Apple announces iPad Mini

Apple announces iPad Mini

Apple has lived up to expectations by announcing a new iPad Mini, to ship to the UK on 2nd November, priced £269. In the US the device is $329 (£206).

At a live-streamed press conference held at San Jose’s California Theatre in America last night (23rd October), the company’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, revealed the much-anticipated fourth generation iPad in a smaller format –the device is 7.2mm thick, weighs 0.68lbs and has a 7.9inch screen. It will be available for pre-order on 26th October and will ship internationally to countries including the UK on 2nd November. It is available in black or white format.

Discussing the $329 product price tag, Schiller said: “That is the lowest price yet for an iPad, helping us reach even more customers.”

The product will compete with, but be substantially more expensive than, lower-market tablets recently announced from other technology retailers, such as Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet expected in the UK on Thursday (25th) and priced at £129, Barnes & Noble’s Nook tablet, coming in November priced £159, Kobo’s tablet the Kobo Arc also coming to the UK in November priced £159.99, the Google Nexus 7 which is already available at £159 and the anticipated launch of Microsoft’s new Surface tablet this Friday (26th), with pricing yet to be revealed.

Announcing the new iPad Mini, Schiller said: “You can hold it in your hand. This isn’t just a shrunken down iPad, it is a new design. There is nothing as amazing as this.”  Schiller added: “It is fantastic for kicking back and reading a magazine or a book on”.

The US technology company also announced new versions of iBooks and iBook Author. The new iBooks is integrated with iCloud, available in 40 languages and providing users with the ability to continuously scroll down pages and share quotes on Facebook and Twitter.

The new version of iBooks Author will have new templates, allowing publishers to use their own fonts to “provide a new custom look for books,” Apple chief executive Tim Cook said. Using the new iBooks Author version, publishers will be able to insert mathematical graphs and “multi-touch widgets” into books.

The company also revealed there were now 1.5m books in the iBookstore. “Customers have now downloaded 400million of them since the inception of the store,” Cook said.  “If you open any of the books you will find gorgeous pages,” he added.

Both the new versions of iBooks and iBooks Author are available immediately and for free, Cook said.