The iPad Mini was just one of the new products revealed during Apple’s event in San Jose, California last night, where it was joined by a selection of new MacBooks and an updated iPad. That’s right, Apple announced the fourth generation of its big-screen tablet, but owners of the model introduced earlier this year shouldn’t despair too much, as it’s more of a 3.5 generation device, and a stop gap before next year’s completely new model.
The design is almost completely unchanged, except the 30-pin connector has been replaced by the new Lightning connector, bringing the tablet in-line with the new iPad Mini, the iPod Touch and the iPhone 5. It still has the same gorgeous 9.7-inch, 2048 x 1536 screen and slim chassis.
Inside, the A5X processor has been replaced by an A6X chip, which Apple says is powerful enough to provide twice the CPU and graphics performance of the A5X, meaning the tablet experience should be even faster.
Like the iPad Mini, the iPad’s FaceTime camera has been given a 720p boost, plus the tablet also has dual-band Wi-Fi and a tweaked 4G LTE radio for improved international compatibility. Otherwise, it’s business as usual for Apple’s flagship tablet, as the pricing remains the same. This new iPad has yet to appear in Apple’s online store, but a pre-order date of 26 October seems likely.
Apple also announced a 13-inch version of its Retina display-equipped MacBook Pro, an updated Mac Mini and a redesigned iMac, complete with a 21-inch or 27-inch screen that measures just 5mm at its edge. All the new Apple computers are available to order from today.
As is usual for an Apple event, a fair few figures were thrown around before the product announcements started. CEO Tim Cook took us through the latest news, starting with confirmation that it had its best opening weekend ever with 5 million iPhone 5 handsets sold, along with 3 million new iPods sold too. Other facts and figures included iOS device owners sending a total of 300 billion iMessages, and $6.5bn being paid in total to developers. Finally, there are now 700,000 apps available in the App Store.