There has been endless speculation in recent months about whether or not a smaller version of the 4G iPad will surface in a market hungry for an Apple rival to Google’s Nexus 7 tablet. However, with a brand new iPhone 5 – complete with larger 4-inch touchscreen – just hitting the shelves, is the Cupertino-based company in danger of simply eating into its own market by releasing such a thing?
Well, on the face of it at least, it certainly seems the technology giant is getting much closer to simply having a range of devices that do much the same thing, with the only difference being what size and colour they come in. So what are the differences between the rumoured iPad mini and the newly-launched iPhone 5 – and are there enough of them to justify a smaller Apple tablet?
The eye of the beholder
We don’t yet know the exact dimensions of the iPad mini, but it has been suggested that it will measure 7 inches diagonally. If this is true, it really only means there will be a few inches in difference when it comes to the actual screen. Both will likely boast the same high resolution, so really it comes down to how you’ll be using it. If you read, play games or watch movies on the go, maybe those few inches will make a difference, but there really isn’t that much in it.
Surfing on the move
Much of the focus about a new iPad has been on whether or not it will be Wi-Fi only. There have been reports that suggest it will have cellular coverage, but that this will come at a premium, much like the existing version of the tablet. So does this mean you’ll be able to use the 4G network now being rolled out across the UK? Well, one would hope Apple wouldn’t want to take a step back after releasing the 4G-enabled iPhone 5, but again this really brings the devices very close together in terms of their capabilities.
What they actually do
Again, much of this comes down to size, but while some have accused the iPad of just being a bigger version of the iPhone, others see it as very different and an opportunity to make the most of software development. There are now many applications which simply look and feel better on the iPad, with things like Adobe Photoshop Touch as the best examples of this. However, there’s a chance this will be lost on a smaller tablet, further blurring the lines between Apple’s product lines.
The world will be keeping a close eye on Cupertino over the coming weeks to see if the new iPad gives Apple another shot in the arm and, more importantly, if it gives them the edge once more over rivals like Android.