Marco Arment, creator of the popular content-saving Instapaper app, has posted a blog entry in which he details two curious entries in his developer logs. The iPad2,5 and iPad2,6 have both shown their hardware build heads, and just ahead of a possible October launch date.
As Arment notes:
The much more likely explanation is that iPad2,5 and iPad2,6 are the new “iPad Mini” in Wi-Fi and GSM, and I haven’t recorded the likely iPad2,7 CDMA version yet.
If so, this suggests that the iPad Mini is, effectively, an iPad 2: an A5 with 512 MB of RAM and enough GPU power to drive the Gruber Display, but not a Retina Display.
It’s a textbook Tim Cook supply-chain move: selling the last generation’s hardware at a lower price point to expand marketshare.
He does, however, admit that these could simply be GSM and CDMA versions of the iPad2,4, which features the more efficient A5. Though, for various reasons (including just how brilliant it is), his explanation makes sense. And in this case, it does seem as if Apple wants to go after marketshare, instead of just profits. Being able to push a device with great specs, fantastic battery life, iOS’ excellent app selection, and well-built hardware could be a killer combo, and with a price around $250, this iPad mini could be a holiday blockbuster.