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Complete guide to the iPad mini

Will they, won't they, and should they, we gather the opinions and all the rumours together

As usual, there's a constant stream of rumours and speculations about which Apple products are coming next. The fact that another iPhone will be out soon is no secret, although the launch date is. The New iPad only launched back in March, but that doesn't stop Apple fans from getting excited about the possibility of a redesigned - and crucially, smaller - iPad. Everyone's talking about the iPad mini despite Apple having said nothing on the matter.

Rumour has is the Apple iPad mini is to be announced by October but is Apple really likely to launch a smaller version of the iPad?

Updated: Apple 'confirms' iPad mini October release date

Would a 7in model even be necessary? With the iOS devices the iPhone, small enough to fit in your pocket, and the iPad, competent enough to run most software, where is the need for an in-between model which would compromise on both areas?

Read: Does Apple really need a 7in iPad?

Steve Jobs didn't think that a smaller iPad was a good idea, and neither do some of you in this forum discussion Should Apple sell a 7in iPad? but this may be part of Apple CEO Tim Cook's plan to continue pushing forward the company as late CEO Steve Jobs did.

Read: Analysts discuss Apple's future, mini iPad, TV, killing the iPhone, and Jobs' legacy

Analyst Brian White thinks that an iPad mini would be a cheaper and more convenient alternative for educators, children and price-sensitive consumers. He would expect the mid-sized tablet to cannibalise Apple's current iPad, but claims, perhaps rightly, that surely it would be better for Apple to do this themselves rather than be shot down by a competitor.

Read: iPad Mini Would Cannibalize Apple's Tablet Sales

Analysts agree that a smaller iPad is probably motivated by competition and the thought of a missed opportunity.

As our electronic age concentrates on making everything, lighter, smaller, thinner, faster and as cheap as possible, it seems fair enough to reason that a smaller iPad would be the way forward, especially with so many competitors already with 7in tablets on the market.

Read: Why small tablets will dominate the tablet market

Analysts are expecting that the release of an iPad mini in September could result in instant success with it overtaking sales of the larger model by Christmas.

Fuelling the rumours of the product and grabbing the attention of Apple followers are the alleged leaked images of the iPad mini from China. But whenever a rumour arises, so do images to match and no one knows whether these are the real deal.

Apple has even hinted at the release of a new iPad this autumn confirming there will be a "fall transition" where Tim Cook will bring new products he is "super happy" about to the public.

Read: Apple confirms "fall transition" indicating new iPhone, iPad and iMac this autumn

Number 4 on Curry's predicted 2012 Christmas list is the elusive 'Apple mystery product' Mark Hosgood, manager for e-readers and tablets at Currys/PC World, commented: "While it's no surprise that the likes of the iPad and Kindle are going to be on everyone's gift lists this year, we also think the tablet market as a whole could be a big winner." Could this be the iPad Mini?

A smaller iPad wouldn't only be a popular Christmas gift. The iPad is already proving popular with schools - One million Apple iPads were sold to schools in third quarter, according to Apple.

The analysts are predicting it, photos are popping up and it seems the people want it, and now, even ex-Apple staff are claiming plans for an iPad mini are in fact already in place. It's getting hard to brush off the rumours as rumours.

If Apple took the initiative to launch the smaller, in-between model, some say they could guarantee a spot at the top of their game, dominating the tablet market until 2016.

Read: With iPad mini, Apple would remain tablet king through '16, says IDC

So, why not?


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