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Thinking This iPad Mini Thing Even Througher (daringfireball.net)
123 points by raganesh on Aug 15, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 91 comments

I'm not sure what's gotten into Gruber lately, but not only is this entire essay basically attitude free, he's also got a lot of content, and, dare I say, math/geometry in this piece?

He gives credit to Digitimes of all orgs for the original (March!) prediction of a thin-bezel ipad - and goes out on a bunch of limbs predicting what the new iPad Mini might look like. In particular, his weight prediction, of 265 grams, is somewhat hard to believe - but would be very much appreciated by those of us who spend 2-3 hours a day reading books on our (somewhat overly large for that function) iPad.

I guess we'll know in another 30 days.

If you're just reading text-based books, why not go with a Kindle? They're cheap and much better suited to the task.

Graphics-heavy stuff beyond the scope of the Kindle is usually larger format anyway, and even the 10" iPad feels a bit small for that.

EInk Kindles can't really do email, or twitter, or skype or angry birds. Right now I tote around three devices (four when I haul my laptop.) A smaller iPad means I get rid of the Kindle and the iPod touch.

Really? I find reading on any device for a decent length of time that isn't e-ink a real pain.

EInk is definitely better, but I read the entire "Game of Thrones" series last summer on my iPod touch using the Kindle.app.

I have used the GoodReader app on iTouch/iPhone and read about 10 MB of txt files so far. (The 2001 triology, all Stainless Steelrat, the Red/Green/Blue Mars triology, a lot of Heinlein, the Ringworld triology)

I find the iDevice very easi to read on. Perhaps e-ink is even better.

I don't know if this is rare or not, but e-ink hurts my eyes with every page turn (when the page gets erased and re-displayed). On the other hand, I find reading on the iPad a pleasure, and the mini's dimensions seem to be a great fit.

For anyone wondering why Daring Fireball is able to garner a lot of attention (and for that matter, almost any article pertaining to Apple) I refer you to two studies:

- When, Why, and How Controversy Causes Conversation by Zoey Chen and Jonah Berger

- What Makes online Content Viral? by Jonah Berger and Katherine L. Milkman

Results from the first study reveals that controversy significantly affects likelihood of discussion. The second study comes to a similar conclusion but fleshes it out a little more eloquently:

"Importantly, however, our findings also reveal that virality is driven by more than just valence. Sadness, anger, and anxiety are all negative emotions, but while sadder content is less viral, content that evokes more anxiety or anger is actually more viral. These findings are consistent with our hypothesis about how arousal shapes social transmission. Positive and negative emotions characterized by activation or arousal (i.e., awe, anxiety, and anger) are positively linked to virality, while emotions characterized by deactivation (i.e., sadness) are negatively linked to virality. More broadly, our results suggest that while external drivers of attention (e.g., being prominently featured) shape what becomes viral, content characteristics are of similar importance (see Figure 2). For example, a one-standard deviation increase in the amount of anger an article evokes increases the odds that it will make the most e-mailed list by 34% (Table 4, Model 4). This increase is equivalent to spending an additional 2.9 hours as the lead story on the New York Times website"

Apple is well known for controversy and Gruber is known for his snark (though I found this article to be insightful speculation) - the two seem to really complement each other and a lot of their success comes down to their behaviour. So for anyone who feels inclined to write another "Why is Gruber on HN?" post, that's why.

Backing your opinions up with studies is great. There sure are plenty of reasons (other than quality, which is the elephant in the room IMHO) that Gruber might sometimes find himself on HN.

But your analysis is more about why any article of his can qualify. Wouldn't it be better to judge this individual piece on its merits instead of pleading the general case?

If you label each of his articles as "Controversial; Pro-Apple" you run a risk of forgetting to read them. Today's piece should count against that label, not reaffirm it.

I'm glad Gruber seems to be writing more of these long form pieces. Short and snarky is not as much of a strength for him as he thinks it is.

On the content: Right on. I will definitely be surprised if the words "thinner" and "lighter" do not feature prominently in Apple's keynote, both vs. the Retina iPad and the Google/Amazon competition.

I'm glad Gruber seems to be writing more of these long form pieces. Short and snarky is not as much of a strength for him as he thinks it is.

My thoughts exactly. His recent talk with Siracusa must have helped.


From the show, 1h24m23s: “You haven't done one of those in a while where you do like screen shots and stuff, you used to do that more…”

He also changed his favicon soon after Siracusa remarked that it wasn't retina ready, so he probably listens him. http://daringfireball.net/graphics/favicon.ico?v=005

He also expressed a slight desire to adjust his focus, in a post from earlier this year - http://daringfireball.net/linked/2012/05/25/three-things

Slightly off topic: The Atlantic had an article yesterday about DF's 10th anniversary (http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/12/08/happy-10...), and it had this bit of astute criticism:

The past year, DF hasn't been as enjoyable as its been in the past. Apple, Gruber's Beatrice, is engorged as a company, and seems now to be veering from interestingly complex to dully complicated. [...] But, in light of that victory, his renegade confidence has become an assured superiority. He hasn't written, for a long time, an engaging description of a laptop or an account of an anthropomorphized interface element.

To which Jason Kottke agreed: http://kottke.org/12/08/an-appreciation-of-10-years-of-darin...

So perhaps Gruber is consciously responding to these critiques and upping his game - which is nice, because this post was a great read.

That, and the hints that he is interested in doing Siracusa-style iOS reviews. I love long form pieces by Gruber, but if it's also inspired by the great detailled reviews of Siracusa, I think it will be awesome.

He still manages to come up with gems like this:


He and Siegler come off as partisan hacks and nothing else. Hence mostly only Apple fans seem to think he writes great. I do not know why they have to hate other competing platforms so immensely to love Apple.

Even outside impartial observers see the Nokia situation just getting worse and worse, and Windows Phone doing absolutely nothing to pull them out of the hole they're in.

I appreciate Gruber because he's unapologetic about something like that. We can dance around it forever, but judging by sales and in-the-wild presence of WP7, that briefly if crudely summarizes the Lumia & WP7 ecosystem to date. Doing this stupid old world stuff like distributing nail polish that matches your phone isn't distracting anyone from the increasingly untenable situation Nokia is sliding into right now. Moreover, moves like that make it seem like they're treating their situation flippantly.

It's not about "hate", it's about not candy coating things to appease certain groups. We heard for the last two years about how beautiful and fast and revolutionary WP7 is and how nice the Lumia hardware looks. Now it's time to put up or shut up and they just haven't. That's a fact, and I don't see why someone should have to ignore that and paint a happy face on the situation to not be considered a "hack". Moreover, I don't think you can extrapolate from that that Gruber hates Nokia, the Lumia or WP7. It's just a snarky observation.

If your issue is with the joke itself, I'll give you that. It wasn't all that funny or anything. I also agree he's a much better writer when in long form, and his snark does get over the top. I see where he's coming from here though.

See, even you managed to write many more words than him. It's not just that one post linked which is bad, it's a whole series of posts especially about Google and Android full of smugness, snark and sneering designed for his target audience, Apple fans and apparently, Google haters. It's like some of his posts are inside jokes at a fraternity club, and frankly are of that quality. It's tabloid journalism and nothing else, frankly.

You think any article by someone calling Ping a brown piece of shit would ever be featured on HN? Hell, even Paul Thurott's Winsupersite is hellbanned on HN.

It took me a few reads before I realized he was making a meta-joke about the (brown) Zune, another product that was strong on fundamentals - but just never got traction.

Gruber has made it clear he likes what Microsoft is trying to do with the WP7, and he has positively reviewed some of the Lumia devices. Agreed, he's partisan, but he's a witty partisan, which is why I still read him, while many of the other apple bloggers, like Dalrymple, who has good sources, just seems to frequently come off as just being mean without the cleverness.

It's not hate, just being realistic.

But Apple fans bend their picture of their company, as much as fans of other companies do it. Therefore neither understands, or is willing to understand, the other.

  Short and snarky is not as much of a strength for him as he thinks it is.
The snark is why I had to stop reading Gruber. He's a great blogger, but his attitude made me have to walk away every few articles and just take a breather. It's not an endearing trait.

I've had the same reaction and gone for long periods without reading Gruber for this reason. I do agree that he has toned down - far fewer jackass awards (which always seemed unnecessarily petty).

I wonder if some of his gentler tone has to do with Apple's success. It's easier to be gracious when you feel you are on a winning/popular side, and there are certainly fewer reasons for Apple users/fans to feel persecuted by misinformed pundits nowadays.

What's funny is how Apple whose very core has always been counter cultural has now become mainstream, and Android has become the new counter cultural reaction (even though Android is just as much the product of large corporations and not exactly the product of a new youthful startup). Samsung's marketing team has certainly been effective at reminding us that the hipster crowd is aging - and becoming less cool. Apple itself needs to decide whether it wants to become a mature company or somehow hold onto that more youthful "stay hungry, stay foolish" mantra.

I wonder if some of his gentler tone has to do with Apple's success. It's easier to be gracious when you feel you are on a winning/popular side, and there are certainly fewer reasons for Apple users/fans to feel persecuted by misinformed pundits nowadays.

I would observe that it has been exactly the opposite -- it was at the height of Apple's success, during the period when they essentially owned the market, that Gruber got that obnoxious swagger and ill suited confidence. With Apple becoming a player instead of the player, Gruber seems to be maintaining relevance by removing the attitude, to very good effect.

When "The Tablet" piece came out, I was sold on Gruber's ability to really analyze Apple and think through details in an informational and insightful way. I was impressed enough that I sought out and read some of his much earlier long-form essays, mostly about the nascent days of OS X. He's always had this in him, but I agree the snark has been pushed way too far over the course of recent years to the detriment of the blog.

This is probably my favourite DF piece http://daringfireball.net/2003/05/the_problems_with_click-th... - the fact that it's from 2003 is telling and I'd like to see him do more like this.

>If you think these stories appearing within a day of each other in the two most-respected business publications in the U.S. — at the same time the Nexus 7 reviews began appearing and the device started shipping to customers — is merely coincidental and not a strategic competitive leak from Apple PR, then I would like to invite you to play in my poker game.

>The angle to these stories is not merely “Apple is set to release a smaller iPad”, but “Apple is set to release a smaller iPad and it could squelch the Nexus 7 and any other smaller tablets before they ever really get a chance to take off”.

Gruber will apparently even try to spin a "me too" response by Apple as genius.

You seem to assume the "iPad Mini" hasn't been in development since well before the Nexus 7.

Given how short a timeframe (4 months) Google gave the development of the Nexus 7[1], and Apple's supposed "don't release until it's 'perfect'" attitude, I wouldn't be surprised if it was indeed the case that the iPad Mini entered development first. If so, does it really count as "me too"? Or just later to market?

(speculation) What if the Nexus 7 was a response to the rumoured possibility of a 7-inch iPad? A way to try and capture that segment of the market before Apple rolled into town?


Given how short a timeframe (4 months) Google gave the development of the Nexus 7

The Nexus 7 is a rebranded Asus device that was talked about last year. Then consider the Galaxy Tab, and the basic fundamental that Android has never dictated the sizes of devices.

Only Apple so tightly coupled their API with very precise, specific form factors and sizes. It is impossible to view Apple's move (especially after widely criticizing a 7" tablet -- recall the sandpapered fingers nonsense) as anything but a me too maneuver.

Jobs used to disparage a product line while secretly working on a superior product. Anyone remember 2009 and netbooks? Jobs dissed them the entire time Apple was working on the iPad.

The "sandpapered fingers" bit was just Jobs saying "small tablets are junk. We're working on the problems so our product won't be junk."

I'm being pedantic, but wouldn't the Air be a more appropriate netbook comparison?

As for the sandpapered finger thing, I imagine that you're right, but at the time, I wouldn't necessarily think the sandpapered fingers comment was just blowing smoke.

I'd guess that Jobs was simply conveying his findings at the time. Obviously, this is purely speculation, but the in years leading up to the iPhone and iPad touchscreens and software weren't that great and users weren't familiar with them either. I'd wager that the testing that went into touch-target optimization led to results that made Apple/Jobs uncomfortable with releasing a 7-inch.

>I'm being pedantic, but wouldn't the Air be a more appropriate netbook comparison?

The Air predates the brief netbook craze. The netbook was supposed to be the cheap computer you can take everywhere. People were surfing the net from their couch, using it on long commutes, and bringing them everywhere. The iPad pretty much killed the nascent netbook market.

The Mac Air took a couple iterations to get popular, but it's now cannibalizing the college kid/small business person's laptop. The Air might be as light as a netbook, but it's not a cheap compromise, like the netbooks were.

I'd guess that Jobs was simply conveying his findings at the time

Apple had itself pretty tied up with two form factors, with no near term hopes of coming out with a form factor between the two. Jobs was simply trying to undermine Samsung's efforts (though Android succeeded in doing that for him). Seriously, if 7" doesn't make sense for a touchscreen interface, how could a 3.5" screen possibly make sense? Only in Apple world is a 7" tablet simply a 10" shrunken.

Jobs was specifically criticizing the size and not a specific implementation. Even Apple apologists hold them as realizing it was an important market some time later.

I'm not a regular reader of daringfireball, but that blog post is very long on speculation and decidedly short on facts. It's random chance whether any of the resolutions, dimensions, weights, or features he settles on wind up proving to the true. This is firmly in the "Bluray support will be native in the next version of OSX!" sort of speculation.

First of all - it's mostly a speculative piece - that's the point of that article. The post is a sequel to http://daringfireball.net/2012/07/this_ipad_mini_thing. Second, if you read through the first article - you'll see that he tries to justify his speculation based on some design principles that were laid down in the HCI guidelines for the iPad. He does mention where his "cupertino birds" have given him some hints though.

I don't believe there have been any assessments of the next generation iPad anywhere on the internet that have been this justified with rationale provided, or have carefully sourced all the other writers that contributed to his thinking.

I've started to read DF posts like this with the mindset that he has some inside information. It is very short on facts, but the logic seems mostly sound. Unfortunately it comes across to me as a "I have 75% of the info, I need to create 100% of the story" kind of piece.

It's exactly that sort of piece but that's actually why I read Daring Fireball.

Gruber obviously comes from a very specific position when it comes to certain things, but whatever you think about him he's someone who watches Apple very closely and has done for some time.

With someone like Apple where 100% of the information isn't out there, if I'm going to read speculation then I'd rather read Gruber's speculation than most because he's far better equipped to try and fill in the gaps.

His arguments make sense, especially when following Apples product history. I like the smaller bezel, makes it very handy and I hope it's as thin too. Looks like a very promising product.

I wonder if Apple is going to replace the iPod Touch with this.

Think about it: the Touch didn't get a spec bump while the iPhone, iPad and even the AppleTV did, and it sells for the same price of a Kindle Fire, Nexus 7 or Nook Tablet, all popular small tablets in the category where this iPad mini would compete.

PMPs are dead mostly because the same kind of people who bought PMPs are now buying tablets and Apple can't make this new iPad too expensive or it will be too close to the iPad2 and consumers will buy that one instead, nor can it make the Touch cheaper or it will cannibalize the Nano.

I've seen it suggested that the Nexus 7 isn't the Android iPad, it's the Android iPod Touch. This makes sense to me, and it makes sense to me that Apple could be moving in a similar direction with the iPod Touch itself, especially if it can hit those weight goals. This would also seem to open up some space for the iPod nano to gain functionality.

Alternatively, maybe soon – with the small iPad filling the $249 price gap – Apple will finally kill the iPod Classic and cut prices on the rest of the line. They've been manufacturing the lower quality retina display for the iPod Touch for two years, and costs must be down significantly.

Combine that with falling costs for flash storage, and I could see them going down to $150-$250 for the Touch ($150 for 16GB up to $250 for 64GB), $100/$125 on the Nano, and keeping the Shuffle at $49.

I'm hoping they keep the iPod Classic around, regardless of how well they sell. In my mind, it's the seed of the Apple renaissance.

There really is a dearth of high-capacity PMPs anymore. I still have my Zune 120 in my truck, constantly plugged into the stereo. I sync it over wifi when I want to add new music, and I have my entire music collection available if a certain song unexpectedly pops into my head and I have to listen to it. 64GB is still too small and too expensive to be feasible for carrying around an entire catalog. With the Zune gone, Apple is the only game in town for high quality, high capacity media players (surprisingly, CNet doesn't include it in their "best hard drive mp3 player" list, only the mediocre Archos 5 at $500).

iPod Touch updates come in the fall (Sept/Oct) with the rest of the iPod lineup. You make an interesting point, but I think the devices are different enough that the Touch will stay for now. They fill different needs. The Touch is pocketable, a better iPod, and has a retina display. The mini iPad is better for web browsing, reading.

After reading both this and the iMore article, I really feel like Q4 this year is going to be like nothing we've ever seen. There won't be a reason for the average consumer not to get an iOS device. I think we're heading into a time where Apple's dominance will pass the threshold of what Microsoft had in the 90's.

And, if you consider a revamped TV is on the way in a couple years — man, we're talking about iOS in the living room, in your lap, and in your pocket. It's astonishing to think that the iPhone is only 5 years old at this point.

Um... So a quarter notable mostly for Apples entry into a tablet form factor market already pioneered by other competitors is somehow a testament to the platform's... dominance?

(I really want to respond to the idea of yearning for another IBM/Microsoft-scale monopoly too, but I'll limit myself to simple snark for now.)

Apple's entry into the phone market already pioneered by other competitors is a testament to the platform's dominance.

Also, no one would be making tablets of any size if it weren't for the success of the iPad (introduced January 2010.) If you recall, 2009 was all about the netbooks. Remember them? Nobody else does either.

The Nexus 7 (released at the end of June) is the first non-iPad tablet of any size that has ever gotten a legit positive review. It's hard to see how the unimpressive Android tablets of the past two years and the Kindle Fire constitute successful pioneering. And now Apple looks to introduce a very strong competitor three months later.

Here's my prediction. Unless the iPad mini is an unmitigated turd, Apple's iPad mini will outsell the Nexus 7 five-to-one during the Christmas quarter. That's platform dominance.

it will outsell the Nexus 7 just because it has an apple on it's back. I know that like everyone in here.

its dominance will be established (or not!) when customers have their say. They are certainly dominating tablet sales to date. They are making something that people like so much they are willing to pay more for it, rather than the ibm/msft days when people bought something because it was merely cheaper than the alternatives.

> There won't be a reason for the average consumer not to get an iOS device.

My only real complaint about the iOS devices and pretty much the main reason I don't (and very likely never will) own one is that they are made by a company that I really can't stand. Hardware wise, they are decent devices that really don't have any more or less problems than their Android counterparts I have. But I won't buy into their ecosystem. I quit getting involved in debates about which product is superior because in the end, they both have strengths and weaknesses. Neither one needs to be a "killer" of the other. The world will function just fine with each of them maintaining a comfortable market share. So... ya... there actually is reason to not get an iOS device. But I'm happy you found something that works for you. Good for you. So did I. ;)

> There won't be a reason for the average consumer not to get an iOS device.

Wow, that's some hyperbole. Other than price I presume you mean.

Actually, I suspect the presumption is that the "iPad Mini" is going to take price off the table as an objection -- if Apple brings such a device in for even a base price of $249, it's going to be seriously competitive.

(And, of course, "average consumer" is also probably a key phrase. There are rational objections to be made to iOS, but they're mostly relating to things that HN readers are likely to value more highly than most consumers.)

Tired old saw is tired. Apple competes on price pretty well these days. How long did it take to get a 10" iPad competitor that was cheaper than the iPad itself?

From the standpoint of a mobile developer and a user of one of Samsung's 7" tablets, the 7" form factor is too big for phone apps to really feel right on it, and too small for the big tab apps to be naively scaled down and feel right. So any Apple tablet at that size will suffer from a lack of good software until everyone catches up.

On the plus side, with the entry of an Apple device, there will be a much greater incentive to create workable design paradigms for the form factor, and both Android and iOS devices this size will benefit.

You're assuming that an iPad mini screen would be roughly as usable as a nexus 7 screen, but if the rumours are correct they would be very different. The Nexus 7 has a 'letterbox' widescreen aspect ratio compared to the iPad's chunkier 4x3 screen. Also the iPad screen would be 40% bigger. These are not small differences.

I do not see how anybody might think it would have iPad-like edges

An edge to place your thumb on must be about an inch wide. A 7 inch diagonal screen is 4 by 6 inch or so. With a one inch edge, the edge would be 16 square inches, or about a third of the area of the device. I do not see how they could sell you that (well, maybe, if they used them for solar cells and managed to power the device from it)

This was a very good piece from gruber and I say that as someone who has consistently hated his snarkiness and apple fanboyism in the past. He makes deep analyses of the ipad mini here and dare I say, sets himself apart as a key asset in the Apple tech press. There should be someone as capable of doing in-depth analyses in other tech fields too. I was thinking specifically about android device news. The folks at androidpolice are the best I know. But not of Gruber's calibre.

Anand Lal Shimpi of http://www.anandtech.com is of that calibre and far less partisan - particularly if you're looking to buy components like motherboards or an SSD.

I like Gruber, but Anand's reviews/analysis are of a far higher calibre than grubers.

Oh yes anandtech is the best review site out there. But I specifically meant analysis of various factors and breaking down rumors, long-term trends, stuff like that.

The thinness angle doesn't sound right to me and would be a bad decision to trade it for real features. Thinness is important, don't get me wrong, but nearly all iOS device users use cases.

The thickness of a case can often double overall size and weight in your hand. This that isn't going to change, probably ever.

The extreme popularity of the mac book air and now pc clones of that form factor would indicate otherwise. I think Gruber hit the nail on the head with: Don't think of it as an iPad mini but an iPad air.

Once the early adopters flash their iPad airs around with no case (or an extremely thin mag cover), an ipad 3 is going to look fat and heavy. A nexus 7 is going to look bulky and old. Soon it will be a basic expectation that tablets are light as feather computers with no perceivable thickness. Tablets that don't come in this form factor will be seen as clunky relics of the past.

The best way to tell if an apple product will do well, is to ask your self: "Once this product gets wide spread adoption, will this product make its predecesor seem, old, clunky and/or unrefined". From a tactile and visual stand point a iPad air will do this.

OK, but everything will still be in a case so still fat and heavy and clunky looking. A shock proof case can only be so thin and only when you can prevent thin glass/metal/plastic from breaking or warping so easily (let's see how long that takes) will that cease to be the limiting factor. And the cases you see around town aren't the mag covers, I'm talking about fully blown folio in synthetics or leather. Mag covers only protect the screen from scratches and provide the auto sleep function. You can't bring the MBA into the comparison. People don't carry them around everywhere they go, whipping them out 100+ times a day and dropping them on a regular basis.

Full disclosure: despite my argument, I hate cases on my devices and refuse to use them aside from a thin tablet screen cover.

So they should make it out of rubber because "it'll end up in a case anyway and be fat and heavy and clunky looking"?

There is a severe flaw in what you're saying - Apple didn't design the iPad 1, iPad 2 or iPad 3 with a full case in mind, in spite of the audience using them lots.

Yes I realise they make the smart case. I think of this like the bumper - offering something demanded, but the core product was designed without it. They also introduced it significantly after the iPad 2.

I love using my iPhone without a case. Been case-less since 2007. Feels so nice in the hand and slides into my pocket more easily without a case. Reminds me of this line from Steven Levy's Wired piece where he's talking to Jobs: "When I pulled out my iPod—I was using it as a recording device—he was horrified to see that it was covered by a plastic case, something that he considered an abomination." http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/11/ff_stevejobs/all/1

I won't mind the thinness as long as it doesn't result in a bad battery life. But one result I worry about is whether the "iPad Mini" will have a cellular transceiver. My iPad 3 has Verizon LTE, and I though I was worried that it would be superfluous, I find it essential. The value (to me) of the iPad Mini would drop a lot if it lacks GPS/cellular.

Apple has used 'thinner' and 'lighter' as a differentiator across all of its production lines for years. This won't change because their customers use cases.

For me, ipad with 7.85" screen makes sense. You do not lose screen real estate because it is the same resolution as iPad 1 & 2, it is easier to carry around, apps will not need new versions to support iPad mini. This is real size comparison of iPad 7.85" with iphone 4 and standard ipad: http://www.sizeall.com/compare/Apple-iPad-7-85-inch-mockup-A...

This all makes sense to me and I can see this being a successful product. I don't know if its too early yet, but normally when Apple telegraphs a new product people will fall over themselves to hype up the specs and decry it as useless if it doesn't meet expectations. That hasn't started happening yet - I can imagine Apple hates the over expectations but I wonder if the opposite is worse. Maybe this is just a better understood fit in the market, or maybe it hasn't sparked peoples interest in the same way.

Personally I'll definitely be buying one, but mostly because I'm very money conscious and would love a slightly bigger iOS device.

As a Kindle Fire owner I have to say the form factor of tablets this size is great. I just wish there was a better fix to the resolution issues. Limiting to low PPI for app compatibility seems like a hack.

>Limiting to low PPI for app compatibility seems like a hack.

What, and give developers another resolution to develop for? No.

The iPad Mini will use the iPhone 3GS LCD pixel density. Then in a year, the iPad Mini will adopt the iPhone 4 pixel density. This means that every "retina" iPad app that currently exists will display natively on the device.

So basically: wait a year and then you'll have that crazy-good iPhone 4+ density.

How will that work without having that other resolution you want to avoid? The issue was avoided on the desktop by not requiring everything be full screen.

I understand the issue, but my personal iPad usage would not be affected by more resolutions (I surf, read and watch video) but the greater PPI would be very appreciated. That's why it's frustrating.

It's pixel-doubled, so you just need to update the graphics, not redesign the entire app layout.

So you're saying that the next-year Retina iPad Mini will effectively fit 2048x1536 pixels into a 7.85" screen?

That would indeed be amazing, but I doubt it will happen next year.

It's only a matter of cutting the iPhone 4 LCD sheets larger. (And having a chipset that can power it more efficiently than the iPad 3.) Since it'll come out 1.5 to 2 years later, that's not far fetched.

I agree with the resolution issue. I don't think I'll be buying one (assuming Gruber is right) because I'd much rather have the retina display.

But he's right about the tradeoffs. The idea of a 7" tablet that weighs as much as my Kindle is pretty amazing. I don't think my Kindle is very heavy, and I keep it in a leather case; without the case it's amazingly light.

As Gruber saidhe retina display would need a bigger battery. Apple touts battery life too much to lower it. My parents (with light usage) can go a week or more without charging their iPad. I don't think an iPad Mini with 4 or 5 hour battery life would be received that well. And the battery requires thickness and weight, not to mention all the additional costs (RAM/VRAM/screen/battery/etc).

$200 or $250 is a pretty great price point. At $350, it's in a different market segment from the Fire and Nexus 7.

What about it's utility for documents like PDF's?

That's not something I care about when I want to read something laying on the couch or in bed. I don't do it much on my iPad either actually.

I think retina is very possible still:

iPad 2012 is 264 ppi at 9.7 inches

Gruber got a 7.85 in measurement somewhere (I think from a past article of his).

264ppi / 7.85 * 9.7 = 326 ppi

i.e., if they made a 7.85in iPad Mini, it would have the exact same DPI as a iPhone4/4S. I can COMPLETELY see this as a viable option, as they might be able to use some of the same lines as they do for the phones and they already know 326ppi is possible.

ipod touch thin = ridiculously fragile screen, like the macbook air.

I haven't heard of anyone's Air screen breaking, they can't be that fragile.

(But I have heard of several people destroying them with coffee or beer).

Well I think that if you pour coffee or beer you would destroy any device, Apple or not.

Why don't you just wait for it to get released instead of obsessing over it ahead of time!

> You might need more thumb-rest room on the sides than you do on the iPhone, but not nearly as much as you do on the full-size iPad.

Why? The iPhone is meant to be held in one hand and manipulated by the other. The iPad has a different use model and hence a slightly different design. How would the use model of the iPad mini be different?

I enjoy reading Gruber quite a bit, but it's not for his snark or his analysis. It's for his perspective. He has lots of readers because he can connect the dots. He finds stories or details that may not seem relevant at first glance, but are signs of where things are headed.

He also loves to call bullshit on trashy link bait.

>He also loves to call bullshit on trashy link bait.

By linking to it. On his massive blog.

I think the iPad Mini is just a huge misunderstanding. Here's what I think the iPad Mini really is : http://www.hteumeuleu.fr/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/ipad-min...

My prediction: iPad Mini in seven delectable colors for just $299.

Who the hell gives a shit?!

With 97 comments (as I write this) I'd say many people :-)

Um, I think it's supposed to be "more thoroughly". Just saying.

That's if you're trying to say thorough, which he wasn't. He was saying through. Different, although similar words.

This post is a direct continuation, picking up where the Thinking This iPad Mini Thing Through post left off. It's "Through-er" both as a joke and to make it perfectly clear it's a sequel to the previous post.

Thoroughly would imply something different, like he wasn't really thinking about carefully it in the first post. That isn't his intent. It's not supposed to supersede the other article, it's just "more".

When I read it I also immediately thought of Apple's "funnest iPod yet" line: http://daringfireball.net/linked/2008/09/09/funnest

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