Apple changes game plan with iPad mini, unleashes new tablet warfare

Apple on Tuesday unveiled its much-talked-about iPad mini, a 7.9-inch multi-touch display and 23 percent thinner and 53 percent lighter than the New iPad (3) that was released in March this year. Not content with it, Apple has unexpectedly relased its fourth generation iPad with a 9.7-inch Retina display, Apple-designed A6X chip, FaceTime HD camera and ultrafast wireless performance. To run on iOS 6, both devices will have over 200 new features.

The question ahead is whether iPad 3 withstand the new product’s competition? Since the price structure of earlier Apple products remain the same, new devices will eat into the market of ipad 3. And the iPad 4 will neutralize all the features enjoyed by Apple’s older products. Since no one has expected the release of iPad 4, it comes too early for rivals like Samsung which has basked on its latest Galaxy series, while Google will face bouncing effect now with its Nexus tablet. Amazon has to rekindle its Kindle fire now. The changed game of tablet wars now picks up momentum and obviously the user will be the winner.

As Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, says: “iPad mini is as thin as a pencil and as light as a pad of paper, yet packs a fast A5 chip, FaceTime HD and 5 megapixel iSight cameras and ultrafast wireless―all while delivering up to 10 hours of battery life.”

iPad mini comes in a new aluminum and glass design that is 7.2 mm thin and weighs 0.68 pounds. The 7.9-inch Multi-Touch display has 35 percent more screen real estate than 7-inch tablets and up to 67 percent more usable viewing area when browsing the web. The dual-core A5 chip delivers  graphics and a fluid Multi-Touch experience, while still providing all-day battery life of 10 hours.

iPad mini features a front-facing FaceTime HD camera and a 5 megapixel iSight camera on the back with advanced optics for taking sharp still pictures and recording full 1080p HD video. The iSight camera includes video image stabilization and both cameras feature backside illumination to let users capture great pictures in low light. iPad mini also allows easy sharing of photos with friends and family using iCloud’s Shared Photo Streams.

iPad Mini also features dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi support for speeds up to 150 Mbps, which is twice the Wi-Fi performance compared to previous iPad models. iPad mini is available in Wi-Fi + Cellular models with built-in support for fast wireless standards, including LTE and DC-HSDPA to help users browse, download and stream content from anywhere.

iPad mini with Personal Hotspot feature enables user to share cellular data connection via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB with up to five other devices such as MacBook Pro, iPod touch or another iPad, the company said in a statement.

The new fourth generation iPad features 9.7-inch Retina display and includes a new Apple-designed A6X chip that delivers up to twice the CPU performance and up to twice the graphics performance of the A5X chip, all while delivering 10 hours of battery life. Other new features include a FaceTime HD camera, twice the Wi-Fi performance when compared to previous iPad models and support for additional LTE carriers worldwide.

Both the iPad mini and the fourth generation iPad support the Lightning connector that is smaller, smarter and more durable than the 30-pin connector. Lightning connector accessories are available to support cameras, SD cards and VGA or HDMI digital video. Existing iPad Smart Covers and the iPad Smart Case are compatible with fourth generation iPad, and new polyurethane Smart Covers custom-designed for iPad mini are available in pink, green, blue, light gray, dark gray and (PRODUCT) RED for $39.

iPad runs over 700,000 apps available on the App Store, including more than 275,000 apps designed specifically for iPad.

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