Apple's 'mini' overkill: iPad mini, Mac mini, iPad 4, MacBook Pro

iPad mini is "thin as a pencil and as light as a pad of paper", yet packs a punch: Schiller

Apple Inc. provided a live webcast of Tuesday's event, where the firm launched a slew of products, including the iPad 4 and the iPad mini.

Click here to watch the iPad Mini video

After months of rumours, Apple finally unveiled the smaller version of the iPad called the iPad mini. The device has a 7.9 inch display, 4:3 aspect ratio, lightning dock connector, and front and rear cameras. While unveiling the iPad mini model, Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, said: "You can hold it in one hand. It's not just a shrunken down iPad. It's an entirely new design."

iPad mini with Wi-Fi models will be available in the US in black & slate or white & silver from Friday, November 2, for a suggested retail price of $329 for the 16GB model, $429 for the 32GB model and $529 for the 64GB model.

The new model is about a quarter (23 per cent) thinner and more than half (53 per cent) lighter than iPad 3. The new iPad mini features a 7.9-inch Multi-Touch display, FaceTime HD and iSight cameras, ultrafast wireless performance and 10 hours of battery life.

“iPad mini is every inch an iPad. With its gorgeous 7.9-inch display, iPad mini features the same number of pixels as the original iPad and iPad 2, so you can run more than 275,000 apps designed specifically for iPad,” said Schiller. “iPad mini is as thin as a pencil and as light as a pad of paper, yet packs a fast A5 chip, FaceTime HD and 5 megapixel iSight cameras and ultrafast wireless―all while delivering up to 10 hours of battery life.”

In a surprise move, Apple also updated the full-sized iPad to the 4th generation that features an A6X processor, lighting bolt connector, faster WiFi connection, an updated camera and still comes in black and white. The iPad 4 comes with the same pricing and storage configurations as iPad 3 models. The fourth generation iPad with Wi-Fi models will also be available on Friday, November 2, in black or white for a suggested retail price of $499 for the 16GB model, $599 for the 32GB model and $699 for the 64GB model.

Customers can begin pre-ordering all models of iPad mini and all models of the fourth generation iPad on Friday, October 26 through the Apple Online Store in the US, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

Apple also revealed a new Mac mini, updating the compact desktop with new processors but keeping the slick, low-profile style. The Mac mini is available with a 2.5 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz, 4GB of memory and a 500GB hard drive for a suggested retail price of $599; a 2.3 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.3 GHz, 4GB of memory and a 1TB hard drive for a suggested retail price of $799; and a 2.3 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.3 GHz, OS X Server, 4GB of memory and two 1TB hard drives for a suggested retail price of $999. The Mac mini is available today onwards.

At the event in San Jose, Apple also introduced an all-new iMac model. This is the 8th generation of iMac, with an 80 per cent thinner profile than the last version. There are two sizes, a 27″ and 21.5″ and the displays are optically laminated. The new iMac starts at $1,299 and will begin shipping in November.

Apple unveiled the completely new iMac with a new design, display with reduced reflection, and faster processors. With third generation Intel quad-core processors, NVIDIA graphics and a new storage option called Fusion Drive, Apple said the new iMac is the most advanced desktop Apple has ever made.

“With a stunning design, brilliant display and faster performance, we’ve made the world’s leading all-in-one desktop computer better in every way,” said  Schiller. “The all-new iMac is unbelievably thin, yet packs an incredible amount of performance and technology into our most innovative desktop.”

The 21.5-inch iMac is available with a 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.2 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M for a suggested retail price of $1,299; and with a 2.9 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.6 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M for a suggested retail price of $1,499. The 21.5-inch iMac will be available in November.

The 27-inch iMac is available with a 2.9 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.6 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M for a suggested retail price of $1,799; and with a 3.2 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.6 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX for a suggested retail price of $1,999. The 27-inch iMac will be available in December.

Schiller also annouced that Apple is introducing a new 13-inch MacBook Pro notebook that has a "Retina" display, with four times the resolution of the previous model.

“The 13-inch MacBook Pro is our most popular Mac, and today it gets completely reinvented with a new thin and light design, fast flash storage and a gorgeous Retina display,” said Schiller. “With vivid colours, razor sharp text and more pixels than anyone else’s 15 or 17-inch notebooks, the Retina display completely changes what you expect from a notebook.”

The new model follows a 15-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display introduced this summer. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is available with a 2.5 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz, 8GB of memory and 128GB of flash storage starting at $1,699; and with 256GB of flash storage starting at $1,999.

The Cupertino-based tech giant is beaming a live video stream of the special event online and via Apple TV, starting at 10am PDT (9pm UAE time).

At about 9.15pm UAE time, Apple kicked off its iPad Mini event, and while analysts, Apple fans and fanatics have a good idea of what’s in store, there could definitely be a few surprises thrown into the mix.

At the start of the presentation, as is now rote, Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage to talk numbers.

* 5 million iPhone 5 handsets sold during the device's opening weekend - okay, we know that.

* 100 million iPads have been sold till date. "We sold more products in the June quarter than any PC manufacturer sold in their entire PC line," said Cook. 

* 3 million new iPods sold to date - that's impressive, in its own right.

* 200 million Apple devices (including the new ones that come bundled with it) have upgraded to iOS 6 - not sure how many 'happy' customers is Cook talking about.

* 300 billion messages have been sent by Apple customers, using iMessage, and the service currently delivers an average of 28,000 messages per second - that's a lot of texting going on as you read this.

* 35 billion app downloads from the App Store, and Apple has doled out more than $6.5 billion to developers so far - impressive, again.

* 400 million iBooks have been downloaded since Apple launched its iBookstore.

  Apple doesn't usually beam its 'invite-only' events to everyone around the world. So, why did Apple provide the webcast for everyone this time around?

Well, as it turns out, while the webcast was indeed  available on Apple’s website, the catch – there had to be one – being that only those possessing a Mac, iOS device or Apple TV were able to view it.

Thankfully, however, those who didn't have an Apple device but had the Safari browser downloaded onto their desktop PCs or notebooks too could catch the action live via Apple's Safari browser.  

“Live streaming video requires Safari 4 or later on Mac OS X v10.6 or later; Safari on iOS 4.2 or later. Streaming via Apple TV requires second- or third-generation Apple TV with software 5.0.2 or later,” the Apple website said.

Here’s a direct link to the webcast of the Apple event. iPad Mini Launch Webcast

MUST READ:

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