Well, I don’t know the first thing about technology, or anything really, so today I turn my highly unqualified attention to this newfangled iPad Smallie or whatever it’s called.

Anyone else think it's a bad omen that not one person in the room is admiring the merchandise?

Let me put it this way. The other day at work, we were ploughing through this bag of mini M&Ms. And there was this moment when we looked at each other and said: “hang on a sec, weren’t these things small enough anyway? Who said they needed to be made smaller?”

The same deal with this new iPad Smallie. It’s not like the old iPads didn’t fit neatly into your bag or your handbag. And it’s not like the new iPad Teensies are small enough to slot into your pocket. So like, what are they for again?

To answer this important question, I asked a large dreary know-it-all. Oh, give him his dues. My brother Simon writes for a major British IT website and he knows this stuff inside out. And what he says is, the iPad Littlie is Apple’s way of being able to compete on price with all the companies selling cheapie tablets.

Then he said something succinct and highly quotable and generally much cleverer than anything I would’ve though of. I hate when he does that.

“A smaller dose of concentrated apple sauce is tastier than something cooked by an android.”

I am also reliably told by sources outside the family that the new iPad mini has got dual core doo-dats and 4G bleepy stuff, so hooray for all that. But you probably knew all that, right?

Anyway let’s cut to the chase. Are you going to buy one? Why? Or if not, why not?

By the way, if anyone knows how to adjust the toaster so my bread’s a little less dark each morning, do give me a call. Please.

Comments on this post close at 8pm AEST

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    • Adam R says:

      01:57pm | 24/10/12

      No, because I have no need to. I see this as trying to be a reading/consumption device more than anything else. I think there are better alternatives out there. I personally prefer the Kindle for reading (easier on the eyes) and I’m looking at getting the Surface Pro when it is released in a few months to replace my laptop (it’ll have the same capabilities and then some). I have a desktop to do all my heavy study, a tablet should be for consumption and light note taking/brainstorming.

    • Paul says:

      03:13pm | 24/10/12

      Agree on all counts.

      As a gamer, the Surface Pro with Windows will hit all notes… The ability to play (serious) PC games, attach devices (such as a mouse) and the sheer grunt of the thing means it’s the obvious choice for anyone that wants to do more than just surf the web and play stupid app games.

      And for those a little confused, don’t get the Surface that comes out on Friday (with Windows RT), the one that comes out in 3 months is your PC replacement (Friday’s is a cheaper tablet replacement).

    • lower_case_andrew says:

      04:57pm | 24/10/12


      “And for those a little confused, “

      And there’s your problem, right there.  People aren’t interested in Windows tablets or phones or whatever synergistic, Windows Live Xbox Live Zune media player thingy wingy they’re trying to sell this week.

      Microsoft have done their level best to confuse their existing and prospective customers. 

      Windows RT.  What’s that stand for?  Windows RunTime?  Well, no, not really.  Surface?  Metro.  Windows on ARM?

      Even Paul Thurrott—the world’s biggest Windows zealot/cheer-leader—has little good to say about Microsoft’s strategy.

      Which is a shame, because Apple need serious competition.  They’re far too arrogant for their own good (which is not a new thing, by the way).

      But it won’t be MS providing that competition. MS just don’t get it, as evidenced by the debacle that is Windows 8.

    • MD says:

      01:58pm | 24/10/12

      While it may be Apple’s attempt to compete with Android 7 inch tablets (Nexus 7, Kindle Fire etc), it’s only going to eat into their iPad 2 sales. $370 for the iPad Mini which has a lower resolution screen, no gps, slower processor, less ram, and less storage, all for between $100 and $170 more than it’s competitors does not look good for Apple.

    • Mr. Jordon says:

      03:29pm | 24/10/12

      Just about everything you said is not true.

      It has the same resolution, same processor, same storage 16, 32, or 64 gb as the iPad 2 and it has GPS which the iPad 2 doesnt have and in fact has more storage than the Nexus 7.

    • MD says:

      03:46pm | 24/10/12

      I clearly meant compared to its competitors, which I listed. For the price of a 32 or 64gb mini, no one would be looking at a 7 inch android tablet, as there aren’t any at that price (although a 32gb Nexus 7 is supposedly being released next month).

      No, it doesn’t have GPS in the wifi only model, unless you want to spend $120 extra and get the cellular enabled model, which further ruins its chances of competing against aforementioned Android 7 inch tablets.

    • lower_case_andrew says:

      04:59pm | 24/10/12


      ” and less storage, all for between $100 and $170 more than it’s competitors does not look good for Apple.”

      That makes a big assumption: that Apple actually compete with all these Android devices.

      I’d argue that they don’t.  Apple’s biggest competitor appears to be their own ability to produce enough product.

      Android devices compete with _other_ Android devices.  And they don’t make much money.

    • Richard says:

      05:34pm | 24/10/12

      ‘“That makes a big assumption: that Apple actually compete with all these Android devices.

      I’d argue that they don’t.  Apple’s biggest competitor appears to be their own ability to produce enough product.

      Android devices compete with _other_ Android devices.  And they don’t make much money.”

      Quoted for sheer nonsense.

      Of course Android and Apple are competitors, that’s what this whole iPad Mini stunt is all about!

      Steve Jobs himself panned the 7 inch form factor, but then Google came along and brought out the Nexus 7, which was an absolute scorcher, and proved to everyone including Apple how awesome the 7 inch form factor really can be.

      So of course Apple, who are actually the most insidious loathesome copycats out (which is ironic because of the way they carry on about Samsung copying them, when they themselves are the bigger copycat), finally, belated jumped on the bandwagon and brought out this overpriced, under power thing.

    • Mitch says:

      01:59pm | 24/10/12

      It’s actually a pretty smart decision, in my opinion. With the new ipad mini, Apple can cover the market for people who wanted a little, “cute”, portable tablet that they can show off to all their friends and play on the internet with.

      Apple are then free to beef up the full-size iPad to make it much more useful as a tablet computer by adding features that hold it back at present.

    • Cobbler says:

      02:00pm | 24/10/12

      Hell no!

      I’m holding out for the V2 of the Surfact that will run windows software proper.  $600is a lot of money to play angry birds and to pretend to be hip.

    • Louie the Fly says:

      02:03pm | 24/10/12

      Are you selling them?
      How much?
      Do I get sachets of applesauce on the side?

    • andye says:

      02:03pm | 24/10/12

      “I am also reliably told by sources outside the family that the new iPad mini has got dual core doo-dats and 4G bleepy stuff”

      My understanding is that the 4G is coming on a slightly later model in a month or so?

    • MD says:

      02:30pm | 24/10/12

      For an extra $120

    • Markus says:

      02:32pm | 24/10/12

      Sounds about right. God forbid Apple ever release a first version of a product that actually includes everything it was intended to.

    • n_dude says:

      03:17pm | 24/10/12

      It will be compatible with Apple’s version of 4G which is still 3G for everyone else…

    • Don says:

      04:36pm | 24/10/12

      The bottom line with apple products is not to buy the first generation as that is for beta testers only. Wait a year and things improve markedly as history has shown. Patience.

    • paul says:

      02:23pm | 24/10/12

      Oh my Anthony. The smallest m & m have been around longer then I can remember. What are you talking about? Possibly the worst example I have ever seen given.
      smaller is not always better. Anyone reckon technology is moving to fast? Aside from medical research lets just chill out.

    • sunny says:

      02:29pm | 24/10/12

      I’ve got an iPod - is that the same thing as an iPad? When are they going to release the iPud?

    • Admiral Ackbar says:

      03:36pm | 24/10/12

      I cannot take apple products seriously ever since the Human Cent-i-Pad South Park episode.

      “Why won’t it read!?”

      Classic, I love funnies.

    • sunny says:

      05:20pm | 24/10/12

      Hadn’t seen that episode but just caught a few scenes on youtube. Those guys are totally sick - in a hilarious kind of way.

    • rockoyster says:

      02:53pm | 24/10/12

      In NZ they have the iPed.

    • George says:

      02:53pm | 24/10/12

      I want one, just so I can put it in my cupboard and never use it so I can feel “up to date” for 3 months.

      Maybe I can look at the punch when I go shopping. Or maybe stop half way when I go to get fish and chips. That would be so enlightening, new age and progressive. But I don’t have any thick rimmed glasses, I’ve got perfect vision damn it.

      I could read the latest article on “misogyny” and become outraged.

    • dancan says:

      03:25pm | 24/10/12

      don’t you know george, you can buy glasses these days with just plain lenses and no prescription

    • sunny says:

      03:29pm | 24/10/12

      I’m kind of in the same opinion. If the thing can’t run Microsoft Office and doesn’t have a keyboard and mouse then sorry it’s no use to me. I know it’s got an on-screen keyboard but that takes up half the bloody screen which is too annoying when you’re building documents.

    • neo says:

      03:14pm | 24/10/12

      Haha your brother is technologically inept. Apple is only used by grandmas and wannabes, Android is the preference of the tech world, much like Windows tablets are of the business world.

    • Blind Freddy says:

      03:30pm | 24/10/12

      Don’t forget the teenage girls.

    • lower_case_andrew says:

      03:54pm | 24/10/12

      “Haha your brother is technologically inept.”


      I’m not technologically inept.  And it’s very likely I could run rings around you in the C/C++ and Objective-C stakes. wink  And I know my way around the guts of Cocoa/iOS, and I can tell you that the main reason Apple’s products work is not because of the shiny outsides—though it helps—but the quality of the OS and innards.

      Apple devices sell because they work.  They do the job, and with style.  It’s a smooth experience (unlike Android). And the reason is it’s a smooth experience is because of the design and thought and engineering talent that has gone in to the underlying technology, both at the software and hardware levels.

      In this area, Apple leaves Android for dead.

      Apple may be an arrogant multinational corporation that only cares about the bottom-line, but their products are very good. (And very pricey.)

      The iPad Mini is simply Apple’s way of competing across all relevant markets.  There was a hole there being taken up by the Nexus 7. So Apple filled it.

      I find the iPhone too small for most everything.  The iPad 3 is an amazing device to read text books on. And you can do some serious web browsing on it.

    • Undacgaon says:

      04:07pm | 24/10/12

      Since when?

    • MD says:

      04:41pm | 24/10/12

      I guess you haven’t used any android phone with jelly bean then.

      Also, serious web browsing without flash?

    • pa_kelvin says:

      05:33pm | 24/10/12

      lower case….CC++?..OS?...Cocoa/iOS?...Objective-C stakes?  WTF? I think I’ll stick with my Asus laptop… smile

    • lower_case_andrew says:

      06:12pm | 24/10/12

      “I guess you haven’t used any android phone with jelly bean then.”

      You’d guess wrong.

      And good luck comparing Jelly Bean to iOS 6.  They’re not even in the same ballpark. 

      Above all, iOS devices are smooth and consistent. Everything is hardware accelerated to OpenGLES layers, with most of the interface running at 60fps.  Every single view is layer-backed, which allows CoreAnimation to do all those fluid 60fps animations for pretty much everything. Jelly Bean doesn’t even come close to this level of performance. It’s a generation or two behind.

    • lower_case_andrew says:

      06:23pm | 24/10/12

      “Also, serious web browsing without flash?”

      Yes. Welcome to 2012.

      We’re a long way past Flash being relevant, particularly for mobile devices.

      Even Adobe has accepted this, and has spent the last three or four years re-tooling their content design apps for HTML5.

    • Pandabater says:

      04:11pm | 24/10/12

      I guess the “Australians take up new tech devices faster than rest of world” meme will make its regular appearance pretty soon then. Fck you people are stupid, how many of these things do you need? Coming soon to a store near you, The i-debt.

    • lower_case_andrew says:

      04:52pm | 24/10/12

      Why do people always whine about other people’s spending habits?

      If you don’t like the iPad, or Android, or Nokia or whatever, don’t buy it.

      You’re trying to differentiate yourself from the herd by telling us what you disapprove of.  And all you’re doing is coming across as trendy and thoughtless as the next whiner.

      Nobody is forcing you to buy an iPad.

      (Or, in the cases where they are now required (e.g. some schools), it’s a pretty good deal compared to the cost and weight and waste of text books.)

    • Pandabater says:

      05:50pm | 24/10/12

      And when one comes out bigger than the ipad you will buy it & when a matchbox sized mini ipad comes out you will buy it & soon they will bring out the “classics” that are the same as the other ones & you will buy it.
      Apple ring the bell & the salivating Pavlovs dogs come running. Woof.

    • TheRealDave says:

      04:20pm | 24/10/12

      Proabably the most concise and well written technology article published by News Limited - Kudos Mr Sharwood.

      I am absolutley going to love the next few months as iPads and Android tablets dissapear from the business world once and for all and they’ll be consigned back to about 7% market share for wankers playing Angry Birds and downloading fart noise apps .....

      Roll on Win8 Pro Tablets. Doesn’t matter if its A Surface or other brand, just make sure its the Pro version. Will run EVERYTHING your PC can run plus whatever apps hit the windows marketplace….so you can still get your fart noise apps plus be able to do actual useful stuff wink

      And I can dump support for the Androids and Apple pieces of shit from corporate networks YAY!!

    • lower_case_andrew says:

      06:26pm | 24/10/12

      “I am absolutley going to love the next few months as iPads and Android tablets dissapear from the business world once and for all “

      Good luck with that.

      You’re entirely delusional, but good luck with that.

      If you think iOS and Android tablets are going to leave your corporate network, I suggest you talk to someone there with more experience and common sense.

      There is no great groundswell of consumer sentiment for Win8 tablets.  Even in business.

    • lostinperth says:

      04:50pm | 24/10/12

      As someone who is a luddite I have no idea what you are talking about and no, I wont buy one.

      However, more importantly, your toaster should have a little control you turn to get a lighter setting so you don’t burn your toast. The control is always located in an unaccessable spot so you may have to hunt for it.

      Unless it is a U-beaut, hi-tech, shiny model with an inbuilt toasting processor and bluetooth capability,in which case it probably needs programming by someone with a computer degree to make it work.

      Or its just stuffed and you have to buy a new one

    • Anthony Sharwood

      Anthony Sharwood says:

      05:27pm | 24/10/12

      Thanks LostinPerth. I’ll letcha know tomorrow how I got along

    • Richard says:

      05:39pm | 24/10/12

      Ho hum. Apple trendies will beat up a frenzy about it, but what I’m really interested in is the new Samsung Google Chromebook laptop that got released in the US and UK this week for $250.

      That baby is really going to revolutionise the PC industry, rendering Windows obsolete, and after the imminent failure of Windows 8, we will soon see the final demise of Microsoft as a tech giant.


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