Phil Schiller reportedly confirms the iPad mini has stereo speakers

In a classic marketing 101 move, online retailer Amazon last week highlighted the iPad mini’s perceived flaws in a huge Kindle Fire HD ad on its web site. The move came after Amazon uncharacteristically compared the iPad mini to its tablet in an earnings release announcing its first loss in nine years. Advertising against the iPad mini, Amazon listed Apple’s device as having a mono speaker versus dual stereo speakers on its tablet. Some people likely bought this as Apple’s own web page makes no mention of stereo speakers and the Tech Specs page only confirms “built-in speaker”.

Always quick to right the wrongs, Apple’s head honcho of worldwide marketing allegedly confirmed in an email exchange with a fan that the smaller iPad does have built-in stereo speakers. We expect Amazon to update its homepage ad shortly…

According to Jordan Kahn of 9to5Mac, a reader sent the following message to Schiller:

Hi Mr. Schiller,

I understand the tech specs about iPad Mini online should cover everything, but the tech specs online neither confirm or deny the rumors of iPad Mini’s speakers being stereo. Is it possible to get confirmation from the man himself as to whether these are mono or stereo?

To this, the executive allegedly replied with a one-liner:

It is stereo.

I must say that I’m taken aback that Apple would miss the opportunity to advertise the iPad mini as the first iPad with built-in stereo speakers. Also, at post time Apple’s product page for the iPad mini wasn’t updated to clarify this.

Even though the publication assumably checked authenticity of the headers, know that these things can be easily faked. 9to5Mac is really stating the obvious as The Verge editor Joshua Topolsky pointed out on Twitter that he already noted as much in his review.


Indeed, Topolsky wrote (emphasis mine):

All of the standard iPad button and switch placement is intact here, save for the move of the speaker grille to the bottom of the device (it’s been around back for iPads previous to this version), along with the new Lightning port. And that’s a good-sounding set of stereo speakers, by the way. 

We’ll be monitoring the situation to update you accordingly. At any rate, come Friday iFixit should do their teardown dance and we’ll know for sure.

I’m sure glad Apple finally jumped into the 21st century and gave the smaller iPad stereo speakers, but am also disappointed they left the fourth-gen model with a mono speaker.

Doesn’t that bother you?