Rating: Older iPad 3 only worked on North American LTE networks
Much as predicted, Apple launched a new iPad mini tablet in California yesterday [October 23rd 2012], along with an improved version of the iPad. Significantly, both models will be compatible with EE’s 4G network in the UK – 4GEE, thanks to built-in support for Band 3 LTE. EE’s own web site here doesn’t yet make reference to the two new Apple devices. However, on Apple’s own web site here, it does say, “EE (soon to launch).” This will give EE another major boost for 4G sales in the run-up to Xmas sales. Better still, both Apple devices support tethering or as Apple says, “The Personal Hotspot feature means you can share a fast cellular data connection via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB.”
So, in theory, you could share an iPad mini’s 4G data feed with your smartphone.
Somewhat confusingly, the newest iPad is referred to by Apple simply as “the fourth generation iPad.” Which makes it difficult to compare specs with what the market calls the iPad 3.
However, if you look for iPad 4th generation, Model A1460 you’ll be able to discover all the details you need on what is now be called the iPad 4 by observers.
The iPad 3 is Model A1430 and only supported 4G/LTE on North American networks.
Apple says that the ‘Wi-fi +Cellular’ version of the iPad mini (Model A1455) and iPad 4 will ship “a couple of weeks” after the Wi-fi only versions.
The good news is that although the first new models won’t ship until November 2nd , consumers can begin pre-ordering all models of iPad mini and all models of iPad 4 on October 26th  through the Apple Online Store.
There’s another added bonus the iPad mini features the same number of pixels as the original iPad and iPad 2, so it can run over 275,000 apps designed specifically for iPad.
Incidentally, there are 700,000 iOS apps available on the Apple iTunes app store – most of which should run on iPads too.
In terms of pricing, prices start at $459 for the 16GB model.
Fred Huet, md with Greenwich Consulting observes that, “The launch of the iPad mini could prove to be a pivotal moment in disrupting the 7-inch media tablet space, an area that Android vendors have largely operated in alone, up until this point.”
He continues, “Whilst mini in size, this device is set to throw one almighty punch in the direction of all competitors, who have for so long now had a torrid time competing against the 10-inch iPad.”
“The iPad mini is a clear warning shot to all competitors that the world’s most valuable company is not willing to share any of its 70 per cent market share in the tablet industry – at least not without a strong fight.”
The full Apple Press release can be read here.