Since the unveiling of the original iPad, there have been mutterings about it perhaps being smaller, followed by a stream of rumors since the first small, cheap, Android models appeared. Today, those rumors end and the real deal is shown, with a live stream of the event breaking with recent Apple tradition.
Watch it Live
Whatever the fuss, and the question over these magical reveals when we've seen and read about the leaks and guesstimates of major features beforehand, today marks the official unveiling of Apple's iPad Mini device. Apple will be taking over San Jose for this and a bunch of other new toys to wow the press and public with.
For the first time in a while you might actually be able to watch the event live, over Apple TV for now according to TNW, but that might change closer to the time and we'll update if it does. (UPDATE; Yes we can all watch together, here). It is being sent over Apple's little puck, then owners can expect to be very popular today. As is traditional,Apple's web store has now gone down for an update, who knows what it will bring when it comes back up.
But, the star of the show, undoubtedly, will be Apple's smaller but not tiny tablet. The excitement will not really be over the device itself but the impact it could have on the market. If Apple is to prove it really is "all that," then the iPad Mini will need to destroy the Kindle Fire, Nexus and other devices in a blaze of sales wrath.
Selling Hard, Selling Fast
That's very unlikely to happen, but the boost it will bring to the market, the interest it will generate in tablet sales will result in large positives across the board. Those likely to suffer are those without an sufficiently virile ecosystem (Microsoft's Surface tablet anyone?), and most players in the market have learnt that lesson by now.
Then there's the big question, how many will it sell? Estimates range from 5-to-10 million, but if it picks up thanks the hype Apple is capable of generating, then it could sell as many as Apple can make, which leaves us in the hands of dedicated but struggling Chinese manufacturers.
All ears will be keenly tuned to the iPad Mini's price which will establish its place in the market, perhaps a little above its rivals. After that I'll be interested in any content moves Apple has to make. A content subscription that provides plenty of it for a fixed price is still missing from Apple's iTunes offering, and it looks darn old-fashioned without it.
Then there's the extras, will Apple have developed a new cover that's also a hat, a musical keyboard or a 3D display? Will the revamped Mac Mini line be able to act as a super-server for a family's hred of iPads and iPhones, allowing Apple to reduce the memory in the smaller devices for a lower-cost line up?
We'll be back to cover the events and bring you all the news later in the day, Apple's San Jose event kicks off at 1PM Eastern time.