iPad mini to be Wi-Fi only, sources say

If earlier reports are to be believed, Apple will be sending out press invites to its iPad mini launch event today (10 October), so we're reaching the end of a rumour mill that has been running for well over a year. However, that won't stop numerous reports from here until the unveiling itself.

The latest comes from The Guardian newspaper. It says industry sources suggest the new, smaller device with a speculative 7.85-inch screen will offer only Wi-Fi connectivity for internet usage. There will be no data plans to sign up to, so there will be no mobile 3G nor 4G browsing.

Apple's idea, say the sources, is that by omitting mobile data technology, the iPad mini can be made more cost effectively and, therefore, the end price will be more attractive. The Cupertino company's major rivals in the 7-inch tablet market, Google Nexus 7, Amazon Kindle Fire HD and, now, Barnes & Noble Nook HD, all start at around £159. Pricing the iPad mini considerably higher than that could sway a consumer's decision towards an already established device on the build up to Christmas.

The Guardian is also reporting that its sources have indicated there will be a new version of the 9.7-inch iPad just for the UK, and specifically just for the EE 4G network, which launches this month. Apple does have a history of making slightly modified models of its devices for individual US networks, but the market is much larger there, so we shall.

If Pocket-lint was to put money on it, we'd favour the idea that Apple will wait until the other networks announce their 4G services after the rest of the available spectrum is auctioned at the end of this year. There is potential for Apple to offer 4G at roughly the same time as each iteration of the iPad is traditionally launched, around March time.



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