Apple may be preparing to submit a smaller version of its popular iPad tablet with “iPad Mini”

Rumors surrounding Apple’s “iPad Mini” keeps turning up all over the web. While consumers impatiently wait for the product  sale date, which is  November 2, 2012, online debates increasingly appear to rival levels seen with the iPhone 5. According to CNN, Apple may be preparing to submit a smaller version of its popular iPad tablet. The latest rumor is claims the device won’t be able to connect to cellular networks, in other words, it may be limited to Wi-Fi connectivity; just like its competitors Google, Nexus 7, and the Amazon 7-inch Kindle Fire HD.

Industry sources have told the Guardian Express that the iPad mini, also dubbed the iPad nano and the iPad Air, will not have 3G or the new faster 4G network. Also they explain cellular connectivity is being left out in order to keep the device’s price low.

“The iPad Mini is another amazing Apple product, and ZAGG is here to help you protect that product,” the blurb said confidently.

The  iPad mini, as its name indicates, will have a smaller size than the current flowing iPad. The screen would be six inches smaller than the iPad, measuring 7- and 8.9-inch.

If this information is true, it has been suggested that invitations would have been sent out on October 10, ahead of an announcement  on October 17 or 18. But so far nobody seems to have received an invitation. The  iPad mini would go on sale on November 2, as was the case with the iPhone 5.

CNN said that Steve Jobs, Apple’s deceased co-founder, thought that a smaller size tablet would be dysfunctional. However, tablet dimensions that are smaller than those of the iPad have been successful in the market; such as Google’s Nexus 7.

The iPad is selling like hotcakes and its popularity is such that CNN featured a Needham company analysis, which indicates that this device is displacing the personal computers in U.S. schools. The device was well received by consumers. In two years, 67 million units sold. Apple took 24 years to sell as many Macintosh computers.

The Battery life: Smaller tablets are often bought as replacements for e-readers, which explains why Amazon and Barnes and Noble were the first major players in the market. E-readers have the unique ability to keep a charge for weeks, which make them good commute or road trip companions. A smaller iPad won’t have to have that kind of battery life, but it will have to be able to last through a day of moderate to heavy use to compete.

The latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS6, with a guarantee that it would also be able to run the inevitable iOS 7 update expected in the next year is an important feature but not guaranteed; nonetheless, reports suggest that consumers will be able to upgrade their iPad Mini’s in a year for $50 or less.

The immediate availability of a reasonably priced Bluetooth keyboard that would be no larger than the iPad Mini, or a combination iPad Mini keyboard/case (perhaps similar to this Targus product) is rumored to be part of Apple’s plan.

Usability: Apple almost never disappoints when it comes to building devices that have just the right weight and balance, which will be critical for a mini that needs to be easy to use with either one or two hands. Still, Apple will have to focus closely on how the device feels in hand and, most importantly, its weight.

As is usual for Apple, the company hasn’t breathed a hint of an official confirmation or denial that the product even exists, so it’s anyone’s guess whether the mounting pile of evidence adds up to anything.

It is critical that consumers do not expect anything other than the unexpected from apple because if you are holding out from buying a similarly functioning device because you’re under the impression that “iPad Mini” will include a particular function, you could very well be disappointed.

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