We have a date. AllThingsD, which is traditionally very close to Apple, says the iPad Mini announcement will happen October 23. Consider that date set in stone.
But even more interesting is that Apple will unveil its new tablet just three days before Microsoft launches its first tablet, the Surface.
Microsoft announced the Surface in June, but it left pricing and release date a mystery. We’re now just two weeks away from the Surface launch and we still don’t even know where it’ll be sold. (Aside from the popup stores Microsoft will have in select cities on October 26.)
So there’s a very strong chance Apple will be able announce pricing and availability for the iPad Mini before Microsoft can even set pricing for a tablet it announced about four months ago. That’s going to make Microsoft look pretty silly.
It’s the same pattern we see with just about every hardware company besides Apple and Amazon. There’s a big, flashy event for an unfinished product that will launch on an unspecified date for an unspecified price. Of course, companies don’t have to announce those details, but it’s confusing to consumers who are trying to figure out what to buy. Why wait months for an unfinished product like the Surface when you already know what you’re getting with excellent tablets like the iPad and Nexus 7?
The timing of the iPad Mini announcement couldn’t be better for Apple. This thing is going to sell like crazy and completely overshadow Microsoft’s Surface launch a few days later.
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