Apple has unveiled the widely-anticipated iPad mini with a 7.9-inch screen following months of media speculation.
The tech giant made the announcement at an event in California, offering only the line, “We’ve got a little more to show you”, to the expectant press in their invites.
A completely new iPad, the mini design is 23% thinner and 53% lighter than the third generation iPad, featuring a 7.9-inch Multi-Touch display, FaceTime HD and iSight cameras, ultrafast wireless performance complete with ten hours of battery life.
Branded as "every inch an iPad, yet in a revolutionary design you can hold in one hand", the device will compete directly with similar sized tablets from Google and Amazon as companies battle it out for a marketshare.
Coming in both black and white, the new iPad Mini has the same resolution as the original iPad and iPad 2, at 1,024 x 768.
"You knew there'd be something called Mini in this presentation," Apple vice president of marketing Phil Schiller joked before the launch.
“iPad mini is every inch an iPad. With its gorgeous 7.9-inch display, iPad mini features the same number of pixels as the original iPad and iPad 2, so you can run more than 275,000 apps designed specifically for iPad.
“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.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook then told the crowd:
"So this iPad mini is just 7.2 mm thick. That's about a quarter thinner than the fourth-generation iPad. Thinner than a pencil.
"You can hold it in one hand. It's not just a shrunken down iPad. It's an entirely new design."
iPad mini comes in a new aluminium and glass design that is 7.2mm thin and 308 grams in weight.
Apple says the 7.9-inch Multi-Touch display delivers the same iPad experience users have come to expect, in a design that has 35% more screen real estate than 7-inch tablets and up to 67% more usable viewing area when browsing the web.
The dual-core A5 chip delivers responsive graphics and a fast, fluid Multi-Touch experience, while still providing all-day battery life, as Apple finally end years of speculation surrounding the smaller-sized tablet.
Customers will have 16 versions of the product to choose from, including memory, colour and network options, with the tablet available at 8, 16, 32 and 64GB configurations, coming in either black or white with a choice of 3G or Wi-Fi connectivity.
Ordering 10 million iPad minis from Asian suppliers last week, Apple will have more than double as many products as Amazon's lower-priced Kindle Fire heading into the holiday season.
The new fourth generation iPad was also revealed at the event, featuring a 9.7-inch Retina display.
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.
The company also revealed it has sold over 100 million iPads since 2010, with Cook alluding to the iconic hardware makers software success.
"We've reached another milestone - customers have downloaded 35 billion apps from the store. This is jaw dropping," Cook said.
Pricing and availability
The iPad mini with Wi-Fi models will be available in black & slate or white & silver on Friday, 2 November for a recommended retail price of NZ$479 for the 16GB model, $629 for the 32GB model and $779 for the 64GB model.
The fourth generation iPad with Wi-Fi models come in black or white for a recommended retail price of $729 for the 16GB model, $879 for the 32GB model and $1029 for the 64GB model.
The iPad mini with Wi-Fi + Cellular will start shipping a couple of weeks after the Wi-Fi models, offered for a recommended retail price of $680 for the 16GB model, $829 for the 32GB model and $979 for the 64GB model.
Fourth generation iPad with Wi-Fi + Cellular will be offered at a recommended retail price of $929 for the 16GB model, $1079 for the 32GB model and $1228 for the 64GB model.
Customers can begin pre-ordering all models of iPad mini and all models of the fourth generation iPad on Friday, 26 October through the Apple Online Store
What do you think of Apple's new products? Tell us your thoughts below