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iPad Mini: TechWeekEurope Live Blog

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Apple is almost certain to release a smaller version of the iPad. Follow the announcement here

It’s fairly remarkable to have two major Apple product announcements in two months, but this evening (or this morning in California), it is widely expected that the Cupertino-based company will unveil the iPad Mini – a smaller version of its market leading tablet, the iPad.

Steve Jobs may have been opposed to such a device, but the emergence of low-cost rivals in the form of the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Google Nexus 7 has forced Apple to least entertain the idea.

If the iPad Mini isn’t announced tonight, it would be a major surprise, but does Apple have anything else in store for us?

TechWeekEurope will be here to guide you through everything at the California Theatre in San Jose from 18:00 UK time.

iPad Mini Launch

REFRESH PAGE

20:10: Thanks for joining us tonight. You can recap all the major iPad announcements here.

19:15: Cook answers his question by saying this has been a “truly prolific” year for Apple in terms of innovation.

19:13: Tim Cook says he hopes Apple kept its promise to innovate throughout 2012. Looks like things are wrapping up here.

19:12: A 16GB Wi-Fi-only version costs $329, while one with cellular support costs $459. Ouch. Pre-orders start this Friday, with Wi-Fi only tablets arriving on 2 November. Cellular versions will ship two weeks later in the US, but there is no international information yet.

19:08: There’s a new smart cover, the smallest ever single-cell battery that Apple has ever designed and, most importantly, you can hold it in your hand.

19:06: Sir Jonathan Ives is now shown in a video describing the design process behind the iPad Mini. He explains that if it was simply a downsized iPad, you’d only notice everything that was missing.

19:02: The technology inside is apparently equal to or better than the iPad 2, says Schiller. It is powered by a dual-core A5 chip, has a FaceTime HD camera and a five megapixel iSight rear camera. There is the same LTE capabilities of the fourth generation iPad. “It is every inch an iPad,” says Schiller.

19:00: Schiller is now comparing the iPad Mini with the Google Nexus 7, mocking its heavier weight and plastic exterior compared to the new tablet. He says that there is 35 percent more screen space on the iPad Mini, making it superior for browsing the web – the number one use of tablets. “There is a gigantic difference in these products.”

18:58: The resolution is the same, meaning that all iPad apps can be used with the smaller 9.7-inch tablet.

18:57: The iPad mini is 7.2mm thin and has a 7.9-inch screen. Slightly larger than its seven-inch rivals from Amazon and Google.

18:54: And there we go, there’s the iPad mini.

18:53: It will be the same price as the third generation apparently.

18:52: There’s a full FaceTime HD camera, it has the lightning connector that debuted in the iPhone 5 and improved support for LTE. EE’s logo is shown as one of the carriers, but no other UK carriers can be seen at first glance.

18:50: You’re not going to believe this but Apple has announced the fourth generation iPad (OK, we had some idea). “This is a powerhouse,” says Schiller, who is now back on stage. It is powered by the Apple A6X processor which doubles performance and boasts the same 10 hour battery life.

18:49: Almost every Fortune 500 company is testing or has deployed the iPad in their business says Apple.

18:46: Cook says “the possibilities are endless” with regards to the use of iPads in education. Says there are interactive textbooks for 80 percent of the US national curriculum.

18:43: “Two weeks ago, we sold our 100 millionth iPad,” says Cook, who is now back on stage. He says that it is “unprecedented” to sell that many of a new product in a new category in two and a half years. He says that they sold more iPads last quarter than PC manufacturers did in their respective ranges.

18:41: Mac announcements over. Time for iPad? Indeed it is.

18:39: You can also have a HDD if you wish, or an Apple Fusion Drive, which combines the two technologies to take advantage of the speed of flash and capacity of hard disk. The computer automatically places objects you use the most often on the flash drive to improve performance.

18:37: It also has a FaceTime HD camera, dual microphones and surround sound. It’s powered by a quad core i5 or i7 processor, up to 768GB of flash storage and a full complement of connectivity options.

18:36: The screen is fully laminated the glass, saving 2mm in thickness and it will have 75 percent less reflection than previous models

18:33: It is indeed very thin. It boasts edge to edge glass and is just 5mm thin.

18:31: “The iMac is the best all-in-one computer in the industry,” says Schiller, who now shows an old school blue iMac from 1998 before discussing its evolution. And there we have it, the new iMac. It looks very thin.

18:29: He’s now talking about the Mac Mini. He jokes that something had to have the word ‘mini’ in it tonight.

18:27: Schiller stresses the green credentials of the new computer before playing the television advert.

18:25: Everything has been re-engineered from scratch allowing for superior battery life. It is powered by an Intel i5 or i7 Ivy Bridge processor, flash storage but it has no optical drive. It starts shipping today.

18:22: The new MacBook boasts a retina display and is apparently better than any other screen on the market – apart from the 15 inch version of course.

18:20: Phil Schiller is now on stage and he’s showing off the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which is 20 percent thinner than the previous generation, almost 1lb lighter.

18:18: The MacBook is the number one desktop and the number one notebook in the US.

18:16: Cook is now talking about the new version of iBooks, which will be available on the App Store from today. New reading and sharing options. Would be good for a smaller version of the iPad, eh?

18:13: 700,000 iPhone apps and 275,000 native iPad apps on the App Store, according to Cook. No mention of Apple Maps yet.

18:11: 25 billion documents in the cloud, 160 million Game Center accounts, 70 million photo shares. Apple touting the integration between OS X Mountain Lion and iOS here.

18:09: 200 million devices have been upgraded to iOS 6 since its debut last month. The fastest upgrade of all time apparently.

18:08: Now we’re being treated some iPod statistics. Apple has high hopes for these over Christmas.

18:05: And we’re off in San Jose! Apple CEO Tim Cook is gushing about the iPhone 5, boasting of five million sales during the device’s opening weekend. The most ever apparently.

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