Report: iPad mini is WiFi-only, Apple to update iPad 3 with UK’s 4G LTE and Lightning

By , Oct 9, 2012

We may have been exposed to a surprising amount of leaks pertaining to the looks and hardware features of a smaller iPad Apple is thought to be introducing later this month. One important feature has remained a mystery thus far: the device’s price point.

With both Amazon and Google selling their seven inchers for just $199, Apple’s mini iPad cannot and shouldn’t cost substantially more in order not to ruin its chances in the marketplace.

Among the possible tricks Apple could employ in order to keep the costs down: re-using some of the iPad 2 components and yes – skimping on some features, including cellular networking…

A report published today by The Guardian newspaper claims the iPad mini will (at least initially) come in WiFi-only flavor, just like Google’s seven-inch Nexus tablet:

Apple’s expected “iPad mini” will only come in a Wi-Fi version. […] Industry sources indicated to the Guardian that they do not expect to see 3G-capable versions of the iPad mini.

Why?

That would allow Apple to produce it comparatively cheaply and to limit the top price of the product, while retaining mobile broadband connectivity for its pricier iPad line.

Retail sources who spoke to The Guardian on condition of anonymity are calling for a November launch. Fortune previously reported that Apple will tomorrow invite journalists to an iPad mini-focused press conference, thought to be held at some point next week.

A WiFi-only iPad would be comparable to Google’s Nexus 7, which also does not support cellular networking. However, such a device would compare unfavorably to Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet which was originally WiFi-only, but was refreshed with cellular networking last month.

Apple too could quietly introduce a cellular iPad mini down the road. The original iPad landed in the U.S. in April 2010, with WiFi + 3G cellular model arriving the following month.

The Guardian story also underscores that Apple will release a revised version of the iPad with 4G connectivity compatible with the UK’s Everything Everywhere network.

Sources also indicated that they expect Apple to refresh the iPad line by following up the introduction of the iPhone 5, which is 4G-capable in the UK through Everything Everywhere’s 1800MHz network – and from next September with Three – with revised versions using the same 1800MHz 4G chip and the new connector.

The revised device would come with Apple’s new Lightning connector, the story claims. Australian writer Sonny Dickson tweeted this image he said depict an iPad mini with Lightning I/O.


A squared-off iPad mini could be a design Apple dropped last minute.

Apple in the past revised the original iPhone mid-cycle, adding more capacious models to the mix just a few months after its release. Google too appears to be pulling a similar maneuver with its Nexus 7 device: Phandroid notes that a new 32GB Nexus 7 is now shipping to some customers. The 16GB model has reportedly been declared “EOL” (end of life).

So, what do you think Apple will price the iPad mini at?

If you ask me, it should be somewhere between $249 and $299.

Why?

Because the previous-generation iPod touch begins at $199.

Plus, a $49-$99 premium against the $199 Google/Amazon tablet is easily justifiable by Apple’s design, build quality, choice of apps and the ecosystem that “just works”.

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  • Carlos Briones

    First no retina and now no internet? Either these reports are BS or Apple is making a huge mistake…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000945354629 Avery Massenburg

    I think this would be a mistake.. No other 7in Tablet has any kind of 3G, and that’s a big downside for this interested is the smaller form factor… I was considering the iPad mini to use as a temporary phone type device till I can afford an iPhone Plan..

    This c=would kinda change my mind completely

    • http://www.facebook.com/corey87 Corey Evans

      The device is obviously targeted at tweens and teens, just like the iPod Nano. Price is the main concern here, not features.

    • Agent_Sm1th

      The Samsung Galaxy tab 7.0 has 3G. I know as I have one.

      • Kurt

        exactly

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000945354629 Avery Massenburg

        But it’s not as powerful as the Nexus or the Fire HD last I checked.. :/
        It wouldn’t hurt to have another model with 3G

    • Kurt

      galaxy tab 7.0 has 3G. you can use it as a phone too. ive seen it done and it was weird but hey, you can do it

  • Lucas

    So its basically a big ipod touch

    • http://twitter.com/MCaudebec Maxim∑

      just like the nexus 7 is a big Galaxy Nexus….

      • @dongiuj

        So that’s a yes then.

      • Kurt

        doesn’t nexus 7 have 3g?

  • http://twitter.com/_moose239 Max Jarrett

    I would be soo pissed if apple bring out a revised version I have just signed a data plan with orange/everything everything for the iPad 3. Hopefully they do this VERY soon so I can exchange within the 30 day purchase! I will go through the roof with anger if they don’t let me!

  • gapperonduty

    Wouldn’t the launch of this ipad mini at this price cannabalise the market for the ipod touch????

    I see both of these products are targeting the same market for small, portable media players. I can’t see why anyone would spend money on an ipod touch when they can, for the same price, buy a slightly bigger and relatively more useful ipad mini. The market for small, portable media player

    • Irene N.

      It boils down to portability. You can’t go exercising with an iPad Mini…

  • http://twitter.com/mizter_popo Rizky Ardi Nugroho

    Its not iPad mini but iPod Maxi.

    • Kurt

      i see what you did there. maybe the 7 inch ipad will be called “iPad” and the 9.7 inch ipad will be called “iPad Maxi”

  • http://www.facebook.com/liamsagooch Liam Googolplex Merlyn

    Are you f***ing kidding me? So I bought the iPad 3 ready for 4G in the UK and the damn thing won’t even work? F*ck Apple. C**ts

    • Kurt

      sad part is, apple is laughing at you.

  • Cam

    I would love for this to have 3G due to the fact I’m more likely to move around with this device then any of my other iPad models. Everyone is different but I would pay more (not over 350$) for a wifi + 3G model. I am also looking to supply a family with these so it would be nice to have the same price point as the kindle fire.