Apple takes on Nexus 7 with iPad Mini

In San Francisco this afternoon Apple revealed a new 7.9-inch iPad Mini, based upon the internals of the iPad 2, to an audience of feverish fans. But from an Android perspective, what's most interesting is the stage time given to Google's $199 Nexus 7, which has already seen success in the small form factor tablet space. The Nexus 7 stayed on screen for several minutes while Apple's Phil Schiller took jabs at the device.

Showing the two tablets side-by-side, the Apple VP played up the iPad Mini's advantages in materials, screen size and tablet app ecosystem. However, Apple didn't venture anywhere near Google's tablet when it came to price -- the cheapest iPad Mini, a 16GB Wifi-only model, is to sell for $329.99 in the U.S.

Google is widely expected to expand its tablet portfolio next week, with a 32GB Nexus 7 and a new Samsung-built 10-incher, with a 2560x1600 display.

Apple also unveiled a fourth-generation retina iPad, along with new MacBook, Mac Mini and iMac computers.

For more on today's Apple developments, head on over to our sister site

Alex Dobie
Executive Editor

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

  • Saw iPad. Whoops. Thought I was on iMore. Lol Seriously though, really disappointed with apple refreshing my ipad that I bought 6 months ago. Maybe I can bitch and complain at the apple store to upgrade my ipad 3 for free. Bad move apple. Bad move.
  • This is actually a downgrade from the iPad3 which I also own.
    ipad2 processer and graphics, 1024 x 768 screen, only 7.9 inches instead of 10. They are really separate product lines, not an refresh of the iPad3
    This is meant as a smaller tablet that is more mobile, not a replacement for the iPad3
    Just because apple releases a new product doesn't mean it's better than every other product it sells.
  • Pretty sure he is talking about the fourth gen ipad, which is refreshed and upgraded ipad 3. And I agree... Lame on their part.
  • Oh, my bad. I didn't know they released a new 10 inch iPad, ah well my iPad3 is obsolete.
    that's the way tech works it's obsolete by the time you get it home :) Really the iPad3 is damn fast, I don't see this affecting my satisfaction with my iPad,
    it's just envy and wanting to always show off that you have the newest iDevice. Dual-Band wifi is the only feature I see that I really wish my iPad3 had, and that's just a want, the single band wifi on my iPad3 is plenty fast.
  • pretty sure that the other major 7 inch tablets are better in almost every respect... and theyre all cheaper...
  • "Maybe I can bitch and complain at the apple store to upgrade my ipad 3 for free. " Good luck with that.
  • a regular ipad is way better than a mini, and probably more cost effective than a mini also. I hate apple, hope they crash and burn then burn some more in hell, unless they change their business ethics.
  • So, I can upgrade from 16 gb to 64 gb or I could just buy a whole Nexus 7 for that same amount. Are apple products really worth this ridiculous markup? How are consumer's not seeing through this?
  • No they aren't.
  • Apple customers are simply more willing to shell out huge (50%+) premiums for the same functionality Android enthusiasts enjoy at a much cheaper price. I am seriously surprised each time, but at this point I expect to be surprised. Apple has marketing and image down, no question. The most shocking thing is that they've increased their sales on expensive even in this down economy. The Mini costs $559 for a 32gb with Wifi and data. For that price you can get an unlocked GSM Galaxy Nexus off contract (with easy and free wifi hotspot with the right root/app) and Nexus 7 and still have $10 left over. Or you could spend $40 more and get a GNEX and Chromebook combo. Nevermind what kind of Android/Google powered hardware you could get it you took the price of an off-contract iPhone and Mini. Eesh.
  • Apple products are status signalling items. You pay for that status, but it's just a circle jerk really.
  • just like you're circlejerking now
  • while I am a huge fan of Google (will never buy an Apple product). Apple does have the edge when it comes to Apps built for tablets. Too much white space in most apps on my Tab 10.1
  • Yeah agreed. That's the reason I got rid of my 10.1 Android tablet. It's fine on the Nexus 7 but the 10.1's are just wasting space.
  • That's what he focused on during his presentation. This should give an additional amount of motivation to Google to get developers going on tablet apps.
  • Phandroid at heart and android phones for life, but this is the reason I ditched my transformer Prime for an IPad. I use my personal computer for heavy lifting and my tablet for play reading and browsing. As it stands it is a much better tablet experience on the Ipad. The PGA Tour app is what was the last straw!
  • Not to hang on Apple (Their products ARE extremely overpriced), but the PGA Tour HD app is awesome on the iPad. If you don't have cable/satellite you can watch live coverage on it every single week for free! Minus wi-fi costs ;)
  • Whoever was holding that iPad Mini has got huge hands. My Nexus 7 is about the widest device I can hold like that. The iPad Mini just looks too big to fit in my pocket and the super thin bezel could make it harder to hold one handed. All the best Apple, you're not getting any more of my money.
  • Do you even know what bezel means?
  • yah, its the spot cut in a gemstone for the metal ring to hold it down. everything inside of the ring is considered 'what is seen'. in the case of a phone or tablet... its the ring of black around the screen, you can see everything within the ring. in the ipad minis case, the bezel is too thin to hold without touching the screen.
  • Oh, never mind I see his point except that it's 5.3 inches wide. That's narrow enough to hold with one hand on the back in portrait position.
  • I'll stick with the Nexus and pocket the difference, thank you very much.
  • How much music could you buy with that difference?
  • At that price I'd like to see the sales before I completely dismiss the Nexus 7. Let's see how this thing sells.
  • why would you completely dismiss the nexus 7 due to sales? if it seels more that makes it a better device?
  • And yet they will still sell millions of these things.
  • I think Apple really missed an opportunity to dominate the lower-end tablet market. They spent a good chunk of their time taking swipes at the competition (namely, Nexus 7), something Apple rarely does, and yet didn't hit them where the most damage could be done: price. Granted, Apple has always been able to charge a premium for devices, but I have to wonder how successful a $329+ iPad Mini is going to be comared to a $199+ Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HD. Gotta say, the N7 and KHD still come out ahead in my book, in both price and specs. Sad thing is, Apple will still probably move millions despite the iPad Mini's obvious disadvantages to anyone in the know.
  • It will be hugely successful because Apple fans that can consider nothing but Apple products will only now realize that a smaller tablet makes sense. Basically I think they will sell a ton of tablets to their current market and maybe some to completely new customers.
  • Thats it? Wow, all fanboyism aside, that is the first Apple device for a while that really does, truly, suck.
  • Agreed, even more overpriced than normal apple products given it's year and a half old iPad2 innerds
  • I'm happy with my Nexus 7, but the iPad mini does have a great design, and I can't help but think that its better built than the N7.
  • Ive no doubt it is, but 1024X768? REALLY?? I guess its because they couldnt get anyone to make a screen with the iPad3 resolution in that size, and we all know that iOS cant scale. This thing seems like a knee jerk reaction, as rushed job, and its a fail whatever the sales end up being.
  • You're forgetting Apple's modus operandi - the mini's screen is 1024 x 768 precisely so they'll have a major selling point for the "New iPad Mini" next year, which will be the same basic hardware but come with a retina display.
  • Notice they didnt compare Maps?? Lets cherry pick 5 apps that look different and compare those. Compare Facebook.
  • Does the comarison he made on screen about screensize holds uo after you take into consideration the ipad mini is 1024x760 and the nexus 7 is 1280x800 so havimg pixels to spare to do the on screen buttons...
  • 4" phone, 7.9" mini tablet and 9.7" ipad. What a fragmentation Apple have on it's hands :). You can have a idevice for all occasions: iphone - while driving and make phone calls
    ipad mini - while walking
    ipad macro - while sitting down Guess what they all look a like.
  • After the iPad Mini announcement stock in Apple has dropped 11pts and stock in Google has increased 5pts. Go figure.
  • Apple stock always takes a hit after they have one of these events. Not sure if it's because the analysts are disappointed or what.
  • Wow, if you look closely Apple have been able to fit in 4 icons where Google can only fit 7.
  • 4 is usually the way it comes out of the box, if you want to add more you can. I think you can only put 6 or so.
  • $329.00 ? Such an attractive price point.. not. Definitely not an impulse buy. For a scaled down rehash of the ipad 2? They can suck it at that price. I just wish Best Buy would sell nexus 7's, I like my tech interest free.
  • Yeah i love how no-one mentioned the much higher PPI of the Nexus 7, which has 215.6PPI with its 1280x800res. iPad mini is right around 162PPI. Text is not going to rock like it does on N7.
  • That's Apple. Thump their chests about PPI when they have an advantage, go completely silent when they don't. Now all of a sudden the size of the device itself is the most important factor, when just a few weeks ago they were implying/insinuating that Android phones are too big. At the end of the day, Apple is nothing more than a marketing company that happens to sell hardware.
  • "At the end of the day, Apple is nothing more than a marketing company that happens to sell hardware." Well said!
  • There's also the processor: The Tegra 3 processor rivals the iPad 3, whereas the iPad Mini is stuck with the iPad 2's processor.
  • I would love for Google to announce the Nexus 10 at $299-$349 and completely kick Apple in the teeth.
  • Boy, what a *yaaaawwwwnnnn* this is! lmao They had to be sure NOT to include any Widgets on the Nexus, wouldn't want to create and Android Envy there!! LOL Look at all the icons, and only on the bottom row too. Apex Launcher on my Nexus 7 with 4.1.2 sooo puts this late-comer to shame.
    ~ WHAT, can't change the launcher on your mini? Oh, sorry! Just watched Expendables on Netflix last night on my "7", it was awesome quality.
  • Nice polished slab of glass and metal; I like that, but that prices annoys me. 329? Cmon.. That being said, Nexus 7 here I come. That screen space non-sense was a weak card to play. Point eight inches isn't worth 130 dollars and ichains to me.
  • They really missed an opportunities here. For that price I'd expect a Retina Display. For what they're offering I'd expect a $250 price for the 16GB model. Color me not interested. But yeah, they'll sell millions of them. C'mon, Android devs, make more tablet apps!
  • It's funny that 7.9 inches compared to the silly 7 inch Nexus 7 is just you know silly. The extra .9 inches is 34% more screen space and makes it the perfect size. The 4.8 inches on my Galaxy S3 compared to the 4 inch Iphone.... Wait a minute... You can't talk about that. The 4 inch is perfect for your fingers... Didn't you see the commercial.
  • lol, i was waiting on this to decide what i was going to buy, but now...its clear that the nexus 7 is the way to go, $329 for that device is way too much, even if it has great content, that price is just not going to cut it for me.
  • As far as pricing goes... $299 seems best price would increase sales just being $30 less. But the Ipod touch 4 inch is already $299.... So they had to adjust it a bit.
  • People will pay what Apple demands... Why sell 5 million for $100 profit each when you can sell 4 million for $130 profit each? It also helps maintain the illusion of it being a premium product.
  • I use my tablets a fair amount for you tube videos and.
    The ipad mini is actually 44% larger in surface area
    Do to the 4x3 aspect ratio you'll get a 7% larger grainier 7.25" 36% less resolution 1024 x 576 pixel 16x9 video when taking into account the 192 pixels of total letterboxed bars above and below.
    Compared to the Nexus 7 7" 1280x720 Hi Def image
  • HD Video?
    According to Apple the Nexus Battery can't take that. It can only mage 2 levels of Angry birds before recharge. Now the Ipad mini is Solar and Wind powered. (insert blow joke here)
  • Phandroid here. Super excited for LG Nexus, but after 4 disappointing Android tablets (gtab7, gtab10, Xoom, Nook, all rooted) not going to wait on Android tablet apps to play catch up. I will settle for a slower processor and lower resolution for apps that look GOOD on my tablet.
  • Well, it was a fair comparison;when it comes to apps. Android with jelly bean is better than iOS as a platform. However, tablet support sucks on Android. Google promised that this would change when the xoom was released, but this never happened. I own 4 tablets, 3 of which are android (xoom, touchpad CM FTW! , nexus 7), and an Ipad. And honestly I sometimes find myself picking the Ipad when I want to use some of these tablet specific apps. I like android on phone, especially jelly bean, but on the tablet with this app ecosystem its no contest.
  • I do agree that tablet-support is still halfhearted, but I really don't blame it on them. They just don't have enough momentum in that part of the market to convince a majority of developers to use resources on it. Once/if they have a tablet that becomes a huge market sensation, it would likely get so much better.
    They'll figure stuff out. The tech market is in a strange state at the moment, and all these companies just need to figure out how to navigate this new territory.
  • What pile of BS. $329 that's out of control pricing for a non retina display and 16gb of memory with such an out of date eco system os. Nah il pass lol The New Nexus 7 is going to have way more memory and features for half. And i love how apple put the nexus 7 down lol. Folks don't waste your money with this new mini icrap.
  • So what is Mini about it? Not the size. Not the price. Now comes the proof that Apple can package the iTurd and people will line up to buy.
  • If Apple priced the mini ipad any cheaper than $329, they would have completely clobbered the sales of the maxi pad. At $329, they are giving up on competing against the $200 Android tablets, but still producing a product for people who really want a smaller Apple tablet. Expect sales to come entirely from existing iphone owners, rather than from the general public.
  • After all the Retina this, Retina that, blahblahblah,
    Apple releases an IPad Mini w/ less pixel density than all its competitors??? :-P
    Apple truly is no longer an innovator...
  • $329 for a 1024x768 screen and 16GB of storage? I'll pass. If it were the same price as the 16GB N7, I probably would have pre-ordered. I bet you they will have a higher PPI new iPad mini in the spring for the same price. Anyone looking to buy one of these would probably be better off holding off until then.
  • Not impressed with Apple here. That being said, I'm not ULTRA impressed with my Nexus 7 either. Almost all Android Tablet apps suck, Google books even sucks (reset delay on the pages when I rotate?). Apple just has a much better experience. I do love my Nexus 7 because for the money is vastly more than I expected but Apple is still King of the tablet world even if this mini is an expensive kinda-turd. FYI I'm just being honest here. I only own the droid still. EVO, EVO3D x2 rooted, EVOLTE4G x2 rooted, S3 rooted, Nexus 7
  • Apple are pissing me off now... All they do is brag about this, brag about that but they are bragging about stuff which has been out hella long for android devices etc. BUt you still get all these Apple fanboys which are taken in by it... why?! As for the iPad mini, it does suck! & refreshing the iPad 3... stupid move Apple! Just shows you only care about money!
  • I am a long time Android fan, but I REALLY wanted to like this new iPad, simply because of ease in playing DRM content. However, I think even hardcore Apple fanbois are having trouble justifying the price, especially with the subpar specifications on this tablet. So much for innovation... I would have gladly paid this price for this same unit with an A6X processor and 32GB storage. Retina means nothing to me, honestly. However, Apple just helped me make my decision to purchase the 32GB Nexus 7 or the rumored Nexus 10. Long live Android! I just hope that they start selling the Nexus tablets at the local Big Box retail stores! I have $200 in gift cards burning a hole in my pocket!
  • Apple sucks ass.
  • You know it is kind of funny that when Apple is suing saying the androids look like iphones and ipads they have the app drawer open, now in this comparison they show it with the app drawer closed and not a single app or widget on the screen. SMH
  • I'm not the typical fanboy when it comes to gadgets. I love it all. I have an iPhone 4S (but also have had a Galaxy Nexus), but also have an android tablet and am interested in Windows Phone 8 and W8 bring to the table. When I think of iPad, I think of the bigger version that we've all used for a while, and to be honest I don't see how this mini will latch onto a market, especially at that price when you could just put up 120 more and get a full sized iPad. I had a Nexus 7 that I REALLY wanted to love, and I did for a while, but maybe I just was really unlucky but I found the build quality to be horrible. From screen separation to dead zones on the touchscreen I was growing more and more frustrated. I tried almost every fix I could find on XDA and read that many people were going through the same issues as well. I ended up getting it returned and getting a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0. The name really sucks but the tablet is great. It fits my needs absolutely perfectly, just like my iPhone fits my need perfectly. I'm sure that eventually there will actually be a market for the iPad mini, just like there will be for the Nexus 10, the Surface RT, or whatever new gadgets come out. More options are great for the most important group, the regular consumer.
  • Is it just me or has Apple put a slightly fuzzier picture of the Nexus beside the iPad mini to make the iPad's screen look better in their slide? LOL
  • Just wait for the so called "screen" experts saying that no matter the ppi's, resolution and whatever technology used on other tablets, ipad mini screen will be sharper, "delightful" , crisp,(insert a yummy word here) than the others.
  • The Verge just had their clown reporter (Josh)don't know his last name,don't really care either do a brief break down, calling the I-Pad mini compared to the Nexus pad a much better piece of technology, he is such an ass wipe, Apple kiss ass. HE never mentioned how the damn thing is way over priced, pixel density is much smaller on the I-Pad mini and on a much smaller device like that size the pixels will show. He just stood there next to the Apple boys and kissed ass. He didn't get those round lips from eating square meals. Real ass kisser and I could get harsh but I won't. Ask me how I really feel.
  • It was actually fun watching this event. The price/spec comparison is no match to the Nexus 7. I would like to see Google drop their gloves and take a shot at Apple during their upcoming event next week.
  • That Apple is so intent on taking swipes at Google really says something. They're worried. Google should take the opposite path and ignore Apple in their comparisons. To ginore Apple completely is an even bigger snub than to take shots at them. It says you're not worried about them.
  • Excellent idea. How about mentioning aspects that the iPad Mini doesn't have without mentioning it all such as the screen resolution, CPU, GPU then also quote the reviews from the media claiming the Nexus 7 to be the best buy tablet available now especially in the value for money stakes.
  • No thanks, I'll stick with a 32GB Nexus 7.
  • I'm just trying to figure out whether this absolutely overpriced POS was a bigger disappointment than the iPhone 5. It really is such a tough call, they are both so pathetic in so many different ways.
  • hey hey now. the iphone 5 is no piece of crap, it did get .5" bigger screen than the 4. that is one huge step :P
  • Frankly I don't get the whole "better apps on iPad" thing. I don't know about everyone else buy I use my tablet 98% of the time for web surfing or on the go video. Only Android tablet that does not come with Flash is the Nexus and even that you can side load Flash and use Dolphin Browser. The biggest complaint I hear from every iPad user is no Flash support!
  • Actually, fanboyism aside, it will be interesting to see how this does. Does this actually grow the Apple brand (do they continue selling more iPod Touches, iPad 2s, iPad 4s) OR do they just trade the sales around - iPad minis are bought instead of one of the other portable devices? Personally, there are some things at work where they have standardized on iOS and I was considering buying a iPad mini for convenience BUT @$329 this is a non-starter - I'll use the work iPad at work and pass on an extra @ home. Slamming the front runner isn't going to change peoples buying patterns.
  • Too expensive for a device that isnt even head over heels better then it's competition. I could see a $300 price tag IF if had a retina display (The A5 chip is plenty powerful. I'd bet it's just as good as the Tegra 3 if not a tad worse). In fact, I believe they should have removed the camera in the back to save a couple of bucks, or add their savings to putting in a better screen. I also think the screen is a tad too big and low res.
  • I'm surprised Apple wasn't more aggressive competing on price. Seems like they've still left a huge opening in the market that Android devices will continue to fill. The $250 iPad mini that was rumored would have changed the entire dynamic of the tablet market. Instead Apple keeps itself a premium product.
  • Wow, this thing has 512 MB of RAM. I don't even know what to say anymore.
  • The amount of Apple suckage at that price point is appalling... But on a positive note, the Google Marketing folks I'm certain are gleefully busy writing up the Nexus advantage talking points for the upcoming Nexus event. Apple could not have given them a better present!
  • Is it just me, or is anyone else getting annoying at how many tech sites are stating that the N7 & KF are at a disadvantage since they don't have LTE? Seriously, how many owners of these devices are there that don't already have a cell phone with a data plan? It's just a simple button click required to tether; so easy a grandmother can do it just like my 70 year old Mum.
  • Arguably, if you have a mini or a 10" iPad with LTE, then you don't need a smartphone dataplan. Everything except the phone functionality is handled by the tablet, and you can use a dumbphone instead.
  • Apple made a HUGE mistake comparing the iPad mini to the Nexus 7. They have no leg to stand on in the budget space. Lower resolution and a higher price? That's a joke!
  • The announcement was made in San Jose -- not San Francisco. South Bay gets no love....
  • So since I bought N7, I only got to save $130, got a higher PPI, and have a Tegra 3 device that I have already hacked to do (almost) everything that I want it to do (still meed some way of getting a MHL-like option for my N7). Damn does my life suck right now.
  • What I don't see pointed out here in the comments is that Apple actually bragged about how much bigger their screen was. SMH... they don't get it.
  • Yeah. I just thought apple would keep the paradigm of releasing one device upgrade per year. If they keep pulling this crap, then I may look elsewhere.
  • The OP of the article clear doesn't understand the difference. I would pay $130 more for 8GB more HDD and "iPad Mini's advantages in materials, screen size and tablet app ecosystem." If Apple had an iPad for $199 with the build quality of a Nexus 7 and only 8GB, would you buy it? No. But if the N7 had 16GB, better built quality materials bigger screen and tablet ecosystem, you would spend an extra $130 too. This all comes down to who's side you're on. Are you a fanboy of Google or Apple. I rather spend more money and get a better built quality product no matter who it comes from. If its from Google, Ill buy it, if its from Apple, Ill buy it. If you spend $199, you get what you pay for. Im tired of using these Google tablets and these apps are built for my One X, GIVE ME SOME TABLET SPECIFIC APPS GOOGLE.
  • Most "Google" apps have been updated for tablets. The rest of the apps in the market are not made by Google... It's up to devs, and companies like skype (msft), spotify etc... to make tablet optimized apps, not Google.
  • And if Google can't convince them why should consumers invest in Android tablets?
  • Bingo. Apple is doing something right if developers are making tablet specific apps. There is a market for it, an ecosystem for it over in Apple land. In Google land - nothing, not found. Google isnt do much if anything to tell developers make tablet specific apps.
  • To me it's not about being a fanboy at all, but buying the better technology.
    For smartphones I'm a nexus boy all of the way, I prefer larger screens, the newer hardware and the openness of the Android operating system that lets me tinker. For tablets, I probably would prefer Android for the same reason, if they had a good selection of solid tablet apps. Since it doesn't I bought an iPad3 and I'm very happy with it, except for the high price I paid lol. Build quality imho is overvalued and greatly exaggerated. Sure apple makes very good quality hardware and some people like the glass and metal materials better, But I've also owned countless phones from Samsung and HTC and even though it's plastic my GSM galaxy nexus is just as well made as my iPad3, I also owned a Android tablet and the build quality was great, again if Android had decent tablets apps I would have kept it. Have a few manufacturers put out inferior build quality Android products, sure. But if you do your homework you can get a Android tablet that's just as reliable as an Apple product.
  • I don't know why they went with such a low res. Seriously 1024x768?? I thought the kindle fire's 1024x600 (which I owned) was bad enough, and that was @ 7" not 8". Also, not that this is a big deal to many but it is to me, I didn't look at the dimensions but I'm pretty sure the 7.9" makes it non pocketable. I prefer to have this option personally. I can count how many times I temporarily pocketed my kindle fire (while at home mind you).