In that light, the iPad Mini is only unimpressive when compared to its fellow iThings: It’s the best total package for a “small” tablet on the market, even if it’s not a device that puts much more space between Apple and its pursuers.
Analysts say the Silicon Valley based iPhone maker is trying to wean itself off its reliance on Samsung, as both giants are embroiled in a bitter international legal battle over mobile patents, for everything from microchips to displays.
The iPad Mini is powered by Apple’s dual core A5 chip, features the same 1024 x 768 resolution of the iPad 2 (which means no Retina Display), weighs just 0.68 pounds — as light as a notepad — and measures just 7.2 mm thick — roughly the thinness of a pencil.
Like most producers of mobile hardware, the US company typically employs several suppliers for the same components in its gadgets.
“Though the markings on the back of the LCD (display) don’t turn up much information, the Samsung display driver IC (chip) reveals that Apple, once again, went with Samsung in its display manufacturing,” iFixit said, detailing the teardown on its website.
The stores sell Macintosh personal computers, software, iPods, iPads, iPhones, third party accessories, and other consumer electronics such as Apple TV.
The iPad mini also employs SK Hynix Inc flash memory, a Broadcom touch controller, and a number of microchips from Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc, according to iFixit, which acquired one early.
The bottom line: If you want the full, polished Apple tablet experience in a smaller package, the iPad Mini is worth the premium price.
The company hopes to beat back incursions into its home territory – carved out with the original iPad’s launch in 2010 – with 7 inch slates that are popular with consumers, even as it safeguards its lead in a larger tablet space that even deep pocketed rivals like Samsung have found tough to penetrate.
That’s the price difference between the iPad mini, which starts at $329 for a Wi Fi model with 16 gigabytes of storage, and a comparably equipped Nexus 7 or [Amazon (AMZN)] Kindle Fire HD, which both go for $199.
START YOUR ENGINESA smaller tablet is the first device to be added to Apple’s compact portfolio under Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, who took over from predecessor Steve Jobs just before his death a year ago.
Apple unveiled a smaller version of its hot selling iPad on Tuesday, jumping into the market for smaller tablet computers dominated by Amazon, Google, and Samsung.
Online sales have run for a week, but Apple has not disclosed sales numbers so far.
Friday’s global sales rollout may offer a hint of demand for the gadget, which analysts expect to be strong.
However, even though Apple sells “cellular” models of the iPad Mini, this new smaller tablet does not support the high speed LTE network.
If that report is correct, the device would be taking on Google’s Nexus 7 tablet and Apple’s iPad mini, with the likely addition of a pen input for the device.
Meanwhile, it is battling Samsung in the smartphone arena, which still yields the majority of Apple’s revenue and profit.
The Korean giant last year became the world’s largest maker of smartphones as other rivals lost steam.
Apple and Samsung are engaged in patent disputes across several countries, and Apple is believed to be seeking ways to rely less on Samsung.
But the Asian tech powerhouse remains a key supplier for Apple, manufacturing its application processors and providing other components.
Samsung has stopped supplying displays for Apple’s iPhone, and plays a reduced role in the full sized iPad, according to DisplaySearch.
Originally released in 2007 for the iPhone and iPod Touch, it has been extended to support other Apple devices such as the iPad and Apple TV.
Apple is also buying fewer memory chips from Samsung for the iPhone 5, relying more on Hynix and Elpida Memory.
Many analysts believe Apple will also gradually phase out Samsung as the main producer of the mobile micro processor and shift business to rival supplier TSMC.
Brad Thomson is a business journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Brad has a passion for financial markets and breaking news stories and loves writing about business news, stock market, and economic opinions that matters most to its audience. Brad spends a lot of time discovering and researching latest financial markets and industry news stories in order to make sure the latest and greatest stories are brought to you first on BigBoardNews.com.