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The iPad mini sports a 7.9-inch screen and is priced between $329 and $659 for various storage and connectivity specifications. The 1024X768 pixel display resolution of the new tablet is the same as that on the second generation of the company’s full-fledged iPad. The LTE-equipped mini tablet features the A5 processor of the iPhone 4S, the new Lightening dock connector, a 5MP iSight back camera, a high-definition FaceTime camera, and at 0.68 pounds, is 53 percent lighter than the 9.7-inch iPad.
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According to Apple chief designer Jonathan Ive, the edges of the tablet have been reduced to allow for maximum screen space. It will come equipped with iOS 6 and features such as Siri and have the same 10-hour battery life as its bigger brother. Apple said it will start taking orders for the iPad mini on October 26, and the Wi-Fi models will start shipping on November 2.
Phil Schiller took the tablet battle straight to the rivals, putting the iPad mini side-by-side with Google’s Nexus 7 on the screen at the presentation and comparing the specifications of the two tablets.
While there had been some buzz of the possibility just before the event, the upgrade to the full-fledged iPad was at least a bit of a surprise. The fourth-generation iPad, announced on Tuesday, includes the new Lighting dock connector and an A6X chip. It features 10 hours of battery life and an HD version of its front-facing camera. The company also announced enhanced LTE connectivity, with new carriers including Sprint (NYSE:S) in the U.S.
Apple also stressed on the fact that it was not raising the price of the new device, which will start selling at $499 for the 16GB model.
While new, cheaper devices from Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Google, among others, have chipped at the iPad’s market share, the Apple tablet still held a 70 percent hold in the second quarter.
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