On October 16, Apple is holding an event to unveil their latest iPad tablets. The iPad Air line is expected to get a refresh, along with a new Retina iPad Mini. The new retina iPad Mini looks great, but will it flop at launch? Apple has some serious hurdles to overcome if this new tablet is to succeed. Here’s what we know so far about this exciting new tablet.
1. Apple Will Unveil New iPad Mini on October 16
Apple has an event planned for October 16. The event will be streamed live across multiple platforms, including the Apple TV, iOS devices, and any compatible device running Safari. Check out our guide to watching Apple livestreams to learn more.
Other rumored products we might see at the Apple event on October 16 include a new iMac with a 5k display, a new Mac mini, and a refresh for the iPad Mini line. MacRumors suggests that the new iPads will go on sale on October 24.
2. Google Is Going Head-to-Head With the New iPads
Check out the video above, which teases Google’s new Android L products. The commercial features the tagline “Be together, not the same.” This is believed to be a reference to Android L’s ability to give a more unified experience across many devices, as well as the wide range of Android devices that appeal to people from all walks of life.
This is quite similar to what Apple is trying to do with Handoff, which bridges the gap between iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. For example, you can use Handoff to start an email on your phone, and then finish it on your Mac.
Google is planning to unveil a new Nexus phone (the Nexus 6) and a new tablet (the Nexus 9). The new Nexus devices are expected to debut on October 15 or 16, which is interesting timing given Apple’s upcoming iPad event on October 16.
According to 9to5Google, the two upcoming Nexus devices that run Android L are going to have some impressive specs:
“We exclusively revealed the specs of the Nexus 6 (which may be known as the Nexus X) last month: a huge 5.9-inch display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440, Snapdragon 805 processor, generous 3GB RAM, 13MP camera with 4K recording capabilities and a 3,200mAh battery.
The Nexus 9 is expected to feature an 8.9-inch 2048×1440 display, an NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB or 32GB of storage.”
3. New Retina iPad Mini Sales Could Be Hurt by Strong iPhone 6 Plus Sales
One report on Mashable suggests that the success of the iPhone 6 Plus may actually be bad news for the new iPad Mini. Because the new iPhone 6 Plus is bordering on the dimensions of a small tablet, and the iPad Mini is the smallest tablet Apple makes, there’s good reason to think that people who just bought an iPhone 6 Plus wouldn’t want a new Retina iPad Mini 2. Mashable writes:
“On the Android side, we’ve seen very clear evidence that the large-screened smartphones have started to eat into the sales for 7-inch devices. Even 8-inch devices (the size closer to the iPad mini), are impacted when phone screens approach the 6-inch mark.
After all, a 5.5-inch phone is in many ways closer to a tablet than it is to a smartphone. In talking with hundreds of iPhone 6 Plus owners for a recent story, a common refrain I heard from many was that ‘the iPhone 6 is going to make me use my iPad mini less.'”
4. Unlike the New iPad Air, the Retina iPad Mini Won’t Have the A8X Chip
According to 9to5Mac, the new iPad Pro and iPad Air will run on an enhanced version of the A8 chip that powers the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. This so-called A8X chip is said to be more powerful, though exact specifications have yet to be leaked.
However, while other iPad models are expected to run on the A8X chipset, a report on MacRumors suggests that the Retina iPad Mini 2 will have a less powerful A8 processor.
5. Apple Needs the iPad Launch to Go Off Without a Hitch
Apple has had to contend with some serious PR issues in the wake of the iPhone 6’s release, so it will be crucial for Apple’s iPad launch to go off without a hitch. The days and weeks after the iPhone 6 launch were littered with controversial news about the new iPhones. In the video above from Mashable, Christina Warren argues that Hairgate is simply not a real problem iPhone 6 owners need to worry about. You can watch both men and women try to get their hair caught in the iPhone 6 in the video above.
Between issues with iOS 8, the “Bendgate” scandal, and the more recent “Hairgate” controversy, the iPhone 6 launch has definitely been anything but smooth. Chances are, the iPad will be able to dodge any issues with bending and hair-pulling, since it is used in a very different way than an iPhone.