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Apple can produce this type of screen efficiently and affordably

The iPad Mini may be one of Apple's main upcoming gadgets this year, but its display technology is a blast from the past with iPhone 3GS features.

According to Daring Fireball's John Gruber, the iPad Mini will have a 7.85-inch display with a 1024x768 pixel resolution. This is dramatically different from the new iPad's 9.7-inch screen with 2048x1536 Retina Display.

Gruber also mentioned that the mini version will use the same display technology as the iPhone 3GS. He came to this conclusion because Apple can produce this type of screen efficiently and affordably.

"Here’s the logic behind such a display," said Gruber. "Displays aren’t manufactured at their finished size; rather, they’re made on big sheets, and then cut to size. I believe the iPad Mini (or whatever it’s going to be called) uses the same display as the iPhone 3GS. So instead of cutting these sheets into 3.5-inch 480 × 320 displays for the iPhone 3GS, they’ll cut them into 7.85-inch 1024 × 768 displays for the smaller iPad. Same exact display technology, though — display technology that Apple has been producing at scale ever since the original iPhone five years ago."

The iPad Mini is meant to help Apple compete with the likes of Amazon's Kindle Fire, which is a 7-inch Android-powered tablet that was released last November for only $199. The Fire ended up being a smash hit during the holiday season, where Amazon moved 4.7 million units during Q4 2011. This is nearly a third of Apple's iPad volume during that same period, which moved 15.4 million units. Apple needs to stay on its toes when it comes to Amazon's Fire competitor, because a new Kindle Fire is reportedly on the way as soon as this month, and it's expected to have more features like exterior volume controls and a camera.

Amazon isn't the only competitor to keep an eye on, though. Google just started taking orders for its 7-inch Nexus Tabletwhich will be the first to feature Google's Android 4.1 Jelly Bean mobile operating system. The other specs include a 1.3 GHz quad-core Tegra 3 processor, a GeForce 12-core graphics processor, 1 GB of RAM and a resolution of 1280x800. The 8 GB model will sell for $199.

While Microsoft's latest Surface tablet announcement isn't exactly in the $199, 7-inch category, it should still be a noted Apple competitor. The new Surface tablets will be 10.6 inches with 
a 3 mm fold-out keyboard that doubles as a case, and a thin 9.3 mm frame. It comes in two different versions, including the Windows RT model with a Tegra 3 processor and 32/64 GB SSD options, and the Windows 8 Pro model with Intel Corp's Core i5 Ivy Bridge processors and 64/128 GB SSD options.

Sources: Daring Fireball, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg

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By Souka on 7/5/2012 1:50:58 PM , Rating: 5
The article, with all the extra stuff removed is just this:

iPad mini will have a "7.85-inch 1024?×?768 display"

RE: ok
By Belard on 7/5/2012 2:52:35 PM , Rating: 2
Everyone pretty much already knew that.

Its just getting technical, explaining that its not using RETINA display technology. But the exact same thing that goes into making an older model phone that *IS* still in production. It won't be difficult for Apple to sell it for $225~250.

RE: ok
By Solandri on 7/5/2012 3:20:23 PM , Rating: 4
That'd be competitive with the 1024x600 7" tablets like the Kindle Fire. But that resolution has needed to die for a while now (it's not even 16:9 or 16:10), in favor of 1280x800.

From a marketing standpoint, the 7.85" screen size would be a good choice. Here are the x and y sizes in:

4:3 aspect ratio (Apple's preference, 1024x768):
7" = 5.6" x 4.2" (182.9 dpi)
7.85" = 6.28" x 4.71" (163 dpi)
8" = 6.4" x 4.8" (160 dpi)

vs Kindle Fire / Nook Tablet (1024x600)
7" = 6.04" x 3.54" (169.5 dpi)
8" = 6.78" x 4.24" (148.4 dpi)

vs 16:10 (1280x800)
5.3" = 4.5" x 2.8" (301.9 dpi)- Galaxy Note
7" = 5.94" x 3.71" (215.6 dpi) - Nexus 7
8" = 6.78" x 4.24" (188.7 dpi)

As you can see, a 7.85" screen would make the mini's screen larger in both the horizontal and vertical direction than the existing 7" tablets, despite the 4:3 aspect ratio. That would nip in the bud any arguments about the widescreen format of the 7" tablets being better for movies.

The main drawback for Apple IMHO is their 4:3 aspect ratio. The "A format" paperback book size is 6.875" x 4.25". That's almost a perfect match with the 8" 16:10 screen size, or 7" if you add in a bezel.

An iPad mini will feel rather chunky in width due to its 4:3 aspect ratio. It cannot be carried as comfortably as a paperback novel or 7" 16:10 tablet. And if you open up the paperback, you get 8.5" x 6.875", which is about 11" diagonal in a 5:4 aspect ratio - very close to a regular iPad.

Basically, the iPad is better for emmulating the side-by-side page reading experience of an open paperback, but loses the portability of the closed paperback. The 7" 16:10 tablets are better for emulating the portability of the closed paperback while emulating the single-page reading experience. Which leaves a 7.85" iPad Mini in an awkward middle ground. Not as portable as a paperback, not as good an e-reader as other 7" tablets, not as good a "tablet" experience as a 10" tablet (this last one remains to be seen - I thought the 5.3" Galaxy note was stupid but it seems to be selling rather well).

RE: ok
By Belard on 7/5/2012 3:55:56 PM , Rating: 2
We have no idea what the iPad mini is going to look like at this time.

The dpi isn't that big of a deal... its better than the original iPad since its the SAME resolution but on a 2" smaller screen. Its not quite as sharp as the Kindle, but that won't be noticeable. Sure not as good as nexus 7.

RE: ok
By jimbojimbo on 7/5/2012 5:06:59 PM , Rating: 3
But every Apple fan has been adamant with the notion that DPI is everything ever since the new iPad came out. Now it doesn't mean everything? Oh my.

RE: ok
By retrospooty on 7/5/2012 5:49:14 PM , Rating: 4
"But every Apple fan has been adamant with the notion that DPI is everything ever since the new iPad came out."

Now the new "everything" is OS updates, since that is the one area where Apple has an advantage... It changes as specs change ;)

3.5 inch was the perfect size screen and 4 inchers were way too big, until the iPhone 5. 3G was plenty fast and 4G was a waste of battery... until the iPhone 5.

Apple copied Android features/abilities and Apple fanboys change thier stories.

Android copies Apple features/abilities and Apple sues.

RE: ok
By erple2 on 7/6/2012 3:37:53 PM , Rating: 2
4G was a waste of battery

To be fair, the first 4g implementations were battery hogs, enough that I would have to keep turning it on and off and only using it "on demand". Now that we have lower power lte chips, that's not nearly as much an issue any more.

RE: ok
By retrospooty on 7/6/2012 3:40:39 PM , Rating: 2
OK, but you get my point. Apple poo poos all over the competition's features until they copy that feature themselves, then suddenly its a needed feature. If the opposite happens, they sue.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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