Anytime Apple announces a media event, rumor mills ramp up their production. This brief post will help you focus in on the ones with greatest likelihood of being accurate.
The rumors have gotten more focused in the past several days, but here is what seems to be clear at this point. Of course, until the actual event is held anything could be on the table, and subject to change.
1. Date – Looks to be announced on October 23rd, most likely at an event held on the Apple campus in Cuppertino.
2. Accessory makers have had items ready to ship since the summer. This isn’t a last minute item they have thrown together with hopes of gaining a few more dollars (though it is a lock that Apple will make more on each iPad Mini they sell than Amazon makes on any 5 of the items they sell…same for Google and Nexus).
3. Price points – seem headed toward north of $300, at around $349 for the 8 GB device, though one rumor has the 8GB unit priced at $249. I personally find this a bit disappointing if the higher price proves to be true. Sure, the iPod Touch starts at $299, which would seem to point toward a higher price point for the iPad Mini. But I believe an argument could be made that Apple can justify a higher price for the Touch based on miniaturization. The device is smaller in size, thus requiring a higher price. Personally, I would love to see an 8GB iPod Mini start at $199, because I think they can make money and capture amazing market share in the doing.
With that said, look for a price between the iPod Touch and the iPad 2 (which starts at $399).
4. Wifi only and cellular – Apple wants to cover all possible data access plans, and there will be plenty of options. Some purported views of inventory lists at major retailers point to 8 different units.
5. There are some indications that the focus on the iPad Mini is as an ereader — something that both the iPhone/iPod Touch can be used for, but at less than optimal experience, or which can be done on the iPad. Again, the full sized iPad struggles as an ereader specifically because of its weight. If the iPad Mini strikes the right chord as an ereader and movie viewer (with all the other things that iOS brings to the table), this will be a huge hit for Cuppertino.
That’s my thought? What about you? What do you see happening on October 23rd?