John Gruber of Daring Fireball fame, has once again chimed in on the rumors regarding the “iPad mini” Apple is widely expected to release in the near future. Last month he posted his thoughts (our link here) on such a device, and how it would likely not be equipped with a retina display, and that the display would likely be closer to 8-inches than the much-reported 7-inches.
In his new piece Gruber suggests that the “iPad mini” may not have the same form factor as the current, new, iPad, but rather, something tailored for the device’s physical needs. Specifically, he suggests that the bezel surrounding the display may be thinner on either side when the device is held in portrait mode. He points to mockups such as this one from 9to5Mac as a decent visualization of the idea.
Gruber also suggests that the device’s main selling points will (hopefully) be it’s remarkable thinness, and lightness. He suggests if the “iPad mini” is remarkably thin and light, it could have a competitive edge against other tablets in it’s size range, such as the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7. Gruber suspects the weight could be somewhere in the neighborhood of 265 grams, and a thickness of around 7.2 mm- the same thickness as the iPod touch. This would be a great size for one-handed use.
Lastly, and what I find most interesting, is the fact that Gruber suggests that the iPad mini had been in the works long before Google introduced the Nexus 7. Apple, with all of it’s manufacturing might, can move fast, but perhaps not that fast. I tend to agree. He also suggests, that the media leaks, both in the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, were deliberate moves from Apple PR, to unsettle the hype around the Nexus 7. Besides, these leaks to reputable corporate media outlets, were made the day after the Nexus 7 was announced, so it would seem that something is afoot.
I have little to add to Gruber’s piece, other than the admission that he managed to write up what I and others had been pondering for awhile. I suppose we’ll see if his predictions hold up next month, when the iPad mini is expected to be introduced. If the past is any indication, I wouldn’t bet against him.