The iPad Mini was Apple’s first mini tablet computer, and was released into the market on November 2nd, 2012.
The iPad Mini was highly speculated (and highly anticipated) before it was unveiled by Apple, and was released to compete with models released by rivals Amazon and Google.
The iPad Mini has a screen that is just 7.9 inches across, compared to the previous iPad models, which are all 9.7 inches across. Despite its smaller size the iPad Mini is fundamentally the same in its design, with only four physical buttons and cameras to the front and rear.
The iPad Mini is most similar in design to the iPad 2, but it does possess the ‘lightning connector’ introduced with the iPad 4. The iPad Mini is available in the three sizes offered for the previous iPad generations, though it is the first to have no possibility of memory expansion (something Apple has been criticised for) and its RAM was reduced to just 516MB.
Despite this, the iPad Mini was released with the iOS 6.0 software, and came with many of Apple’s defining applications, including Siri, Safari and the App Store. The system has been demoted back to an A5, rather than the new and improved A6 systems seen in later generations, and the WiFi speed is comparable more to the iPad 2 than the iPad 4.
Despite some of these technological dis-advancements, the iPad Mini was widely praised upon release, and sold out to such a degree that waiting lists were created in order to cope with demand.
It was cited as one of 2012’s ‘must-have’ Christmas gifts, and in the first quarter of 2013, the iPad Mini was responsible for 60% of iOS sales, suggesting a shift in market interest from the ‘premium’ tablet first introduced by Apple to the mini tablet introduced by their competitors.