As announced by the Cupertino based Apple, the iPad Mini and 4th-gen iPad are now on sale in China. Company is only selling Wi-Fi and Cellular versions of these iOS powered tablets in the country.
With the launch in China, iPad mini and the fourth generation iPad are currently available in more than 100 countries worldwide including the US, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan and the UK, noted Apple in a press release.
If you already don’t know, Apple iPad mini is the smaller and cheaper iPad and comes with features like 7.9-inch Multi-Touch display, FaceTime HD and 5 megapixel iSight cameras, and 10 hours of battery life. On the other hand, the fourth generation iPad features a 9.7-inch Retina display, A6X chip, and FaceTime HD camera. Both iPad mini and the new fourth generation iPad come with iOS 6.
According to Apple, iPad mini and the fourth generation iPad will be available through Apple retail stores, apple.com and select Apple Authorized Resellers in China.
Coming to the pricing:
iPad mini WiFi + Cellular 16GB: RMB 3,488 (US $561)
The follow-up rumours of the recent WSJ reveal “cheaper iPhone” have started appearing. According to a report in Digitimes, Apple might replace the metal chassis with a plastic one to cut costs in the cheaper iPhone. In addition, it also states that a US-based electronic manufacturing service (EMS) provider is likely to provide this plastic chassis for the cheaper iPhone.
Even the WSJ report, which recently revealed Apple’s inexpensive iPhone plans, had claimed that cheaper phone could resemble the standard iPhone, with a different, less-expensive body. It also added that one possibility is polycarbonate plastic; however it could get it confirmed from any source.
Apart from the plastic body, Digitimes has some interesting rumours, it suggests that entry-level iPhone will adopt a chassis mixed with plastic and metal, with the internal metal parts being able to be seen from outside through special design. Apple Insider however thinks that it is unlikely that Apple is go for this so-called “see-through” design, as the company had worked hard to fight light leakage with the white iPhone 4 that negatively affected the unit’s camera and same might happen with the cheaper iPhone.
Coming back to the Digitimes, it also notes that upstream components for the entry-level iPhone are currently going through validation and the actual product may show up in the market in the second half of 2013. Means, we might see it around October, the usual iPhone launch schedule, but considering the iPhone 5s is rumoured to release in June, cheaper iPhone debut in October makes sense.
While, there has been no real evidence of this cheaper iPhone, but considering how Apple went with iPad Mini, we wouldn’t be surprised to actually see the cheaper iPhone.
iPad launch rumours re back and now Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White has revealed in a research report that Apple might be planning to launch the next-generation iPad and new iPad Mini in March 2013, which seems possible considering all the iPads apart from 4th gen iPad and iPad Mini were announced around March.
He apparently got this idea from his observations and meetings at Consumer Electronics Show.
White wrote in his report:
Our checks at CES indicate Apple will release the iPad 5 and the second-generation iPad mini this March. The iPad 5 is expected to be lighter and thinner than the iPad 4 that was released in October, while the form factor of the iPad mini should be similar to the first generation iPad mini that debuted in October.
The fruity company, which has typically kept a yearly cycle of product launches, surprised many with the iPad Mini and 4th gen iPad release in October. It would be interesting to see if Apple launches next iPads in March, which will again be a short gap between last and new iPads, but it would again allow the company to get back on its usual March to March launch cycle or may be six-months gap is the new update cycle for the company.
In related news, Fortune has asked several independent as well as professional analysts to forecast iPad sales in the last quarter. Here is a look at their estimates.