Wow!
The Apple store was packed last night. The line for the mini jus kept forming as the last line of people left with thier new bling.
Damn.
Nex up? The new iMac !!

Mirror that!

post #26 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post


Seriously? The classic hasn't changed since 2007 ... It costs Apple nothing to make it, and offers something you can't get anywhere else ... 40,000 songs in your pocket and 36 hours of battery life. The perfect option for outdoor enthusiasts, car trips, family vacations, trips to foreign countries, etc. where the iPhone, Touch and other devices may not function on cellular or wifi radios.

 

So, Apple is still making the Classic for the gargantuan market of outdoorsy, traveling types who always want 40,000 songs in their pocket. BTW, since you sound like you have not traveled to "foreign countries", Wifi does exist outside the region of the world directly affected by the Obama v. Romney election today. Seriously.

 

People who continue to spout lines like "it costs nothing to make ..." do not understand manufacturing.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post

The iPod Touch is a duplication of efforts by the iPhone and now the mini,

 

 

Do you have a Mini and a Touch? Put them next to each other. Then use them for a while before you say something embarrassing like they are duplication of efforts. Seriously.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post

So the Touch is clearly destined to be absorbed by another product category, and considering what seems to be a primary motivation to buy a Touch in today's marketplace, the mini seems the most likely replacement. It offers more of what the Touch does best without significantly sacrificing size.

 

This statement clearly shows you do not own both and have not used them sufficiently. That makes your statement unqualified, or qualified hot air.

post #27 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisbru View Post

 

Simple—iPod Touch is pocketable, iPad Mini is not.  There may not be a market for people who want both (I'd bet there is, though) but there is definitely two separate markets for those who want a pocketable device, and those than want a small, transportable tablet.

 

I have an iPhone... Yet I still bought an iPad Mini.  I don't know why it would be different for people with iPod Touches and iPad Minis.

There are people who use the iPod Touch as a, well..., iPod, and for those people a pocketable device is a must. But I think the iPad touch will eventually get eaten by a combination of the iPhone and the iPad mini. The iPod Nano and shuffle will probably stick around for longer.

post #28 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

The new argument why an Apple product will fail is because it doesn't have a Retina display. At least they've let go of the lame SD card slot, removable battery, and USB port arguments.

Hmmm... mine failed because I dropped it in water. Maybe that'll catch on after the Retina thing has run its course. 

post #29 of 90

Great analysis...this mini is the perfect tablet not to buy at first iteration...Apple is just trying to play catch up...Nexus 7 is a damn good tablet...and let's face it

tablet owners have more than one computer and the tablet will never replace a full blown laptop....I love my Nexus 7 but it does not replace my Macbook Pro...Thanks....

post #30 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisbru View Post

Simple—iPod Touch is pocketable, iPad Mini is not.  There may not be a market for people who want both (I'd bet there is, though) but there is definitely two separate markets for those who want a pocketable device, and those than want a small, transportable tablet.

I have an iPhone... Yet I still bought an iPad Mini.  I don't know why it would be different for people with iPod Touches and iPad Minis.
Who says the mini isn't pocketable? You mean in your jeans pocket? Some will have no problem with this.

My question for you is do you have an iPhone, a mini and an iPad?

Finally, lets say you do want a universally pocketable device the size of an iPhone ... If you don't need, or can't afford a subsidized cellphone contract, would you rather buy a used iPhone off eBay, with the option to use it with pre-paid cards, or a more expensive new Touch? Or better yet, a free hand-me-down from a relative?

And given the connectivity issues of the Touch when mobile, how exactly are you using this ultra pocketable Touch?

Now lets say you don't have a phone, a Touch or an iPad. You can get a mini, which is pocketable in many situations, and also has the option of a cellular radio, as well as a bigger screen for better ease of use for essentially the same price as a Touch. Which are you gonna buy first? I guess it all depends on how you're gonna use it, but since almost everyone Curry's a backpack, bag, or purse around with I'm, I'm betting most people will opt for more bang for their buck than slightly greater portability.

And this is what Apple has to deal with ... A shrinking market where the Touch is becoming less and less relevant, mainly filling the void for those who dwell at the very bottom of the market looking for the least expensive entry to the iOS ecosystem without buying a phone or an iPad, with millions of perfectly sevicible options available on the used market for much less than last years technology Apple is marketing and offering as new anyway.

Maybe there is a huge thriving market for the Touch, but until Apple starts releasing specific product sales numbers, my guess is ere are a number of iPod Touch early adopters that are kicking themselves for buying it before e mini was announced ...
post #31 of 90
4.5 stars for the mini and 3.5 stars for the iPad 4th generation? Here is another number for you. Zero, as in credibility. For apple insider reviews.
post #32 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShAdOwXPR View Post

There is a problem, the hardware and price. If you are going for premium sell a iPad Mini Retina & with A6 chip. If you will go with non retina and A5(which the A6X makes obsolete) then don't ask 329$ (premium amount compare to the competition). A lot of people will be disappointed with the mini IMHO. Sure next year they will upgraded but it will still be outdated when new top of the line iPad is release...

That being said it will sell millions and normal people wont realize its under power until next year.

None of this makes sense. You can't put the Retina display in the iPad min with an A6 and if you are going to do that you are using a display that is more costly than the 10" iPad due to the increased difficultly of producing a much more dense display so even if you can reduce costs in some areas you still have that additional cost. Then you have weight issues with the much larger battery you'll need to push those pixels that now make what is a clear requirement for the success of the iPad mini a pointless device.

Have you compared the build quality and component quality from other tablets?

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

post #33 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsdofny View Post


The cellular version is coming.  In fact, the form factor argues to have people carrying it around all the time.  WiFi will not be sufficient. 


Not just cellular for data, I mean cellular for voice as well. I really hope that whatever is preventing this will go away, definitely not a technical problem

post #34 of 90
"If you want a cheaper experience, the only option from Apple is the $200, previous generation iPod touch (the latest model is actually $70 more expensive than the entry level iPad mini, albeit packing 32GB of storage"
Incorrect the 5th Gen 32gb iPod touch starts @ 299
post #35 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post

I don't get all the people saying the Mini will fail due to its lack of retina display. There's an iPad 2 in the house (which I rarely get to use) and its screen is perfectly fine. Perhaps I'm just not spoiled by retina yet, but shrinking the display size means the Mini has a higher PPI than the 2 so its text should be perceptibly sharper. My concern over the Mini is the use of an outdated processor. Other than the occasional blip about it, I've not heard any real-world mention of whether this makes the device usable or not. All reviews seem to be focused on the lack of retina. Anyone?

It's as usable as your iPad 2, which means very usable. It might have the occasional lag and apps don't open as fast, etc, but it's still very much sufficient for what's out there right now.

 

Everyone is focused on retina displays because everyone has been spoiled the last few years with them. If you use a retina display of any sort for long periods of time, and then look at a non-retina display, you can easily notice the pixelation and roughness of text. If you've been mostly using non-retina displays, you'll be more than happy with the higher PPI of the mini.

post #36 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post

The iPad mini is essentially a large iPod Touch running iPad software, and will replace it as early as next Summer.

Sorry to have to say this but you are flat out wrong.

The iPod Touch is an iPhone without a cellular chip and data plan.

The iPad mini is an iPad, but lighter and easier to carry.

The two products you're conflating have absolutely nothing to do with one another and serve different uses via different apps designed and built around different experiences primarily related to portability and productivity vis-a-vis screen size.

If Apple started with a 7.9" screen over a 10" screen, then we'd be in a different boat as people would have been saying (incorrectly) exactly what you're saying now: it's just a larger iPod Touch. And we would have seen scaled up iPhone apps all over the place. But now we have many thousands of apps optimized for the larger tablet screen, not the phone screen, and this distinction and ecosystem will prevail.

In fact, we're more likely to see the iPod Touch with cellular access than no iPod Touch. Portability and connectivity across a variety of screen sizes.

Further, the idea that Apple would discontinue their best selling iPod to force users to purchase a larger device is absurd.
post #37 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalG View Post

It's as usable as your iPad 2, which means very usable. It might have the occasional lag and apps don't open as fast, etc, but it's still very much sufficient for what's out there right now.

Everyone is focused on retina displays because everyone has been spoiled the last few years with them. If you use a retina display of any sort for long periods of time, and then look at a non-retina display, you can easily notice the pixelation and roughness of text. If you've been mostly using non-retina displays, you'll be more than happy with the higher PPI of the mini.

It's funny how early this year before the iPad (3) launched it seemed quite unrealistic to expect a 2048x1536 display in a tablet despite all the evidence suggesting it was coming and now, just a half a year later, people expect that same display with a much higher pixel density in a device with 1/3 the battery size.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

post #38 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post


And your statement is complete opinion. Show me anywhere on the web where your opinion is substantiated by an "expert" , and not just some guy in his living room.
From what I can tell, the mini is more of what people buy the iPod Touch for.
You are not wrong, In that as more and more kids are being given cell phones by their parents, the iPhone will replace the purchase of a Touch. And as many could tell you, parents have long been giving their old un-activated iPhones to their kids to use as iPod Touches, with the added security that they can make 911 calls.
But the reason people by iPod Touches, and the market demographic Apple is targeting has more to do with gaming. Otherwise, why not just buy a Nano? Yes it offers some organizational features via iCloud, but its a wifi ONLY device. So that's not a priority since it can't be used anywhere. Such devices are used to conveniently load the device with video games, movies and music, then hit the road ... Not keep their digital lives in sync, or surf the web, or get e-mail.
As such, the mini makes for a much better option for that demographic. It's not so big you can't carry it around with you like a Touch, and the added size makes using it so much better than a Touch.
at the risk of being anecdotal, I don't know a single person person who owns both an iPhone and an iPod Touch, nor do I know anybody who owns a Touch and an iPad, though I'm sure there's more evidence of the latter than the former. But the real question is whether a kid, or an adult for that matter, would buy both a Touch and an iPad mini now that the mini is an option.
But instead of proclaiming my opinion complete bull, why don't you substantiate your OPINION as to how the markets are so different that the mini will never replace the Touch.


all of our comments here are complete opinions, so i'm not sure why you are attacking me on that front...

 

no kid is going to take an iPad mini to school in place of an iPod touch. just because you can fit it in your pocket, does not mean it's pocketable.

post #39 of 90
iPad mini = The Next Big Phone!
post #40 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

So, Apple is still making the Classic for the gargantuan market of outdoorsy, traveling types who always want 40,000 songs in their pocket. BTW, since you sound like you have not traveled to "foreign countries", Wifi does exist outside the region of the world directly affected by the Obama v. Romney election today. Seriously.

People who continue to spout lines like "it costs nothing to make ..." do not understand manufacturing.

Do you have a Mini and a Touch? Put them next to each other. Then use them for a while before you say something embarrassing like they are duplication of efforts. Seriously.

This statement clearly shows you do not own both and have not used them sufficiently. That makes your statement unqualified, or qualified hot air.
You need to get out of whatever major metropolis you subsist in, and take a look at the rest of the world.

First I have an iPhone, and without cellular and wifi its pretty much an iPod touch with better hardware.

Second I said "may not" work in foreign countries. I travelled to Paris and Spain this Summer as a matter of fact. I could not find free wifi anywhere in Paris, and with my locked iPhone 4S I had no cell service, as I was unwilling to pay ATTs exorbitant world plan, or outrageous roaming fees, and truly The number of people I met without any Internet at home, much less wifi, was shocking in a major metropolitan city. Outside of Paris wifi was nonexistent. Spain was worse. I mainly was forced to pay to use computers at Internet cafes ... My iDevice was mostly useless. At least the next time I go back, my 4S will be unlocked and I can buy a local SIM card for both cellular and data. And don't get me started on El Salvador ...

But let's just stick to the good old USA for a moment, farmers and ranchers in the Midwest don't have access to either cellular or wifi when working on the land. Hunters rarely have such luxuries, much less power to recharge. Ever been to a national park? Nothing, nada. Military outposts, sailors at sea, etc. Ever driven through South Dakota? It's a long damn drive and you probably won't like what staticky radio stations you might find there. And ill bet you there are people in NY and NJ right now who are thrilled they bought an iPod Classic with 36 hours of battery life. There's a whole world outside of Silicon Valley, and a thriving market of people around the world who don't have access to the free wifi, 4G LTE, or even regular power.

Finally, as for the cost of manufacturing ... Clarify your statement. What don't "people" understand? As long as there is a market for a device, the cost of the parts has long been subsidized by bulk purchase. Of course there's still a cost to manufacture, but the fact Apple has not changed the design, nor had to market the Classic all save millions which can go into maintaining production for the albeit small, but nevertheless significant market for the Classic. Why else would Apple maintain the Mac Pro? Fewer people buy the MacPro than likely buy the iPod Classic, but it is a well defined market segment which requires little or no marketing to maintain the status quo, which in turn helps support the larger mor expensive ecosystem. And look, as I said before, the Classic does not cannibalize from any other existing product, unlike the Touch which takes money away from Apple's other similar products, as well as costing significant investment in upgrading the device to keep it competitive.

As for using them side by side ... Been there done that. I much prefer using the mini to my iPhone limited to the same functions. gaming is better, watching movies is better, reading books is better, and the mini is not significantly bigger. So stop telling me I don't know what I'm talking about. This is what I prefer, and I have expressed a related opinion based on broad experience. Hardly hot air. But feel free to disagree. It's a free country.
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