Within moments of UBM TechInsights receiving the device, the most noticeable quality of it was its thickness and weight. Weighing in at 0.68 pounds and with a relative thickness of 7.2 millimeters, the iPad Mini is the lightest and thinnest 7-ish inch tablet that we've had a chance to analyze. Another noticeable quality of the iPad Mini was the resolution of the 7.9-inch screen. The iPad Mini features a 1,024 x 768 pixel LCD panel—similar to that of the iPad and the iPad 2—that correlates to 163 dpi, a far cry from the clarity of the retina display (and the 264 dpi resolution) found in the newer generation iPhones and the iPad 3.
Featuring a top-to-bottom build reminiscent of other iPads, the deconstruction of the iPad Mini begins with the removal of the touchscreen glass that covers the LCD display. Once the metal housing plate of the display is removed, the main battery and main board of the iPad Mini becomes visible. The iPad's battery claims 10 hours of life and features specs such as 16.3 WHrs. Apple also claims it is its thinnest lithium-ion battery to date. However, size-wise, it closely resembles that of the iPad 3.
Once the main board is revealed, Apple's continued need to mark devices with their own Apple-branding (so as to hide design wins from analysis firms such as ourselves) is apparent. Noticeable socket wins are the memory components, the main processor and the some of the sensors. The main CPU is the 32-nm Apple A5 applications processor, manufactured by Samsung. This device was first seen as a single-core device in the third-generation Apple TV; however, a look at the die indicated two-cores. The dual-core version of the A5 at the 32-nm node was then incorporated into the iPad 2. Manufactured using a gate-first high-k/metal gate (HKMG) process, this version of the A5 has a die with an area of 69.7 mm2 and a die thickness of 110 μm.
With sales of somewhere between 1 and 1.5 million units on opening weekend, it's not the smashing success of the iPad 3, but how many electronics products achieve these kinds of numbers in the first 48 hours after launch?
I was all charged up about the mini and was about to pull the trigger and order one up, but the price of the version I need (most expensive one, of course) kept my finger off the Buy button and turned my excitement into dismay.
Missing from the article is a BOM analysis (too early to tell, I know, especially with the Apple brand hiding the true identities of the winners). Would be interesting to see what kind of margin estimates there is on the mini. With all the competition in the 7 inch tablet arena, I doubt Apple can maintain margins of the larger versions. That's why it has not been a smashing success and probably will not ever be.
I am not so sure how well 7" tablet sell in the US market. It seems to me Americans are looking for laptop replacement that 10" tablet suits the demand. On the other hands, Asian markets are looking for portability and 1 for all device. 7" seems to be a better choice. I am very interested in learn your preference and the reason.
I'd be interested in seeing a usage study on tablets based on size (per @chanj's comments).
Right now I use a laptop (for industrial-strength work), an iPad for much but not all of that work PLUS as a reading platform and an iPhone for phone and information/gps functions.
Each has its strengths; each its drawbacks. I frankly don't want to lug around all three, but I know that some people do. On the other hand, it's hard for me to envision a single device that does everything I want/need.
I have the smallest Kindle which weighs 6 oz. I LOVE the size and portability - great for reading, but terrible at surfing. Thus I was waiting for the IPAD mini. But it's disappointing for 3 reasons, price, mediocre resolution, and its too heavy. Maybe in a couple of years someone will make I tablet for me - 7", 6 oz, HIRES, fair price.
I have a MacBook Air, iPad (3rd Generation), and now an iPad Mini. While their functions overlap, each has specific jobs to do for me. I'd like to get down to two devices for travel, but while I'm sorting this out, the three together weigh significantly less than the Dell notebook my company issues. As an extra bonus, each is a whole lot more pleasurable to use.....
iPad Mini looks like a beautiful product and just the right size - thank you for the analysis.
One item is missing, however. A phone modem (BB) is offered as an option. Who is the supplier for the phone BB and transceiver ICs? Is it Qualcomm - or somebody else - like Intel or ST-E?
Many thanks in advance
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.