Apple’s Fall Bounty: A Smaller iPad, a 13-Inch MacBook Pro and iTunes 11

Published on October 23, 2012
by John Paczkowski

Apple says it has a little more to show us, and soon we’ll find out just what it is. Later today, at an invitation-only event at the California Theatre in San Jose, the company is expected to unveil a number of new products — both hardware and software.

The main attraction of the event: The eagerly anticipated smaller version of Apple’s iPad. This so-called “iPad mini” is expected to feature a 7.85-inch display, which will make the device about 40 percent larger than its seven-inch rivals, Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD. Some reports claim the so-called iPad mini’s resolution will be lower than that of the current iPad’s Retina display. Certainly possible, particularly if Apple is looking to keep its price low. That said, it’s worth noting that the company could fairly easily cut 326 ppi 2048 by 1536 Retina displays for the device from the same sheets used for the iPhone 4S. And if it were to do that, it would likely eliminate any potential viewing-angle issues.

The iPad mini is also expected to be quite thin. We’ve heard, but have not been able to confirm, that it is nearly as thin in profile as the iPod touch. It will also feature the new Lightning connector that debuted on the iPhone 5 and, we’re told, front and back cameras. Price? Unknown, but consensus points to between $299 and $349. For any details beyond that, we’ll have to wait a few hours.

Also expected to take a turn on the California Theatre stage today is a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro to complement the 15-inch version that Apple debuted earlier this year, and some updated Mac minis, as well.

On the software front, a new version of iBooks, version 3.0, is likely. And an overhaul of iTunes is a certainty. Apple showed off the latest version of its media software at its last event in September, touting its intuitive layout, improved performance and iCloud integration. And it promised to ship it in October. What better time to roll it out than on the day the iPad’s diminutive sibling is finally announced?

Join us later today for live coverage of Apple’s event from the California Theatre.

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