Despite Steve Jobs’ past derogatory comments about smaller tablets, Apple Inc. appears to be poised to launch a smaller iPad at tomorrow’s event in San Jose, Calif.
In a 2010 phone conference to discuss Apple’s quarterly earnings, then-CEO Jobs said smaller tablets should come with sandpaper so that users could sand down their fingers to one quarter of their present size to actually use the devices. But analyst reports, blogs, and news media reports from around the media indicate Apple will launch the iPad mini Oct. 23, with a 7.85-inch diagonal screen size. The junior-sized tablet would compete with successful 7-inch tablets running on Google’s Android operating system (OS).
But that may not be the only trick Apple has up its sleeve for its rare Fall event. TechCrunch reports that their will also be announcements about a new full-sized iPad with the new Thunderbolt connector. Such a release could steal Microsoft’s thunder around the Windows 8 release on Friday, which will include Microsoft’s own Surface tablet hardware and several Windows 8-based tablets from other manufacturers.
Apple has deemed that only Mac users will get to live stream the event video today. In a small-print requirements message displayed on the event page, users are informed the stream “requires Safari 4 or later on Mac OS X v10.6 or later” or an iPad or Apple TV.
Apple has not broadcast live streaming for some of its past events, including last month’s iPhone 5 release. But when it has live streamed its events, PC users were welcome to watch as well. Now it’s an exclusive affair for those in the Apple family.
Other announcements could include a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, a redesigned iMac and Mac mini, and a totally redesigned iTunes for version 11. Whatever Apple announces today, it’s sure to be instantly reported and picked apart on the Internet. Here’s a few places to check out the live coverage of the event, which starts at 10 a.m. PT.
– VentureBeat will have a reporter live on scene and be providing coverage during the event. Its current post rounding up rumours at the event includes speculation that Apple will launch a new Apple TV product and perhaps even an Apple TV screen.
– Ars Technica will also be live reporting from the event. Today, the blog is considering a Bloomberg post that suggests Apple’s event may be focused on the education sector.
– Discussion using the #appleevent hashtag is taking place on Twitter. The more commonly used #apple is also sure to be buzzing.
Also worth considering is how an iPad mini might affect the pricing of current products Apple has on the market. The iPod Touch released in September starts at $299 for a 32 GB model, will Apple lower the cost if a smaller, less expensive iPad is priced the same? The editors at MacWorld have a discussion about this topic and more.