In the war of the 7-inch tablets, there’s little doubt that Apple has manufactured a powerhouse in the iPad Mini. Despite a price tag higher than that from competitors from Amazon (Kindle Fire HD), Barnes & Noble (Nook HD) and various Android-based tablets like the Google Nexus 7, the iPad Mini continues to sell well. However, many different outlets are suggesting that Apple will be slimming the supply in the coming two quarters in 2013, meaning supplies might be running short. The question then begs, what does Apple have planned for the iPad Mini and what is coming next? Let’s break down what we know about the iPad Mini, the current market conditions for small sized tablets and then speculate on what might be called the iPad Mini HD.
The answer might be simple since we’ve seen this song and dance before from Apple and their line of iOS devices. On more than one occasion they take a failing from their current generation, improve it to be slightly better than what others are doing at the time. Then call it out as a groundbreaking new feature in the next edition. Eventually, there will be a new iPad Mini unveiled by Apple, something along the lines of an iPad Mini HD or iPad Mini 2, or, they could simply say “We’ve updated the iPad Mini!” and follow the convention used for the iPod and now the iPad. However, if Apple had a major refresh or generational leap with a new version of their smaller tablet device, shouldn’t that take place in Q3, just before the new unit is announced? It seems a little early for Apple to be shaving units off of this quarter’s supply. This might indicate that while Apple’s sales of the iPad Mini has been as strong or stronger than the competition, the current generation of 7-inch tablets has seen their day in the sun and demand is dwindling.
For enthusiasts wanting to learn more, be sure to read our complete breakdown of the iPad Mini versus the Kindle Fire HD, Nook HD and Google Nexus 7.
If an iPad Mini HD is around the corner, industry analysts expect it to outperform the competition because of Apple’s stellar track record. While Android devices like the Nexus are expected to get a big facelift thanks to emerging breakthroughs thanks to NVIDIA’s upcoming Tegra4 chipset, nobody will discount the fact that Apple will step up to the plate with the second incarnation of the iPad Mini.
What will video game and tech geeks expect with the iPad Mini HD? Taking a look at the iPad Mini specs, it’s not expected for the price to come down at all with the new edition. However, the capacity will probably be upgraded to 32GB, doubling the current capacity. While the screen size will certainly stay at 7.9” what Apple might unveil is something along the lines of the thickness remaining an industry-best 0.28” but the weight (also best in class) coming down from the current 10.88 ounces it weighs in at now. The major upgrade, of course, will be the screen resolution. With the current generation, the iPad Mini has a respectable 1024×768 (at 163ppi) resolution, which pales in comparison with the main competition, all touting retina-like display resolution.
As it stands now, the iPad Mini is still most consumers’ top pick for a small sized tablet device. It sold incredibly well this past holiday season and it remains a fantastic gift for those looking to buy something for graduates come June. With so many apps, games and things to do with the iPad Mini, it’s easy to say that it’s an amazing device, but most tech watchers will agree, the next one will be even better.