After several months of speculations from tech gossipers around the world, Apple finally unwrapped the miniature version of iPad dubbed as iPad Mini at a special event in San Jose on October 23.
iPad Mini, being the smaller version of the 9.7 inch iPad sports a 7.9 inch display and is a fusion of the hardware and software of the iPad 2 and the case of iPod touch. Reportedly, the tablet will be available for pre-order starting from today, that is October 26, in the international market at a price of $329, $429 and $529 for Wi-Fi only and $459, $559 and $659 for Wi-Fi + Cellular models respectively and and it will hit the retail shelves from November 2, 2012.
Launched by Apple with an attempt to foray in the mid-range tablet market, the iPad Mini has joined the 7 inch tablet arena that is flooded with capable competitors including Google Nexus 7, Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Samsung Galaxy Tabs.
Compared to Apple, Samsung entered the 7 inch tablet segment pretty earlier, and the company also released an impressive successor offering Galaxy Tab 2 in the second quarter of this year. The tablet comes with a SIM card slot for voice calling and is making scoring sales in the global market.
Coming to the statistics of the Indian tablet market, Indian manufacturer Micromax is dominating the category with 18.4% share followed by Samsung and Apple at 13.3% and 12.3% in terms of sales, according to Q3 results.
However, Samsung consistently is being preferred by the upper market segment in India. While, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, the latest 7-inch tablet launched by the South Korean giant in India is doing consistent sales at a price tag of Rs 19,700 approximately. Can iPad Mini outdo its sales? Which has been reportedly estimated to cost Rs 31,874, Rs 38,819 and Rs 45,763 for 16GB, 32GB and 64GB Wi-Fi + Cellular versions, when it will be launched in India.
Let's take a look at the the spec comparison of the newly launched iPad Mini and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 P3100 to observe how well they both will portray a stiff clash against each other in the Indian consumer market segment.
Dimensions and Weight: iPad Mini boasts a dimension of 200 x 134.7 x 7.2mm and weighs in at 308 grams while Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 packs a dimension of 193.7 x 122.4 x 10.5 mm and weighs around 341 grams.
Display: In terms of display, iPad Mini packs a 7.9 inch LED-backlit IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen display with 1024 x 768 pixel resolution, which is not a Retina Display.
In comparison, Galaxy Tab 2 sports a smaller 7 inch PLS display with a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixel resolution.
Processor: On the processor front, iPad Mini has a 1GHz dual core Apple A5 processor whereas, Galaxy Tab 2 packs a 1GHz dual core TI OMAP 4430 processor. Further, both the tablet use a similar PowerVR GPU under their hood.
Operating System: This is the most contradictory aspect of the comparison, as iPad Mini is based on the new iOS 6 platform and Galaxy Tab 2 is flavored with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS.
Detailing on the features, iOS 6 has over 200 new features including Apple Maps, improved Siri, new Safari app, iCloud cloud storage, new Photostream app, PassBook app, deeper integration to Twitter and Facebook and more.
In comparison, Android 4.0 ICS has a simple and beautiful UI for easy multitasking, rich notifications, customizable home screens, resizable widgets, rich and versatile camera capabilities, sharing with screenshots, cloud connected user experience, Android Beam with NFC sharing and more.
Camera: When it comes to camera optics, iPad Mini has a 5MP rear camera with iSight technology and a 1.2MP front camera for video calling.
On the other hand, Galaxy Tab 2 has a 3MP rear camera and 0.3MP VGA front camera.
Storage: In terms of storage, iPad Mini comes in three configurations – 16GB/32GB/64GB internal storage and 512MB RAM, which is awaiting confirmation. Moreover, there are rumors stating that the tablet will also be available with 8GB storage option.
On the other hand, Galaxy Tab 2 has 8GB/16GB internal memory, 1GB RAM and a micro SD card for expandable memory up to 32GB, which is not present in the Apple offering.
Connectivity: On the connectivity front, iPad Mini comes with a Lightning port, which was announced with the iPhone 5, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features. Further, the 3G and 4G supporting iPad Mini will be launched in mid-November.
In comparison, Galaxy Tab 2 has Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 3.0 and micro USB 2.0 Host.
Battery: iPad Mini is packed with a 16.3 Whr Li-Po battery delivering up to 10 hours backup, whereas, Galaxy Tab 2 is powered by a 4,000 mAh Li-ion battery with 20 hours talk time and 800 hours standby.
Price: In terms of pricing, the smaller iPad will be priced at Rs 31,874, Rs 38,819 and Rs 45,763 for 16GB, 32GB and 64GB Wi-Fi + Cellular versions , whereas, Galaxy Tab 2 is available for a price of Rs 19,700 approximately.
Spec-wise, the iPad Mini has the power to destroy the Samsung offering, as it packs a larger display real estate, better camera performance with iSight camera optics, increased storage options and advanced connectivity features including the new Lighting connector.
At the same time, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, though packed with less impressive specs as compared to the Apple offering comes with SIM card support and thereby it enables making voice calls.
When it comes to the price-conscious Indian consumer market, Apple products have never been the market dominators, as they are usually priced high, thanks to the import duty. Likewise, the prices of iPad Mini seem to be too high as compared to that of Galaxy Tab 2. Hence, this could be a downside for the Apple offering as far as India is concerned.
Finally, it depends on the decision of the buyers' choice, as both are based on different operating systems and hence they will provide completely different user experience.