When it begins to feel a lot like Christmas, you may be dreaming of an iPad Mini.
Reports out today claim that Apple will begin volume production of its new, smaller tablet in September, just in time for the holidays.
“Supply volume of Apple’s 7.85-inch iPad is estimated to reach four million units per month starting in September in order to prepare for demand from year-end holidays, according to sources from the upstream supply chain,” Digitimes reports.
While Digitimes doesn’t have the best track record for product rumors, it’s safe assume that Apple is planning on releasing its iPad Mini sometime this year and right around Christmas would make perfect sense.
How well will the iPad Mini do on the market? What will people use it for? We have been wondering the same thing.
Here are 11 perfect uses for the up-and-coming iPad Mini:
An iPad is the perfect Christmas gift
If rumors of a holiday release hold true, the iPad Mini could very well be the number one device on everyone’s shopping list. And if you’re on the giving end of this exchange, there are two positives: First is the price. The iPad Mini is expected to be aggressively priced between $200 and $250. Secondly? The receiver of the gift will love you forever.
Your new e-reader isn’t a Kindle or a Nook
Believe it or not, there are current iPad owners out there who also own a Kindle or Nook strictly for reading. Some may argue that the biggest reason for this is because they prefer reading on the e-ink that those e-readers provide. But the bigger reason is the size. The current iPad becomes cumbersome when using as a reading device for an extended period of time. Being that the iPad Mini is expected to feature a 7.85-inch screen and be considerably thinner, reading can finally become comfortable on an Apple tablet.
Is the iPad Mini your next Apple TV remote?
There are rumors swirling that Apple plans to announce a major update to their Apple TV lineup — including the announcement of a dedicated television set that would either run on AT&T’s or Verizon’s cable service. The other half of that announcement is an Apple TV set-top box that would allow you to run your current cable provider through the Apple interface. Where does the iPad Mini come into play here? It would serve as your remote control. Say so long to the days of the tiny Apple TV remote, scrolling around on an onscreen keyboard that makes you want to scream. Your iPad Mini would allow you search for TV shows simply by typing on your tablet keyboard. At 7.85-inch screen, it makes for a comfortable advanced remote control.
The iPad Mini is the ultimate news reading tablet
We posed the following question earlier this month on Blorge: Will the iPad save the newspaper industry? That’s a tough question to answer, but the iPad Mini has the potential to be a great device to consume news — especially for commuters. Expect Apple to release some kind of news pagination software, similar to iBooks Author, specifically for news organizations that would allow local newspapers to easily go digital. If local newspapers can easily embrace going digital, using the iPad Mini as the medium, expect big things. I can see the ad already: Subscribe for two years and receive a free iPad Mini. Expect promotions galore.
The iPad Mini (with 4G) is perfect for commuters
A more expensive version of the iPad Mini will include 4G LTE cellular service, making it the top tablet for commuters — especially women — who like to only carry their purse while on-the-go. Commuters use their iPad today, but not as much as Apple may have expected. The tablet is quite large for commuting. By shrinking down to a 7.85-inch screen and thinner body, that subway or bus ride could become a bit more tech-savvy for you.
iPad Minis will make its way into hotels, restaurants and retail stores
One of the biggest pushes in the hospitality and customer service industries is implementing some kind of tablet technology and doing so seamlessly. Hotels want to eliminate their front desk altogether and approach guests when they walk in, hand them a tablet and have them sign their name on the room agreement with their finger. Restaurants want a way to offer their menus on a digital platform, so they can easily update from day-to-day without wasting paper. At half the price than the current iPad, the iPad Mini could soon find itself into both of these industries. Plus, the iPad Mini is a more appropriate size for dinner menus that Apple’s current tablet. And retail stores would love to check people out from anywhere in the store. Carrying an iPad Mini is much more comfortable than a full-size iPad.
Is the iPad Mini a child’s first tablet?
Unless brought up in a wealthy family, it’s pretty rare for a child (12 years and younger) to own an iPad. At $500, it’s not worth risking being broken or lost. But the iPad does offer a ton of genuinely good education apps that parents will see a lot of benefit in. For $250, the iPad Mini could be a great education tool to give to a child.
More iPads will make their way into the classroom
Following up on the last point — not only will more children now own an iPad Mini, but schools will also take advantage of the cheaper price point. The iPad is quickly becoming an educator’s favorite tool. There are plenty of great applications that supplement lesson plans and truly makes learning interactive. At half the price, schools will have a better chance of getting this type of technology into the classroom.
Trick out your car with an in-dash iPad Mini
This may seem like a bit of stretch, but there are people out there who have installed an in-dash, full-size iPad into their car. A 10-inch screen in a car is not only a huge distraction (7.85-inch may not be much better…) but it also takes up a ton of space. The iPad Mini could be the ultimate way to truly “pimp your ride.
The iPad Mini makes a perfect second monitor for your laptop
If you’re an 11” MacBook Air user that also owns an iPad, it doesn’t come as a surprise to you that your tablet practically has the same screen real estate as your laptop. If people saw you using both devices in a coffee shop, they might think you’re overusing technology a bit. But if you’re using an iPad Mini as a second monitor, I don’t think it would look that bad. In fact, it would actually be the perfect size for a second monitor.
A smaller iPad works better as a photo frame
One of the fun features of the iPad is that it can double as a digital photo frame. If you’re throwing a party, you set your photo album, set it up on a table in your home and your guests can see a bunch of photos. This might also be a stretch, but an iPad Mini is actually closer to the size of a normal photo frame, making for a more natural photo-viewing experience at your next party.