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It's an invitation-only event that will likely be held at Apple's Town Hall Auditorium

After much speculation, Apple is set to finally introduce its iPad Mini tablet near the end of this month.

According to AllThingsD, Apple is holding an event on October 23 for its second fall product release. It's an invitation-only event that will likely be held at Apple's Town Hall Auditorium, since it already announced its main product launch -- the iPhone 5 -- at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

While there aren't many details available on the iPad Mini, some have trickled through the cracks, such as its 7.85-inch display. AllThingsD also reported that it will likely be thinner and will have a Lightning connector.

IPad Mini production reportedly began on October 3, and Apple is looking to produce 10 million of them in the fourth quarter of this year. If anything, this shows that Apple is confident about the upcoming potential success of its iPad Mini, considering this is double the number of Kindle Fire's that Amazon made in Q4 2011 -- and that was the hot holiday item of last year.


iPad Mini rendering [Image Source: Martin Hajek]
 
Apple is dipping into the 7-inch tablet arena after years of sticking with the traditional 9.7-inch iPads. The reason is clear: 7-inch tablets are smaller and cheaper, and consumers want them.

Other tablet makers like Amazon, ASUS and Samsung have created popular 7-inch tablets over the past year. Amazon's Kindle Fire was the trailblazer for others like Google's ASUS-built Nexus 7 tablet, which, like the Kindle Fire, is a 7-inch tablet for $199.

The 7-inch tablet market is getting a lot more interesting lately, with Barnes & Noble releasing a new refreshed version of its 7-inch Nook with HD and HD+ models.

Beyond that, Amazon of course had to make a comeback with newer, more powerful models to stay competitive. It recently announced its Kindle Fire HD line, which includes an updated 7-inch Fire for $199, an 8.9-inch Fire for $299 and a 4G LTE model for $499. On top of that, Amazon is offering a generous data package for only $50 per year.

Apple wants to strike the iron while it's hot in terms of the 7-inch market, and the iPad Mini is geared up for a holiday release that could help uphold the tech giant's current tablet dominance.

Source: All Things D



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RE: iPad Mini with cell phone capability?
By simsony on 10/15/2012 10:05:56 AM , Rating: 2
It isn't a bubble, true, but Apple isn't the obvious investment as you put it either.

Most of that revenue was made with defining products that came to fruit in no small part due to Steve Jobs.

Continuing that is the biggest risk. So yes Apple has done well. They came up with a unique product offering at the premium end. They haven't however in a while. Their R&D spend is small, product design and branding investments can only take it so far.

The number of missteps is also on the rise.

Apple has already taken unprecedented steps to address value markets (and to apologise ;), to widen their range from their premium offerings. It is not something that companies with a choice do, as premium products bring premium margins. Actions speak louder than words, and Apple seems to be running out of ideas.

Unlike other companies, Apple kind of needs to pull a rabbit out of the hat. Every quarter. Because that's what is bringing in their revenues. They are kind of an uber-OEM.

iP5 is selling well, but it is not a differentiating product. Their forward revenues appear to be depending more on branding. Which they are addressing by tarnishing their branding in a way with a value range.

Time will tell.


RE: iPad Mini with cell phone capability?
By TakinYourPoints on 10/15/2012 4:19:18 PM , Rating: 2
Nothing is certain, that is for sure. Apple could make many missteps that will bring them down, absolutely.

That said, investor fear is already doing a very good job keeping the stock in check. Their valuation is almost completely based on revenue right now. Expectations are tempered given that its price multiple is even lower than mature divvy stocks like Microsoft and IBM.

The main thing that will kill revenue IMHO isn't products, that is a lock as Apple has lots of very smart engineers and designers working there. The thing that will kill them is if they put customer service on the back burner. The story a few months ago where they decided to cut corners on retail staffing was a big red flag. They backed off on doing that, but if they do push forward with it then I believe that will be the real thing to put a dent in their reputation with customers. Cutting customer service has ruined other techs like Dell, and with Apple doing that would be even worse given that customer service is a cornerstone of their business.

It is unnecessary given that they have the most profitable retail business in the world right now. Cutting back on staffing to squeeze a few extra bucks is incredibly shortsighted. Put customer service first and profits will follow.

As for products, I'm not worried about that. The trend continues to be up with iDevices, they continue to have the best specs on the market, and even their Mac business is doing very well. 1/3 of US laptop sales since Spring have been Macbook Pros, and they have 90% of the OEM market over $1000.

If they don't screw up the retail side of things I think they'll be fine.


RE: iPad Mini with cell phone capability?
By simsony on 10/15/2012 6:09:59 PM , Rating: 2
Oh they'll be fine with that mountain of cash no doubt.

Mac sales seem to be a enjoying the halo effect of the iPhone. Maybe for app development?

But I am talking about the prospects for their share price. Apple is still heavily vertical in a few industries. Amazon, IBM, Microsoft are more horizontal across different market segments and sectors. P/E (forward or otherwise) is a bit too simplistic. As Jobs put it, they need to figure out where the puck is going to land in the segments they operate in (consumer computing/entertainment). Apple depends on this far more than other companies.


By TakinYourPoints on 10/16/2012 5:17:23 AM , Rating: 2
Halo effect for sure, people are seeing how great Apple's laptops are. They are the only real choice aside from Lenovo these days, and even Lenovo lacks the MBPs trackpad and displays save for a few of their models with IPS display upgrades.

That said, all those Macs aren't for software development, you're seriously underestimating the demand for them.

As for figuring out where to go next, we'll see. Apple has some of the smartest people in the industry working there. As much as people want to give Jobs all the credit, he didn't do it all alone. He left behind one of the best design groups and operations teams in the entire industry.

The share price is fine as long as people keep on buying. The thing is that an Apple without Jobs is still better at execution and design than other tech companies out there. That is less about how amazing Apple is and how poor a job most other techs do, which is sad. You cannot expect Apple's level of execution from the majority of hardware OEMs and handset/tablet manufacturers, and nothing appears to be changing there.


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