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New iPad mini sees Apple fans queueing already

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Garry Barker

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Apple reveals new iPad Air

RAW VISION: Apple introduces what is set to be a thinner, lighter and more powerful version of their popular iPad.

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San Francisco: Here, at the vertex of Silicon Valley, the punters began queuing on Sunday for what they expected will be a spiffy new version of the most successful iPad so far, the 7-inch mini, as the clock ticks closer to Apple's iPad launch event on Tuesday morning, US time.

They also expect a redesigned, thinner, faster, lighter and slightly smaller overall new standard, 9.7-inch iPad.

And there are also rumours of a "just one more thing" as Steve Jobs used to say, or perhaps two or three of them.

The iPad Mini.

The iPad Mini.

With 12 hours to go before the announcement to an invited audience of about 300 analysts and media in the Yerba Buena Centre in San Francisco, a couple of streets away the faithful already formed a line stretching from the Apple retail store a full block long.

The new iPad is likely to be slimmer, lighter, brighter (high resolution Retina display screen) and with a more powerful Apple-designed microprocessor, possibly the A7 that powers the latest iPhone.

The global tablet market is soaring and competition is now white hot, with Samsung offering five screen sizes, from a 10-inch iPad competitor down to 7- and 8-inch devices and a range of "phablets", essentially smartphones with screens big enough to occasionally require two hands at the ear.

Samsung and Apple dominate the tablet market, but Amazon is pushing its Kindle range and, using sales in its powerful online retail market to carry some of the cost, is undercutting Apple on price. Google and Sony are also in the race along with Lenovo, which some years ago bought IBM's laptop business and now finds, in common with all other PC and notebook makers, that tablets are eroding their laptop sales.

Microsoft is competing, too, but far behind, with less than 4 per cent of the global market, compared with Apple's 60 per cent last year. It is expected to announce a new range of Windows Phones and Nokia devices and maybe even a new Surface tablet at Nokia World in Abu Dahbi, also overnight.

Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps said she expected few surprises from the event. 

"It sounds jaded, but tablets are a maturing market. Bringing high-end features like Retina screens and TouchID to the iPad mini will entice existing customers to upgrade.  It will be difficult for Apple to move the needle on new tablet sales, as the strongest growth is coming from emerging markets where customers are more price-sensitive," she said.

Forrester expects total worldwide replacement sales of tablets to more than double next year, from 42 million to 89 million units, while new sales growth will slow, increasing from 143 million units in 2013 to 166 million units in 2014.

The writer travelled to San Francisco as a guest of Apple.

23 comments

  • Bill Gates is probably wearing a disguise at the front of the queue, hoping to discover 'his' next brilliant idea! LOL He just has to make sure his new products all run the tens of millions of available viruses and spyware that Windows users appear to be so fond of.

    Commenter
    FrankM
    Date and time
    October 22, 2013, 4:16PM
    • And Apple users believe their iDevices can cure cancer.

      Commenter
      Steve T
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      October 22, 2013, 5:34PM
    • I guess that the rt mode in the new windows 8 is the way MS goes dealing with the tens of millions of available viruses and spyware. Application are not longer given the total control but only those they should be given. Everything is running in a somewhat sandbox so all they can spy on are themselves.

      The real problem of windows is that we have so many things to do beside the work. Windows has always been promoted, and is really good on, being a productivity tool. But do we want productivity all day long? Do we spend money ourselves on our productivity? If we don't, we will buy something else funnier, easier and cheaper.

      Commenter
      DBPZ
      Date and time
      October 22, 2013, 6:42PM
    • The last Apple IOS was hacked in under 10 minutes.

      Viruses are developed for popular platforms. Better bang for their buck. Viruses targeting apple products are just as prevalent as virsus targeting MS. Good anti virus, updated OS and secure passwords will look after you the vast majority of time.

      Commenter
      J
      Date and time
      October 22, 2013, 8:31PM
    • Oh so funny. Brought me back to 1996 when that joke was timely.

      Commenter
      Craig
      Date and time
      October 22, 2013, 9:10PM
    • He has better things to do - saving lives by being the worlds biggest philanthropist in third world health care.

      Commenter
      OU812
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      October 22, 2013, 9:40PM
    • Uhh.....Why would Bill Gates care?, he works only part time with Microsoft now, he isn't CEO anymore

      Yikes, better catch up with the times, I suggest reading something else other than Apple news.

      Commenter
      KDDD
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      October 22, 2013, 9:49PM
  • queue people queue... before its too late...make sure you film yourself in the queue as well and send it on to everyone, cause its riveting stuff

    Commenter
    Jack
    Location
    Preston
    Date and time
    October 22, 2013, 4:35PM
    • A plethra of selfies. ha.

      Commenter
      micko
      Date and time
      October 22, 2013, 7:17PM
    • FrankM will be first in line by the looks of it....

      Commenter
      Dunit
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      October 22, 2013, 8:10PM

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