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iPad Mini unveiled in San Jose: Apple smaller tablet has a 7.9in screen and weighs 0.68 lbs

has revealed its new smaller tablet with a 7.9 inch screen that is set to blow away its rivals in the this Christmas.

The widely-anticipated 7.9 in (20.1 cm) iPad Mini, which is 7.2 mm thick and weighs 0.68 lbs, was announced at an event in San Jose, California.

The entry wi-fi-only model, with 16GB storage, will cost $415 and be available on 2 November.

The iPad Mini will compete directly with similar sized tablets from Google and Amazon.

Apple’s vice-president of marketing Phil Schiller told attendees that the device was 23% thinner and 53% lighter than the third-generation iPad, which was released in March this year.

The other wi-fi-only models will have a recommended retail price of $535 for 32GB and $660 for 64GB.

The devices with cellular capability will be released “a couple of weeks” after the wi-fi-only models, the company said. They will be priced at $568 for 16GB, $691 for 32GB and $815 for 64GB.

The firm also announced upgrades to its Macbook Pro, iMac and Mac Mini ranges of computers.

Its new iMac machines have been made 80% thinner than previous models, Phil Schiller said.

The full-sized iPad, which is just seven months old, was given its own lower-key upgrade. Calling it the “fourth generation” iPad, Phil Schiller said its new A6X chip meant it had twice the CPU power of the third-generation model.

Apple has revealed its new smaller tablet iPad Mini with a 7.9 inch screen that is set to blow away its rivals in the tablet market this Christmas 350x199 photo

Apple has revealed its new smaller tablet iPad Mini with a 7.9 inch screen that is set to blow away its rivals in the tablet market this Christmas

Paddy Smith, online editor for Stuff.tv, said some Apple users could see the iPad upgrade as a “kick in the face” as it is such a new product.

“I think a lot of people will be upset to see a new full size iPad so soon,” he said.

“For many people that represents a pretty major purchase, something you wouldn’t want to do more than once a year.”

The iPad Mini launch ends years of speculation that Apple was considering launching a new, smaller version of its bestselling iPad range.

In 2010, late founder Steve Jobs described 7 in tablets as being “too small”.

However, Apple’s apparent change of heart comes in the face of mounting pressure from its closest competitors, who already offer smaller – and crucially, cheaper – products.

However, consultants IDC predict that the new device will boost Apple’s already dominant position in the tablet market.

It said that Apple will hold a 68% share of the market in 2012, compared to 29% for Android tablets.

Both will fall off slightly next year with the launch of Windows 8 tablets, IDC said.

 

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