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#1 Frost

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 07:31 PM

So, it's real after all. I'll admit I got that one dead wrong (I put my money on either no iPad mini, or one at least a year from now after they've shuffled the performance and prices of the line around to make room for it), although after seeing it I think my assessment of why it wasn't coming was pretty on the mark.

The iPad 4 showing up was a total surprise though, I don't think anybody saw that one coming.

What do you guys think?

I was wondering privately if I made the right decision upgrading from my 32GB iPod Touch 4th gen to a 64GB iPod Touch 5th gen as my personal PDA rather than waiting to see what the iPad mini would be. After seeing it's underpowered as heck with only an A5 (I would have bet on an A5X, maybe even A6) and the display is non-retina (at that price?), I'm quite comfortable I made the right choice, and will be glad to have my replacement iPod Touch 5 in two days (first one arrived with a dead pixel).

I could kind of be interested if it was cheaper, say a $250 or $275 starting point, but at $330... it needs a big performance bump, either in the screen, the chip, or both. It's nice and superlightweight, but at that price, this customer would rather just spend $170 more and get something that outright bulldozes it capability-wise.

Speaking of which, the iPad 4 (or iPad With Retina Display in Apple terminology; because, you know, the iPad 3-I mean, The New iPad-wasn't an iPad with a Retina Display or anything) on the other hand... I haven't yet gotten an iPad at all even though I've been interested to one degree or another since the first one. After the massive boost in speed and capability it's gotten, I can officially say my interest level has gone from tepid/warm to very hot. I feel like this is the iPad I've been waiting for, and am going to see about budgeting for one in the next few months.


Kind of mirrors my feelings on the Mac announcements. I feel kind of meh on the mini (Intel integrated graphics only, even though the CPU offerings are a damn sight more powerful), but I think the new iMac is awesome. This is the first iMac I've been really, really tempted by since the iMac G4.


EDIT: Something else bothers me quite a lot. I think they should have dropped the iPad 2 when the mini came in. Or better yet, dropped it (secretly) when the iPhone 5 showed up, let existing stock deplete, and then replaced it now with the iPad mini. The iPad line is starting to look like the PowerMac line in the 1990s with tons of overlap, and that's not good.

Regarding price, I think this Gizmodo article mirrored my feelings on it. Not only is it just pricey by itself for its level of capability, it's sky-high compared to its intended competition. I think that's a mistake.

If I were Apple, I'd kill the iPad 2 and drop the iPad mini's price by $80-90. Then I think they'd be in really good shape.
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Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#2 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 07:51 PM

I am really disappointed with the iPad Mini. It doesn't have the latest processor, it doesn't have retina. I love the fact that there's now an 8" iPad, but everything else about it left me wanting more. Next generation iPad mini with a retina screen and decent processor will be very tempting though.

I'm wondering how the A6X stacks up against the A6 in my iPhone 5. Is there any performance graphs?
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#3 dojoboy

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 08:33 PM

I just hope people buy it. Keep those stock prices rising.  :)

I absolutely love the new iMacs. Although, I am a little bummed to see the optical drive gone. However, w/ gog.com back filling some classics.... . Wondering now how I can rationalize moving up from my 2009 model. Damn marriage.
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#4 Frost

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 08:42 PM

View Postdojoboy, on 23 October 2012 - 08:33 PM, said:

I just hope people buy it. Keep those stock prices rising.  :)
Yeah, you and me both; why I wished it was priced lower or more capable, I think it'd sell way better. Good for shareholders. :P
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Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#5 doh123

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 08:43 PM

I love the size of the iPad mini... its great and I'd love to get one... but I won't for 2 reasons... A5 processor, and 1024x768 screen.  If it was basically right as the same specs as the iPhone 5 with a higher res screen, even if it was a higher price... I'd buy it.  They should have made a low end and high end version mini....

#6 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 12:04 AM

I'm surprised about the screen resolution. Apparently the iPad mini is instantly at the end of the line of tablets. But Apple has to keep their profits I guess...

Oh well, I wouldn't be their target buyer, so.. *Shrug*

I fail to see why you want the iPad 2 phased out Frost. I have an iPad 2, and it works wonders, and I see no point in upgrading it. Neither now, nor when I accidently drop it in a bowl of acid and need a new one.
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#7 Frost

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 12:19 AM

Too much mission overlap and price overlap with the iPad and iPad mini, basically. It may mean more flexibility for the consumer, but I think Steve Jobs' philosophy of focusing on a few products, each with distinct markets, and doing them really well is a great focus both from the design and engineering end and the unconfusing simplicity for the consumer end. The iPad 2 is the MacBook in the MacBook Air/MacBook/MacBook Pro equation.

Two versions of the iPod Touch and three versions of the iPad all on sale at once is feeling like the mid-1990s PowerMac line. That makes me uneasy.
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Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#8 Eric5h5

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 12:52 AM

The lineup is getting kind of "busy", and not just iPads, but now there's a bunch of different MacBooks too which seem sort of overlapping.

--Eric

#9 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 12:54 AM

I really do see two different markets for the iPad and iPad mini, the first one being more productivity focused (As much as you can do on the iPad that is at least). I wouldn't want to be reading PDF's on the small screen either.

View PostEric5h5, on 24 October 2012 - 12:52 AM, said:

The lineup is getting kind of "busy", and not just iPads, but now there's a bunch of different MacBooks too which seem sort of overlapping.

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I assume the regular MBPs are going out, as soon as the retinas drop in price. But yes, quite crowded.
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#10 Janichsan

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 01:37 AM

I see the iPad mini as clear sign that Apple is losing its competitive edge. It comes late to a market where several competitors are already established, it has weaker hardware than the competitors, a worse (albeit minimally larger) screen and a significantly higher price.

I have a really difficult time to find anything where the iPad mini is better than the Nexus 7 or the Kindle Fire HD. It's slightly lighter, the screen is somewhat bigger (but has a lower resolution) and the casing is made of metal. That's about it. You also have a larger variety of available models, with more storage space and also 3G/LTE support, but these come for a hefty price. Okay, it also runs iOS, but in the times of iOS 6 I'm no longer sure if that's really a boon...

I see absolutely no reason why someone should pick this about any of the other available 7" tablets. (And yet, there will be huge lines waiting in front of the Apple stores on November 2...)

The iPad 4 fares somewhat better and actually has some improvements over the iPad 3 (like international LTE support), but by and large it smells as if Apple just quickly wanted to update all their iDevices to the Lightning connector.

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#11 AussieMacGamer

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 03:16 AM

View PostJanichsan, on 24 October 2012 - 01:37 AM, said:

I see the iPad mini as clear sign that Apple is losing its competitive edge. It comes late to a market where several competitors are already established, it has weaker hardware than the competitors, a worse (albeit minimally larger) screen and a significantly higher price.

I have a really difficult time to find anything where the iPad mini is better than the Nexus 7 or the Kindle Fire HD.

I think it's important to remember that we look at the majority of these issues as computer nerds, i know people stress these sort of things time and time again but the specs really don't matter all that much to the majority of customers. Especially with the iPad, and doublespecially with the iPad mini.  I guarantee the screen looks great next to the Nexus 7, where the iPad is better is that it's an iPad. AJB is still an intimidating Operating System to newer users and doesn't have a simple enough approach for broader appeal yet.

As far as the competition goes, I can see the iPad now completely decimating google and amazon's solutions. Until (if... big if actually) Windows 8/9/10/etc. is properly realised in some tablet/laptop hardware, I just can't see Google's software winning this battle. The other part of me doesn't want them to win out because I still don't like Google.

The price fragmentation thing is a bit of an issue though, but I think they're just getting rid of the iPad 2 stocks and parts before it slowly falls off of the radar. The iPad needs the A6x and Retina to stand out as a premium product for now, much in the same way the rMBP needs the old MBP.

EDITLOL: Here's a piece about what what we've been talking about

"It's the freedom provided by Apple's basic business model: hardware sold at a consistent profit margin — promoted by app and content ecosystems — rather than hardware sold at cost in order to promote an ecosystem. Apple doesn't care what price point you come in at, as long as you walk in the door."

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#12 Tetsuya

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 03:19 AM

I think a lot of people are making much ado about nothing when it comes to the hardware specs in the iPad Mini.  

Caveat: The people who post on this message board are not, in any sense, the "average consumer".  

The Average Consumer doesn't check the hardware specs of his phone or tablet.  As long as it does what he wants, when he wants it, without lagging or being overly slow, he doesnt give a damn.  I didn't buy an iPad 3 (i still have a 2) - because there's absolutely no compelling reason to.  My iPad 2 still blazes away at every App I use, and quite honestly, i barely noticed the qualitative difference between the 2 and the 3's 'Retina' display.  It was there, but it wasn't such a profound difference it was worth spending the money on.  

A Nexus 7 might have a slightly higher resolution screen, but TAConsumer isn't going to notice or care.  It might have a quad-core super-duper CPU in it.... that is completely irrelevant given that the iPad Mini will perform in day to day tasks just as well.  It just isn't the issue the (far) more educated consumers that post here think it is.  My aunt and my grandparents already want one - even though it is just an iPad 2 in a smaller form factor, they dont care, and they have little reason to care.  

What many tablet/phone makers aren't really understanding (and Apple clearly does) is that the pace of tablet advancement (and phone advancement) is only relevant insofar as the installed user base.  If you have 15% of your install base on some smokin-fast tablet.... and 70% on a significantly slower one.....  the extra speed on that high end tablet is completely, totally, utterly irrelevant, because developers aren't going to write an app that boxes them out of 70% of the market.  it just isn't going to happen.  (edit: to further illustrate what im talking about - look at the Android handset market - not just the OS fragmentation, but the hardware fragmentation.  My Galaxy S3 is literally 4x as powerful as my Wife's freebie android with its 600Mhz CPU - but for day to day stuff, the only noticable difference is that her set lags when paging between homescreens and mine doesnt.  Facebook, Flipboard, etc, dont run much faster - and no one is writing apps that require a Galaxy S3-like horsepower because there's no market for it).  

The iPad 4 to me isnt even notable.  It's a faster iPad 3... so freakin what?  Itll be obsolete before enough of the install base has moved on to justify writing apps that take advantage of its supposed power.  There isn't a single App on the iPad 3 that is going to be faster on the iPad 4 with the *possible* exception of iMovie - which is a VERY niche tablet use in the first place.  Whoopity-do.  

TL:DR version:  The iPad Mini will run just about every iPad app and iOS 6 fluidly enough that The Average Consumer wont know its got 'underpowered' guts.  (Not that the A5X is any more powerful - its simply the same old A5 + new GPU core(s), which are completely not-needed to drive 1024x768)  The experience it delivers will be indistinguishable from any other iOS experience.  Thats all people care about.  And this way, Apple keeps things simple for developers - they only have to develop for for two iPad resolutions instead of 3, it uses the same CPU as the iPad 2, etc.  

Itll be a winner.  I'm buying one for my 5-year old to do his phonics, math, and spelling apps on, because i dont mind paying a ~80$ premium (16GB commercially available Nexus 7 is 249, remember) to not have to re-buy all my apps, and to easily sync it with my content.  And a better warranty.  And better battery life.  It's a no-brainer.

#13 Janichsan

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 03:23 AM

View PostTetsuya, on 24 October 2012 - 03:19 AM, said:

The Average Consumer doesn't check the hardware specs of his phone or tablet.  As long as it does what he wants, when he wants it, without lagging or being overly slow, he doesnt give a damn.
And in how does this make this any better? What the average consumer definitely does is looking at the price tag. And that reads $200 vs. $330.

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#14 Tetsuya

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:11 AM

View PostJanichsan, on 24 October 2012 - 03:23 AM, said:

And in how does this make this any better? What the average consumer definitely does is looking at the price tag. And that reads $200 vs. $330.

and iPhone 5 is quite a bit pricier than a Galaxy S3, off-contract.  guess which one outsells the crap out of the other (off contract?). The iPad is a lot more expensive than other, equivalent form factor Android tablets, many of which have superior specs (other than Retina display) even now - and it outsells them all, combined.  It also has less features than those devices.  People can, will, and do pay a premium for Apple devices, and they dont care.  Hell, the iPad is a lot more expensive than the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7, and neither of those have managed to put a dent in iPad sales either.

iMacs are more expensive than equivalent PC all-in-ones, many of which also have more features.  People dont care.

#15 Janichsan

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:06 AM

View PostTetsuya, on 24 October 2012 - 04:11 AM, said:

People dont care.
See, this is point I no longer get. People buy all kind of crap just because it's from Apple.

The first iPhones and iPads were justifiably successful since they both were the first of their kind, defined how smart phones and tablets look nowadays, and it took the competitors several years to come up with devices that really were up to par.

That Macs are allegedly overpriced often gets repeated, but when you look closer into it, that's not that true. Since I just had that same argument in another forum, I can say that you easily pay similar amounts for Windows PCs when you look for a PC that is really equivalent to a comparable Mac, down to the same or similar processor (and not a generation behind), the same or similar GPU, the same amount of RAM, the size and type of disk storage, a display of similar quality, additional features like HD webcams, ports, wireless connectivity, and so on. And even then you often end up with laptops that weigh almost a kilogram more and are more bulky, or with desktop PCs that take up three times the space of an iMac. (The Mac Pro is the only exception to this at the moment…) And I have yet to see a all-in-one Windows PC that really could compete with an iMac. More often than not, they are cheaper, maybe sport some gimmicks like touch screens (which are unergonomical crap) but are much weaker.

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#16 dojoboy

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:26 AM

And, one gets a lovely gated community. :D
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#17 Matt Diamond

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 11:06 AM

I think people first decide to buy an iPad, then they decide on the model. Its price fits well between the other iPad models when you compare price vs features. What people aren't doing is saying "I wanted an iPad, but when I decided to get the mini I then compared to other 7" tablets and went with Android." They are picking the platform/ecosystem first. And in many cases they bought into that ecosystem a while ago, when they first got an iPhone or iPod.

I also agree that the iPad models are getting too fragmented and I hope Apple does something about that. But compared to the Android market as a whole, it's still very easy for the average consumer to navigate.

(Interestingly enough, it's been shown that consumers in general are less happy when given too many choices, both because it's more work to choose and because any annoyances with the final product, no matter how minor, somehow become the fault of the consumer for not choosing more wisely. I don't think that completely explains why Apple customers are happier with their purchases than others, but it could be a factor.)

> People buy all kind of crap just because it's from Apple.

Consumers have been incredibly satisfied with both the iOS products and Apple's support. So it's a safe choice even for people new to the market. Why wouldn't people pay more for that? Obviously it's the wrong choice for some people, but I don't agree with the idea that Apple is somehow fooling people who don't know better.. On the Mac side, I've always been happy paying a premium (which as Janischan pointed out, is no longer much of a premium for some models) because Macs have almost always saved me time and hassle. I think the iPads offer the same thing for the tablet market. It's less tangible than screen res or graphics power, but in a way more useful to the average person.
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#18 teflon

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 02:45 AM

I would have loved to see a bit more future-proofing, with a bit more RAM, a 1600x1200 display or something, and an A5x with a third GPU core to help it along all at $300. But that'd be too much to ask from what is really a very conservative release.

I don't really think there's anything wrong with this, other than timing. 2012 has seen a huge amount of hardware from Apple which is really pushing them into several big transitions. Retina is now everywhere, they're really motoring on with their own chip designs, and they're refocussing their efforts around the holidays (possibly to free up that March announcement, you never know!).

So that meant that the iPad no longer leads with the CPU design, but instead follows on from the iPhone. The iPad 3 was really just an iPad 2 with Retina bootstrapped into it, just like the Retina MBPs are all just barely managing to get by with the integrated GPUs they have, and exhibiting less than 30Hz for such humdrum acts as scrolling a web page...

So because of this shift in focus alongside the absolute necessity to get a product out of the door to go up against competitors, whilst still sitting in a particular price slot, we have a fairly crummy first release, by many counts.

Next year, we'll surely see it updated to an A6 with 1GB of RAM. I doubt we'll see Retina, because that's so power intensive to run on the full sized iPad, but we'll have a chip that's 12 months old, rather than 18 months old, and that can make all the difference to how people consider its pricing.
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#19 Matt Diamond

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 07:33 AM

View PostJanichsan, on 24 October 2012 - 05:06 AM, said:

People buy all kind of crap just because it's from Apple.

Funny you should say that...
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#20 Frost

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:13 PM

So I went to the Apple Store at the local mall today to pick up some Lightning goodies for my new iPod Touch, and I decided to play with the iPad mini and the iPad 4 side by side.

Don't really care about the weight difference at all, but I have to say, contrary to what I expected, I really, really, really like the form factor and size of the mini. In fact I like it more than the regular iPad. I like it so much that I'm really tempted to buy one. My only problem is it's underpowered as heck, and when you load up a game or anything else graphically intensive, holy stairstepping jaggies, Batman! It's painfully obvious that it's got roughly the same res as my iPod, but on a much larger screen. The same apps on the iPad 4 looked immensely better, and ran significantly smoother. For those prices, the A5 and the non-retina screen have got to go.

I'm pondering, however, if maybe I should just get a 64GB Cellular-capable model in a couple months or so with the understanding that it's going to be underpowered and the screen is gonna suck for a year, but that I can always just eBay it as soon as the iPad mini 2 is out and move to that one. Given gray market value for iOS devices, if I don't abuse it (which I never would), I'd probably only be out $100 doing the swap a year from now.

Then again, an iPad 4 is so powerful there'd be no reason whatsoever to upgrade until Apple goes OLED...

Hmm.
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Kestrel (Falcon NW Tiki) – 4.2 GHz Ci7 4770K / 16GB RAM / 512GB Crucial M550 M.2, 2x480GB Intel 730 (RAID0), 3TB STX Barracuda / GeForce GTX TITAN 6GB
Chromium (MacBook Pro Early 2008) – 2.6 GHz C2D T9500 / 4GB RAM / 960GB Crucial M500 / GeForce 8600M GT 512MB
Antimony (PowerBook G4 Titanium) – 1.0 GHz PPC 7455 / 1GB RAM / 480GB OWC Mercury Legacy Pro / Radeon 9000 64MB

Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.