OLD Media Moves

Apple’s new iPad mini draws breathless coverage

October 24, 2012

Posted by Liz Hester

In case you were in a hole Tuesday and not watching TV, reading the news or in general, not paying attention, it was Apple product unveil day. The ever highly anticipated day where Apple shows its new toys to breathless technology analysts and journalists is like Christmas for the Steve Jobs lovers.

So, here’s what they demonstrated according to the Wall Street Journal:

Apple Inc. executives Tuesday unveiled a smaller iPad tablet as well as updates to the company’s Macintosh computers and larger iPad, as the technology giant seeks to prove it is still ahead of the curve.

Executives took the stage to introduce the iPad mini, a tablet with a 7.9-inch screen that weights half as much as the larger iPad, which it resembles. The iPad mini has two cameras, a dual-core A5 processor and 10-hour battery life. It comes in both Wi-Fi only versions and models with LTE wireless connectivity.

Apple said pricing for the iPad mini would start at $329 for a version with 16GB of memory and Wi-Fi only wireless, which would price it above some rival tablets of similar size. It will be available starting Nov. 2.

Most of the rest of the story talks about the smaller iPad, analyzes its competition in the marketplace and briefly mentions the other new products. It’s no secret that this was the most anticipated new product of the conference, but it would be nice to learn a little more about the new thinner version of the iMac desktop computer or the enhancements to Mac books.

The New York Times took a similar approach to coverage with barely a mention of products other than the iPad.

“The iPad is the top-selling tablet in the world, but we’re not taking our foot off the gas,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, at a press conference here. The introduction of a smaller iPad is a bit of a shift for the company. In a call with investors, Mr. Jobs once said 7-inch tablets from competitors like Samsung and Research In Motion were “tweeners” that were too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with an iPad. The new iPad Mini is slightly larger than 7 inches, but can still fall into that category.

But with all the action in the technology market, smaller tablets have become impossible to ignore. Google, Apple’s fiercest competitor, recently released its 7-inch Nexus 7 tablet for $200. And Amazon recently introduced seven new Kindles, including a 7-inch tablet for $160 and an 8.9-inch tablet for $300. Barnes and Noble’s Nook tablet, which starts at $200, has also sold well. Combined, the three companies have sold about 15 million of these smaller, cheaper tablets, according to estimates by Forrester.

Apple recognizes it now has more real competition. At the event, Mr. Schiller (that’s Phil Schiller, Apple’s marketing head) actually did a side-by-side comparison of the Mini to a Google Nexus 7 tablet. He said that other companies had tried to make smaller tablets, but that they were inadequate. He noted that the iPad Mini was thinner, lighter and more durable than Google’s tablet, and still had a bigger screen.

The mainstream media seems to be enthralled with the iPad, but what about the tech blogs? TechCrunch lives up to its gadget-loving reputation with 21 individual posts about absolutely everything unveiled at the conference. The launch of the iPad mini was the 14th post on the list.

CNet also has a package of stories about coverage. The one that stood out from the crowd was this one about Apple already making the last version of the iPad out-of-date:

Apple, I thought we had a deal.

I buy one of your products, and I’m guaranteed roughly a year feeling like I’ve got the latest and greatest that Apple has to offer. That’s primarily been your product cycle, and it’s worked out fairly well for everyone.

Which is why I’m shocked, and more than a little annoyed, to see a new iPad unveiled a half a year after I bought the “new iPad.”

Philip Schiller, head of marketing for Apple, made a crack about how a new product instantly makes the previous one look old. Sure, that joke works fine when debuting a new iMac — which hasn’t seen a refresh in nearly a year and a half — but it’s less funny when you apply that to the 7-month-old iPad.

Definitely makes you think twice about buying the latest and greatest, especially when it’s the first version of it.

Or, as the Fake CNN (not the real CNN) tweeted:

The Fake CNN ‏@TheFakeCNN

Apple announces what people are calling the ‘iPad Mini’ or as what Apple is calling ‘Pointless Shit That People Will Buy Because We Made It’

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