As suspected, Apple did release the iPad mini on October 23, 2012. After reading my original post a couple weeks ago, my colleague Matt blasted me for posting rumours based on pure speculation. However, it was fun seeing how many of my predictions (based on reading countless articles) came true.
Here is the updated version of things to consider if you are thinking about getting the iPad mini, for teaching or not:
- It comes in sizes from
8gb16gb to 64gb;
- It may or may not come comes with a camera;
- It will come in both Wi-fi and cellular (LTE) models;
- It will directly compete with other 7-inch tablets such as the Kindle Fire HD from Amazon and the Google Nexus 7;
- It will sell like hotcakes. Teens will want it. Housewives will want it. Business travelers will want it. This will be on a lot of people’s Christmas lists! This is true: Apple sold out of all of their models of iPad mini in just three days!
- Apple has been working on this tablet for a long time;
- It will be even thinner than the iPad, possibly as thin as the new iPod touches;
- It will use the new Lightning connector;
- It will unfortunately not have the beautiful Retina display that the newest iPad does; It will have the same screen resolution as the iPad 2.
Speaking of the iPad 2, the iPad mini will essentially replace it in terms of consumer demand; the low $399USD iPad 2 will likely disappear from the shelves; For some reason, Apple is keeping the iPad 2 on its shelves for the time being. The third generation iPad is the one disappearing.
- The prices begin at
$249USD for the 8gb wi-fi edition$329 for the 16gb wifi edition, and will go up to $649$659 for the super-charged 64 gb with LTE option.
My predictions were not too far off. I’m glad they did not release an 8gb version. $329 seems like a high price, but considering pundits thought they would charge $249 for 8gb, it isn’t outrageous.
If, as an educator or a even a student, you plan on using this iPad mini as a replacement for textbooks, I would strongly encourage you to get the largest hard-drive you can afford.
If you currently do not own an iPad, and are interested in having a smaller, more portable device, then this should be a very welcome purchase. As a teaching tool, it can be just as effective as its larger sibling. You will be able to project it onto your projectors almost as easily. I say almost because currently there are no Lightning adaptors for video-out. Those will soon be released by Apple. If you own an AppleTV in the classroom, mirroring the iPad mini will not be a problem. If, like myself, you own a collection of iDevices, you will be able to share all your purchased apps with the mini. There is no need to purchase them separately. That is one of the many things I appreciate about Apple. Simply set up your new device with your iTunes password and voilà: all the apps you have ever purchased will be available for downloading onto it for no additional cost.
Having an iPad mini as well as an iPad could not be out of the question as well. With iCloud syncing, you could easily swap from one device to the other and continue your work. It could used as a travel device, or one to keep your children entertained while the family is out. Again, for those who prefer a much smaller and more portable device, this may be the way to go, especially as a first iPad.
Although people were not too happy about the $329 price point, Apple was not shy to say that they do not mind charging a premium price for a quality product.
Personally, I am a little disappointed at the price. For what is basically a miniature version of the almost 1.5 year old iPad 2, minus Siri and a better camera, I was hoping that Apple could make it more affordable, especially since it will still be embraced for education. Can you imagine how disappointed, once again, early adopters of the iPad mini will feel when Apple announces a Retina-display iPad mini within six to eight months? Even a price point of $299 for this first version would have satisfied most consumers. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe Apple can charge whatever they feel like: They did sell out of iPad minis in their pre-orders in three days.
Are you interested in getting an iPad mini? Have you ordered one? Let us know in the comments!