Apple iPad Mini is now official!

True to what most us had expected, the Cupertino company indeed formally unveiled the smaller version of its best-selling tablet via an exclusive media event held at the California Theater in San Jose at around 1 o'clock this morning, Manila Time.


And again, surprisingly (or better yet, oddly enough), all previous leaks turned out accurate -- leading me to believe that Apple itself somehow had a hand in all those supposed 'insider infos' and rumors. I mean, come on.

Anyway, not that we haven't seen these before, but - if you will - check out how the iPad Mini actually looks:

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I really miss that era when Steve Jobs would lift a new Apple product in the air and everyone in the audience would gasp then clap their hands in amazement because they haven't seen it before; That was pure magic.

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Sir Jony Ive, Senior Vice President for Industrial Design at Apple, explains the mindset that the company had in crafting this new product - and I quote, "If all that we've done is to take the original iPad and reduce it, all that you would be aware of was everything that was just missing -- that there is inherent loss in just reducing a product in size. [So] what we did is we went back to the very beginning and we took the time to design a product that was a concentration of not a reduction of the original. We felt strongly that 7.9 inches was exactly the right display size but it became clear that we had to reduce the width of the borders so you can still pick it up and easily use it with one hand."

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All that 'concentration of features' led to the creation of an ultra-thin and very light mini slate that measures only 7.2 millimeters at its thickest point and weighs only 0.68 lbs.

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"It's a thin as a pencil," said Phil Schiller, Apple's Senior Vice President for Worldwide Marketing, while showing the actual device to the audience.

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It's gorgeous (just like all other recent Apple releases) but it's also quite a powerhouse in terms of specifications. The Apple iPad Mini flaunts a 7.9-inch 1024 x 768 pixels resolution LED back-lit IPS display and runs iOS6, the latest version of the company's mobile OS, with its 1 GHz Dual Core Apple A5 processor, similar to what's on the iPad2. At the back, on the upper left part of the unibody aluminum case, we'll find a 5 MegaPixel autofocus iSight camera with back-lit sensor (that's supposed to help deliver and bright images even in not so well-lit conditions), which also works as a 1080p Full HD video recorder. In front, above the display, we'll see the 1.3 MegaPixel camera (which also has a back-lit sensor) that you can use for FaceTime HD video calls over WiFi or mobile connection.

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Users can get this optional redesigned Smart Case for the iPad Mini, which attaches more seamlessly to the body of the slate.

Apple will start taking iPad Mini pre-orders in the United States this Friday. The 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB WiFi only variants sell for $329, $429, and $529, respectively, while the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB WiFi+Cellular versions go for $459, $559, and $659, respectively.

No word yet from Apple on the device's availability and pricing details in the Philippines but I'm guessing that it should arrive here either this Christmas or by January 2013 with price starting at roughly Php 18,000 for the WiFi only variants. (iPod Touch 5th Generation starts at $299 in the US and goes for Php 16,490 here. I got the Php 18,000 amount - or Php 18,144.51, to be exact - with a bit of Algebra or just simple Ratio and Proportion.) As for the WiFi+Cellular variants, I'm thinking that it would be great for both Globe Telecom and Smart Communications to bundle them with their upcoming mobile LTE plans to make the service even more enticing to consumers.

Update as of November 28, 2012 : Apple iPad Mini is now available in the Philippines via Kimstore where prices start at Php 17,500 for the 16GB Black version.

Update as of December 21, 2012 : The Apple iPad Mini is now officially available in the Philippines. You can get it from Apple Store Online starting at Php 15,990 for the 16GB WiFi Only variant. Here's the complete price schedule --

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To wrap this up in true TechPinas fashion, let me present the complete technical specifications of Apple iPad Mini.

(Oh, and I just wanna say that I stick to what I said in a previous TP post that I don't really think that this device is a "product of innovation" like the iPhone or iPad. For me, it's just more of Apple's reaction to the success of the first Samsung Galaxy Tab and Kindle Fire. That's how it is. But that said, given the high-level of maturity of the iOS platform and the fact that Apple still reigns supreme in this category, I still think that iPad Mini will do extremely well in terms of sales.)

TechPinas Tablet Technical Specs Table (TTabTST)
Name Apple iPad Mini
Type Tablet
Price Category Midrange
Dimensions and Weight WiFi Only Version
Height: 7.87 inches (200 mm)
Width: 5.3 inches (134.7 mm)
Depth: 0.28 inch (7.2 mm)
Weight: 0.68 pound (308 g)

WiFi + Cellular
Height: 7.87 inches (200 mm)
Width: 5.3 inches (134.7 mm)
Depth: 0.28 inch (7.2 mm)
Weight: 0.69 pound (312 g)
Available Colors Black & Slate, White & Silver
Operating System iOS 6
Display 7.9-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi-Touch
display with IPS technology
1024-by-768 resolution at 163 pixels per inch (ppi)
Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
Processor Dual-core Apple A5
RAM 512 MB (to be confirmed)
Memory 16 GB, 32 GB, or 64 GB options
Camera Back camera, iSight Camera:
5MP photos
Autofocus
Face detection
Backside illumination
Five-element lens
Hybrid IR filter
ƒ/2.4 aperture
Tap to focus video or still images
Tap to control exposure for video or still images
Photo and video geotagging

Front Camera, FaceTime Camera:
1.2MP photos
720p HD video
FaceTime video calling over Wi-Fi or cellular
Face detection
Backside illumination
Tap to control exposure for video or still images
Photo and video geotagging
Video Capture 1080p HD video recording
Video stabilization
Face detection
Tap to focus while recording
Backside illumination
Audio and Video Playback Audio: Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz
Audio formats supported: AAC (8 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), HE-AAC, MP3 (8 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, and AAX+), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV
User-configurable maximum volume limit

TV and Video: AirPlay Mirroring to Apple TV (2nd and 3rd generation) at 720p
AirPlay video streaming to Apple TV (3rd generation) at up to 1080p and Apple TV (2nd generation) at up to 720p
Video mirroring and video out support: Up to 720p through Lightning Digital AV Adapter and Lightning to VGA Adapter; video playback up to 1080p (sold separately)
Video formats supported: H.264 video up to 1080p, 30 frames per second, High Profile level 4.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format
Ports 3.5 mm audio jack, 9-pin Lightning dock connector port
Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz and 5GHz)
Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology, For WiFi+Cellular model: additional GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz) UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz) LTE (Bands 4 and 17)
Sensors Three-axis gyro, Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor
Battery Built-in 16.3-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery
Uptime Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on watching video, Wi-Fi, or listening to music
Announcement October 2012
Availability Philippines: Yuletide Season or Early 2013 (TP Guesstimate)
Price TP Guesstimate: starts at Php 18,000