Apple’s Phil Schiller shows the new iPad mini (via webcast).

UPDATED: Apple has wrapped up its media event in California, where the company’s top marketing exec, Phil Schiller, confirmed the widely expected news that Apple is coming out with a smaller iPad, the iPad mini.

The iPad mini is 7.2 mm thin, and .68 pounds, with a 7.9 inch screen. It comes with a 5 MP iSight camera, and optional LTE support.

That screen size puts the device between the original 7-inch Kindle Fire and the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD.

Here’s the key detail: the iPad mini will start at $329 for the 16GB version with WiFi (not cellular connectivity). The 32GB model with WiFi will go for $429, and the 64GB version with WiFi will be $529. Preorders start Oct. 26 — Windows 8 launch day — with the WiFi versions shipping a week later.

Adding cellular connectivity, the iPad mini will go for $459 (16GB), $559 (32GB) and $659 (64GB).

With that pricing, has Amazon dodged a bullet here? By comparison, Amazon’s original 7-inch Kindle Fire sells for $159, the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD (16 GB) goes for $199, and the 8.9-inch 16GB version of the Kindle Fire HD is $299.

The 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD with LTE support sells for $499 for a 32GB version and $599 for a 64GB version (both of those are supported by ads on the lock screen).

Google’s Nexus 7, with a 7-inch screen, sells for $249.

“Others have tried to make tablets smaller than the iPad, and they’ve failed miserably,” said Schiller.

The company also announced its fourth-generation iPad, with better battery life, an updated processor, and better graphics.

Earlier the company unveiled a new lineup of Macs, including a 13-inch McBook Pro with a Retina display, starting at $1,699.

In addition, the company showed a new iMac, with a screen 5mm thick, considerably thinner than existing models, starting at $1,299 for a 21.5-inch screen, shipping next month. A 27-inch model starts at $1,799, shipping in December.

Apple’s news comes three days before Microsoft releases Windows 8 with a new wave of PCs and tablets based on the new Microsoft operating system, including the Redmond company’s own Surface tablet, which starts at $499 and is more of a competitor to the larger iPad.

Following the Mac announcements, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the company has sold 100 million iPads, using the slide below to contrast those sales with makers of Windows-based computers.

 

Comments

  • http://www.atebymonsters.com Matt

    Am I the only one that thinks the iPad Mini looks incredibly silly? I am amazed by the new iMac though … Apple just drew the line in the sand on how to design an all-in-one PC

    • GG002

      Faux thin with the specs of a laptop, while it should have specs like a desktop.. Please no, nobody follow Apple’s suit!

  • Guest

    I was hoping for $299 for a 32gb. But this is about the right size that I have been waiting for after using the iPad 1 and 2 for a couple years.

    The video on their site is quite funny on how they present it.

  • Guest

    Congrats to Apple! We were hoping for 7.85″, $199, and a few “wow” features, but we suppose this will have to do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/phil.barrett.7161 Phil Barrett

    Based on specs (i.e. I haven’t laid a hand on one), the mini looks pretty uninspired. Yes, it’s thin and that’s good but the resolution and pricing aren’t. The media seems to have given apple a free pass on the 1024×768 resolution. The mini’s aspect ratio is 4:3 while the Fire and Nexus 7 (both at 1280×800) is 1.6:1 – better for watching TV shows and movies that have 16×9 aspect ratio (56% more pixels). The N7 and Fire have much more dense pixels (163 PPI vs 216). No “retina” display on the mini, for sure.

    Even with the current pricing of the N7 and Fire, the mini doesn’t look that competitive. There are some pretty strong rumors of Google updating the N7 including a lower price on the 16GB model so the mini may be even more at a pricing disadvantage by the end of the week.

    • guest

      1024×768 is uninspiring and not competitive on its own next to Kindle Fire and Nexus 7. However, it makes perfect sense when you consider the flood of readily available apps that don’t have to be adapted to a new format. The price is a little too high, $299 would have been a much better choice. $199 would have been a market killer. They probably just want to control the sub-iPad niche rather than dominate it. Apple fans who love/depend on Apple’s ecosystem will not shy away from getting a mini instead of a Fire or N7. Difficult situation for the surface RT though, that STILL isn’t out, at a time when iPad 4(!) has been introduced already. Being late to a game just got to a new level. Overall, I think Nexus 7 is the kicker right now, cheap, fast, OK form-factor, great resolution, and open system. For 10″ the iPad is still king of the hill.

      • http://www.facebook.com/phil.barrett.7161 Phil Barrett

        I agree, they probably didn’t care about being competitive in the “mini” segment. Probably trying to position the mini so it doesn’t compete with the iPad (maxiPad?). I think that’s a big mistake as the 7″ segment is probably going to bigger than the 10″. a $200 price point is a real consumer sweet spot..

        By the way, I love my Nexus 7. The display is really wonderful and it’s easy to carry around. Android 4.1 is definitely ready for prime time and there are tons of apps (including games) that work just fine on that display. My only wish is for a microSD card socket so I can add lots of storage.

        As to the iPad being king of the 10″ hill, not sure that’s going to last very long.

  • http://twitter.com/BruceTrinh Bruce Trinh

    @$329, this is overpriced. You might as well get the iPad2 for $399. now we wait for the iPad mini with Retina display :O.

  • GG002

    And Apple still keeps calling the iPad a personal computer… It’s by no means a PC in the sense of computing. The iPad is primarily a media consumption device, and as usual, Apple LIES about the numbers.

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