Predicting the “iPad Mini” internals

August 31st, 2012 § 0 comments

It’s pretty clear that Apple is going to release a smaller form factor iPad next month. You can ignore all the leaked hardware and rumors and focus on the most reliable sources for Apple sanctioned leaks; Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal. As Gruber pointed out in his musings about the new iPad it’s hard to not see Apple’s hand in this.

If you think these stories appearing within a day of each other in the two most-respected business publications in the U.S. — at the same time the Nexus 7 reviews began appearing and the device started shipping to customers — is merely coincidental and not a strategic competitive leak from Apple PR, then I would like to invite you to play in my poker game.

If you haven’t read it then I highly recommend the rest of Gruber’s post as I think he makes some persuasive arguments regarding screen size, resolution and form factor. What of the internals though? For that we can turn to Marco that has used his extensive server logs and the fact that Apple shrink the die for the iPad 2 CPU to make an educated guess.

As far as I know, this was the first time Apple invested in a die shrink mid-cycle for any of the iOS devices. They haven’t even done it for the still-sold iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4. The decision to revise the iPad 2 internals, therefore, seemed a bit odd at the time, but makes a lot more sense now.

….

If so, this suggests that the iPad Mini is, effectively, an iPad 2: an A5 with 512 MB of RAM and enough GPU power to drive the Gruber Display, but not a Retina Display.

So far pretty solid but this analysis sealed the deal for me.

It’s a textbook Tim Cook supply-chain move: selling the last generation’s hardware at a lower price point to expand marketshare.

I’ll be very surprised if we have anything but a smaller iPad 2 come September.

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