Taking aim at rivals, Apple unveils iPad mini

Updated 24 October 2012

Taking aim at rivals, Apple unveils iPad mini

SAN JOSE, California: Apple introduced the iPad mini on Tuesday, confident that a smaller version of its beloved tablet computer will trump lower-priced offerings by rivals Amazon, Google and Samsung.
“This is iPad mini,” Apple’s senior vice president for marketing Phil Schiller said as he displayed the new gadget at a company event in San Jose.
“This isn’t just a shrunken down iPad,” Schiller said. “It is an entirely new design.”
Chief executive Tim Cook coolly presided over the launch of what was considered his first Apple product not bearing the thumbprint of late co-founder Steve Jobs, who derided small tablets as “DOA.”
Jobs publicly declared seven-inch tablets being fielded against iPad would be dead-on-arrival; that was unless they included sandpaper, “so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of the present size.”
Industry analysts noted that given his oft clever tactics, the derision could have been a ruse by Jobs to discourage competitors while Apple had a smaller version of the iPad on the drawing board.
The iPad mini’s touchscreen measures 7.9 inches (20 centimeters) diagonally compared to 9.7 inches on the original iPad.
A 16-gigabyte version of the iPad mini with Wi-Fi connectivity costs $329, while a 16GB model with both Wi-Fi and cellular capability costs $459.
The top-of-the-line 64GB iPad mini with Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity will sell for $659. Like later versions of the original iPad, the new Apple tablet also features rear- and front-facing cameras.
Schiller said customers could begin pre-ordering the iPad mini on October 26 and that Wi-Fi versions would begin shipping on November 2 to about three dozen countries in Asia and Europe in addition to the United States.
Schiller said the iPad mini weighs 0.68 pounds, less than half the original, and is 7.2mm thick — thinner than a pencil.
“We told you early this year that you would see some incredible innovation from Apple across the year,” said Cook, who replaced Jobs last year shortly before the death of the iconic co-founder of the California high-tech giant.
“We think we kept our promise and we hope that you agree,” Cook said.
Apple also unveiled a fourth generation of the original iPad on Tuesday for the same starting price of $499 for a 16GB model with Wi-Fi connectivity.
Cook said Apple has sold over 100 million iPads in two and a half years.
He also said more than 275,000 applications were now available for the iPad in Apple’s App Store and that customers have downloaded a total of more than 35 billion apps.
Apple set the tablet computer market ablaze with the first iPad in early 2010 and stuck with its 9.7-inch screen while rivals introduced lower-price tablets with screens closer to seven inches.
Amazon’s seven-inch Kindle Fire proved popular last year, and a new version was launched last month. Meanwhile, a Google Nexus 7 powered by Android software has since joined the Samsung Galaxy in the seven-inch tablet market.
While the cheapest iPad mini costs $329, less than the original iPad, the device is still considerably more expensive than the seven-inch tablets from Amazon, Google and Samsung — which start at $199.
Independent technology analyst Jeff Kagan said the new, smaller iPad was a gamble for Apple in that it risked cutting into sales of the original iPad.
“Yes this will cannibalize some of the iPad, but pull the camera back and you can see how it will increase the size of the Apple customer base,” Kagan said.
“This will open up new segments of the market to Apple — segments that would like an Apple, but which prefer a smaller screen or a lower price tag.”
Apple shares ended the formal trading day down 3.26 percent to $615.25 but regained ground in after-market trades.
Some analysts believe the iPad mini was priced too high to fend off competition from Nexus 7 and Kindle tablets.
“Yes, $129 extra to be in the Apple ecosystem does seem pricey compared to the $200 alternatives,” said Forrester analyst Frank Gillett.
“However, you are inside the Apple experience and have access to the 275,000 iPad apps,” he continued. “If those things are important to you, it is a no-brainer. If you are really focused on Amazon’s content, then the Amazon product is going to be more appealing.”


Lebanese actress Nadine Njeim undergoes 6-hour surgery after Beirut explosion 

Updated 05 August 2020

Lebanese actress Nadine Njeim undergoes 6-hour surgery after Beirut explosion 

DUBAI: Lebanese actress Nadine Nassib Njeim revealed on Instagram that she underwent a six-hour surgery after a massive explosion ripped through Beirut on Tuesday, killing over 100 people and injuring thousands. 

“Half my face and my body were covered in blood,” said Njeim, who lives close to the port area where the explosion happened, captioning a video – shot by someone else – of her damaged apartment.

“I thank God first, who saved my life. The explosion was close, and the scenes you see do not do it justice. If you visit the house and see the blood everywhere, you would be surprised as to how we are still alive,” the star, who has two children, wrote captioning the clip that shows shattered glass, cracked walls and broken furniture strewn all over her living room.

According to her post, the star went down 22 floors, barefoot and covered in blood and sought help from a man who was in his car. 

“He dropped me to the nearest hospital, but they refused to admit me because they were packed with wounded people,” she said. “He dropped me to another hospital where they immediately took me in and I underwent a six-hour operation.” 

The 36-year-old actress said her children were not home and are “fine and safe.”

Multiple Lebanese celebrities have also taken to social media to share videos of their destroyed homes. 

Singer Haifa Wehbe shared, on her Instagram Stories, clips of the destruction that ravaged her home. “We are all okay thank God. My house is next to the explosion,” she wrote to her followers before asking them to keep her house helper, who got injured in her head and eyes, in their prayers.

Clips circulated on social media of Lebanese fashion designer Dalida Ayach, who is also the wife of singer Ramy Ayach, in the hospital being treated for her injuries. 

Singer Elissa, who recently released a new album, took to Twitter to share pictures of the aftermath of the explosion. “It affected the metals and the properties this time, but who will bring back the dead? Who will bring back Beirut?” the star wrote.

Singer Ragheb Alama’s house also got destroyed, but luckily, he and his family were on a trip outside the city.

The ateliers of renowned Lebanese designers have also been ruined, including Maison Rabih Kayrouz and Ralph Masri’s flagship stores.

Taking to his Stories, Kayrouz shared videos of the damage caused by the explosion to his atelier. “Our courageous team trying to save… what could be saved!” the designer captioned one clip of one of the atelier workers pulling out clothing from the debris.