Today's Apple event at the California Theatre in the Bay Area gave us what we expected, a 7.9" iPad mini, and a little bit of the unexpected in the form of a NEW new iPad (aka the 4th generation iPad ... aka the iPad with Retina Display). There were also updates to the Macbook, iMac and Mac Mini lines. But we're in the business of mobile device accessories, so we'll focus on the iPad updates.
iPad miniAs we all expected, the 7.9" iPad mini is now a reality. Coming in white/silver and black/slate colors, the iPad mini takes the goodness of the iPad and packs it into a smaller form factor weighing just a mere 0.68 pounds. If we're honest, though, it's more or less a smaller iPad 2. Inside is the same A5 processor and 1024 x 768 resolution screen that we see on the iPad 2. Pricing starts at $329 for a WiFi / 16GB version. Sure to sell like hotcakes for the upcoming holiday season.
iPad 4th generation
Although some analysts reported that there may be updates to the 3rd gen iPad in the works, we were skeptical. After all, the 3rd gen is only a little over half a year old. Would be very unlike Apple to get on a six-month release cycle for a product. But, there was Phil Schiller on stage unveiling what Apple is calling the 4th gen iPad. Same form factor as the 3rd gen, but the innards have been upgraded to an A6X chip, an LTE chip that works with even more networks around the world, and the new Lightning connector. Pricing remains the same as always, with the cheapest model, WiFi / 16GB, starting at half a thousand bucks (aka $499).