Apple’s iPad Mini Press Event Liveblog

We’re now live in the California theater in San Jose, ready to bring you all of today’s announcements as they happen. Thanks for joining us, be sure to leave your predictions and reactions in the comments below.

Today’s event is also being broadcast by Apple, so you can watch along with us at home.

While we wait to get started, a few last-minute thoughts. Apple’s already changed the tablet market with the iPad, and as gamers, we are now addicted to playing games on a laid-back, mobile platform. Call that “casual” if you will, but the range of games on iPad include everything from one-button auto-running games to ports of popular PC adventure games like The Last Express.

An iPad Mini, if rumors of reduced resolution and processing power are to be believed, wouldn’t be a big step forward for gaming. Most people would buy such an iPad Mini for the e-reader and web-book features, not because it plays the latest and greatest games, or is pushing the platform more towards core gamers.

So, we’re hoping that the iPad Mini will have specs comparable to the iPad 3 or at least the iPad 2, to prevent splitting the market for high-end, graphically-intensive games.

The announcer just asked us to silent our cellphones, so the presentation is about to get underway.

Tim Cook takes the stage. He’s outlining updates, starting with the iPhone 5. “Fastest-selling phone in history”. Now Tim is running a video showing off their retail stores, as is standard procedure during the last few years of Apple events.

And, a recap of the new iPods we saw at the last event. Tim turns to discuss iOS 6. Tim: “We have 200 million devices running iOS 6.” 160 million Game Center players.

35 billion with a B apps downloaded. Meanwhile, we’re switching to Cover It Live for faster updates.

10:11

We’re switching over to Cover It Live for faster updates. Right now, Apple CEO Tim Cook is detailing what makes the iPad special: iBooks, apps, iMessage, iCloud, etc.

10:13

New version of iBooks has language and sharing updates.

10:14

Cook: Mac is the #1 notebook in the US.

10:15

Here’s Phil Schiller, to talk about Macbooks. “Today is a very big day for the MacBook”

10:17

13″ MacBook Pro: 20% thinner, and a pound lighter than the previous generation.

10:20

Phil is talking up the new 13″ MacBook Pro, especially the Retina screen.

10:20

There’s a special section of the Mac App Store with Retina-optimized applications.

10:22

Writing about the next-gen MacBook on a current-gen MacBook feels a bit like Inception.

10:22

Comment From STP_Chris

The under-the-hood view of the new MBP looks like an angry face.

10:23

How many of you are watching this event live at home?

10:24

Phil’s showing a new commercial for the 13″ MacBook Pro (with Retina). Emphasis is on photo-editing software

10:25

Next: Mac Mini. Is that still a thing? “You knew there’d be something called mini at this presentation”

10:26

Any of you interested in the Mac Mini?

10:27

new Mac Mini is shipping today. Phil calls it the “world’s most energy-efficient desktop”

10:28

Showing the evolution of the iMac: Next-gen iMac announced now!

10:30

“The most beautiful Mac we have ever made”. Extremely thin and delicately balanced on a metal stand. “There’s an entire computer in here!”

10:30

5mm width.

10:31

the new iMac looks like it belongs in the modern art museum… very impressive aesthetics, like something out of Minority Report or the new Star Trek film.

10:31

sorry, 5mm thinner, not 5 mm total width.

10:32

Optical drive– gone!

10:32

The display comes in 2560×1440 and 1920 x1080 (for 27 and 21.5 inch models)

10:33

“plasma deposition” process: how Apple gets an anti-reflective coating down to less than 1mm thickness

10:33

stereo sound system, dual mics, and HD Facetime.

10:35

“Apple fusion drive”: Fast as Flash, capacity of HDD?

10:35

1TB or 3TB hard drive, and 128 GB flash storage. So, best of both worlds?

10:36

default apple programs will be on Flash. your other documents will fill up the HDD. So, it’ll move around between drives depending on what you use the most.

10:36

Comment From Chris Aylott

new office prank: turn coworkers’ new iMacs sideways and watch them wonder where their computer disappeared to.

10:37

optional optical drive “for those stuck in the past”. My poor obsolete DVDs and CDs…

10:37

All this, starting at 1299. Seems like a good deal. Shipping in November.

10:38

27″ iMac starts at $1799, comes out in December.

10:38

“That completes our announcements on Mac”. Here’s Tim Cook again.

10:39

“Next, I’d like to talk about iPad”.

10:39

Two weeks ago, 100 millionth iPad sold. In 2.5 years.

10:40

More iPads sold in June quarter than any PC manufacturer sold in their entire PC line.

10:40

Cook: iPad accounts for over 90% of web traffic of tablets.

10:41

Cook: “So why is iPad so phenomenally successful? Turns out, there’s a simple reason for this: People love their iPads.”

10:41

Comment From STP_Chris

Looks like the live stream video is on about a 15-second delay. In case of streakers, maybe?

10:41

Chris: I’m close enough to do it but then I don’t think they’d have me back.

10:41

Also, it’s in case Tim Cook drops an F-bomb.

10:42

Cook now discussing the iPad’s role in education. I’ve seen this first-hand– I have a young autistic cousin who has made a breakthrough via touchscreen education apps and even games.

10:43

Cook: “iBooks textbooks are now available for 80% of US high school core curriculum”

10:44

2500 classrooms use iBooks textbooks

10:44

(in the US)

10:45

announcement: latest version of iBooks software. New templates for publishers, new fonts, and mathematical expressions now available. Multi-touch widgets, too.

10:45

and, books can be updated like apps. iBooks Author is available as a free download on the Mac App Store.

10:45

now, Cook’s discussing iPad’s business applications.

10:46

“But we know we are just getting started”.

10:47

Tim’s talking up the new iPad, but “we’re not taking our foot off the gas”. Phil coming back to discuss.

10:47

Schiller: 4th generation iPad!

10:48

New chip: A6X, even faster.

10:48

10-hour battery life.

10:48

Maybe our “mini” expectations were too low?

10:49

Wi-Fi twice as fast.

10:49

Comment From STP_Chris

Apple: Making your current iOS devices obsolete in record time.

10:49

Lightning connector– given.

10:50

and, Retina display. Comes in black and white, starts with the same confgs: 16 gb, Wi-fi for, $499

10:50

4th generation is like the “S” upgrade from iPhone 4 to 4S. Faster, but otherwise identical.

10:50

Here’s the iPad Mini… hiding behind the iPad in a cute reveal animation

10:51

“iPad mini” is the official name of this product.

10:51

hold it in one hand. “Not just a shrunken down iPad”

10:51

Comment From traxryu

iPad 4 this quickly! What the heck!

10:52

What is this, an iPad for ants?

10:53

stats: 7.2 mm, 23% thinner. “Thin as a pencil”. Weighs .68 lbs

10:53

“as light as a pad of paper”

10:53

comes in white and black models. Phil: “What screen size did you pick, and why?”

10:54

side-by side comparison from Phil Schiller. 7.9″ diagonal

10:54

same resolution as the iPad 1 or 2. So, no Retina! I owe Jeremy a can of Coke.

10:55

What do you guys think of these announcements so far? Waiting to hear the price?

10:55

Real Racing 2 gets a screenshot and shout-out!

10:55

But will this thing be able to run Real Racing 3?

10:56

Phil shows iPad Mini on right, Android tablet on left. Comparing the metal bezel to the Android’s plastic. iPad Mini is bigger.

10:57

bigger screen size, I should say, but lighter. 35% larger screen.

10:57

web surfing: Android has more onscreen clutter.

10:58

Comment From STP_Chris

Same resolution, that’s huge. No extra work for developers, no waiting for updates.

10:58

Comment From Jeremy

You owe me an iPad mini!

10:58

Comment From mettledoxy

No Retina? But…but…you can’t go forward one generation whilst also stepping backwards two generations! Boo. I wanted this, too.

10:58

3rd party applications: iPad versions are clearly better (at least, in Yelp and Ebay apps)

10:59

mettledoxy: Looks like you’ll have to stick with the iPad 3 or 4 if you want Retina.

10:59

Dual-core A5 chip. Isn’t that what was in the iPad 2? HD Facetime camera (better than iPad 2)

11:00

5 megapixel camera. LTE wireless, which is also in iPad 4. Faster Wi-fi.

11:00

So, it’s like an iPad 2, but smaller with a few improved features.

11:00

Comment From Guest

The screen wasn’t from Real Racing 2; it was from Real Racing 3 ahah!!

11:01

Guest: Are you sure? Phil called it Real Racing 2. Real Racing 3 looks ungodly sharp.

11:01

Here’s the iPad Mini talking heads commercial.

11:02

Well, it’s all about form factor. Feature-wise, it’s an iPad 2. Agree?

11:02

Comment From Shiyo

So both the processor and screen aren’t up to par to current standards, not even their own. That’s sad. I was hoping for a machine more powerful than my 4th gen iTouch, with a bigger screen, and Retina.

11:03

after all the Retina build-up from the last few years, this seems like a surprising omission to me. But clearly they couldn’t make it thinner, lighter, cheaper, and still include that key feature.

11:04

For what it’s worth, my wife still uses an iPad 2 regularly, and doesn’t mind the resolution at all.

11:05

Real Racing shown in the commercial as well, but it looks like #2 and not #3.

11:05

Comment From Jeremy

This is a compact iPad 2. It is more powerful than a 4th Gen iPad Touch, that was a A4.

11:05

Comment From Jeremy

All this whinging about not being Retina will only be valid if it costs too much. None of the competing small tablets are Retina, or have screens this nice, or an OS this good.

11:06

Comment From Shiyo

Given a choice, I’m sure she would prefer a Retina screen, though. :p

11:06

16GB Wi-Fi: $329

11:06

So, we missed the mark a little in our podcast. We were expecting $200 range, especially without Retina.

11:07

iPad Mini: 329, 429, 529 (add $130 for cellular)

11:07

You can pre-order this little sucker this Friday.

11:07

They’ll ship the Wi-fi versions Nov 2, and the cellular version a week later.

11:07

Comment From mettledoxy

Ouch! $320 without Retina and with an iPad 2 processor seems a bit cheeky. I was expecting around $250, at the maximum.

11:07

Comment From Shiyo

I think that qualifies as “costing too much”.

11:08

Phil’s introducing the new TV ad.

11:08

“chopsticks” playing on ipad mini.

11:08

I thought Apple used good music in their ads? Now this will never be out of my head.

11:08

Comment From traxryu

Wow, unhappy.

11:09

Question for readers: Is your iPad Mini disappointment at all offset by the announcement of a faster iPad 4?

11:10

or maybe we should call it, the iPad 3S. Blink, and you’ll miss the new features.

11:11

Tim Cook is back to wrap it up. “It’s been an incredible year”. Well, we agree.

11:12

Tim thanks the Apple engineers and designers.

11:12

Hands-on area is available! Any questions for us as we get to use these devices?

11:13

Thanks for joining our liveblog today! We’ll be back soon with hands-on impressions.

11:15

Comment From DClose

I’m even more disappointed by a faster iPad 4!

11:15

Comment From Jeremy

I was expecting $299 max.

11:15

Comment From mettledoxy

To answer the Q – not really. I’ll never be in a position to afford a “proper” iPad, so I thought a mini would be the way to go. But at $329…tbh, I could get quite a good laptop or an excellent netbook. :/

11:15

Comment From Shiyo

No. I wasn’t interested in an iPad. I wanted an iPad-alike. The Mini would have worked fine if only it had Retina, a processor up to par with the iPad 3, and a price to match.

11:15

Comment From Jeremy

Eager to hear how the screen looks, and what it feels like in hand.

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