by Mark Ollig
“Honey, I shrunk the iPad!”
It wasn’t inventor Wayne Szalinski, using his electromagnetic shrink ray from the popular 1989 movie this time; it was the engineering department at Apple.
Last week, during a special event at the California Theater in San Jose, CA, Apple unveiled their new, smaller version of iPad.
The new iPad is called the iPad mini.
Doesn’t it seem like the Apple iPad has been around for a long time?
It was Jan. 27, 2010 when the late Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs, presented the first iPad to the public.
As I watched the presentation being live-streamed over the Internet, a smiling Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook walked onto the stage to much applause.
He stood facing the audience; behind him was a large mural of a white Apple logo with a very colorful aurora surrounding it.
For a moment, it reminded me of those tie-dyed T-shirts we used to make back in the day.
Cook first talked about the updates being made on the new iPhone 5, which became available, last month.
He said the first weekend they were available Apple sold out of them.
Cook happily announced Apple has sold 5 million iPhone 5s.
Those numbers made iPhone 5 the fastest-selling phone in history.
Cook went on to say for the year ending in June, Apple’s Mac computers have outnumbered the personal computer (PC) market by a factor of seven, and has been outgrowing the PC market during the last six years.
He then introduced Apple’s vice-president, Phil Schiller, to talk about MacBook notebook computers – and to make the big announcement.
First, Schiller told the audience that Apple’s best-selling MacBook (which also happens to be the number one selling Mac) is their 13-inch display MacBook Pro.
In keeping with a good thing, Schiller then introduced Apple’s brand-new 13-inch display MacBook Pro.
The audience cheered.
This new MacBook Pro is .75 inches thick, which is about 20 percent thinner than the previous 13-inch MacBook Pro, and it weighs 3.5 pounds (a pound lighter than the previous model).
The new 13-inch MacBook Pro also has the popular Retina display screen with more than 4 million pixels.
Then, the moment came for the spotlight to shine on the new Apple iPad mini.
“You can hold it in one hand,” Schiller said as he showed the aluminum and glass enclosed iPad mini to the appreciative audience. He went on to say, “iPad mini is like iPad, but smaller.”
In comparing the new iPad mini with the larger iPad with Retina display, the iPad mini (which does not have a Retina display) is about 7.9 by 5.3 inches, and weighs just a little more than one half pound.
The larger iPad is 9.5 by 7.3 inches, and, weighs 1.44 pounds.
The iPad mini is small enough to fit into one’s coat pocket, but large enough to comfortably read an e-book, watch and record videos, and of course, surf the Internet.
Battery life is the same as on the larger iPad Retina display: 10 hours.
The iPad mini has a 1080p HD (high-definition) video recording camera, iSight 5MP (mega-pixel) camera, and FaceTime for two-way video calls.
It comes equipped with the Apple’s dual-core A5 processor chip, and operates using the Apple iOS 6 operating system.
An LED-backlit Multi-Touch display screen shows 1,024 by 768-pixel resolution.
There are 275,000 existing iPad applications (apps) that will work with the iPad mini.
The iPad mini is configured with 16, 32 or 64GB of internal memory and comes with Apple’s Intelligent Assistant, Siri.
The cost for a 16, 32, and 64GB Wi-Fi only iPad mini is $329, $429, and $529, respectively.
The price of a 16, 32, and 64GB Wi-Fi and Cellular iPad mini is $459, $559, and $659, respectively (not including cellular carrier calling plans).
Cook talked about the 200 million devices running Apple’s newest mobile operating system; iOS 6, with 700,000 apps available for it. He said over 35 billion apps have been downloaded onto all of Apple’s mobile devices. “This is jaw-dropping,” Cook exclaimed.
So, we come to the question: “Do we really need a smaller-sized iPad?”
I read through comments pro and con about the new iPad mini on Twitter and other social media sites.
The number of those favoring the new, smaller-sized iPad did outnumber those opposed to it. I believe it mostly comes down to personal preference.
No doubt, Apple assumes we will want the new, smaller-sized iPad – especially being this close to the holiday season.
In any case, Apple will probably end up selling millions of these iPad mini computing devices.
I thought it was a nice touch when Cook gave a tribute to Apple employees by saying, “These are the most talented and innovative people I know, and it is a privilege to work with them.”
What’s ahead for Apple? Why, the next Mac, iPod, iPad, and iPhone, of course.
To learn more about the iPad mini, and to watch the 72-minute Oct. 23 Apple special event video, go to http://www.apple.com/ipad-mini/overview.