updated 08:12 pm EDT, Tue October 23, 2012
Wi-Fi+Cellular model to feature GPS
Customers buying one of the Wi-Fi only versions of Apple's newly-announced iPad mini will find that their devices will not have the GPS capabilities seen in comparable 7-inch tablets. A look at Apple's product page for the device reveals that the Wi-Fi+Cellular versions of the iPad mini -- priced $130 above their Wi-Fi only counterparts -- will have GPS technology, but the non-cellular units will not. Meanwhile, Apple marketing executive Phil Schiller has been defending the company's premium price point for the device, saying he expects customers to be "very excited" about the device despite its $329 entry point.
The absence of a GPS module on the Wi-Fi only model will likely mean that owners of that device will not be able to use location services when not connected to a wireless network. By comparison, a number of Apple's competitors' entries feature GPS modules, allowing for off-line turn-by-turn navigation and mapping.
Asked by Reuters about the iPad mini's pricing, Schiller pointed to the full-size iPad's continuing success in the face of competition from smaller devices. The Kindle Fire has been on sale in some form for nearly a year, while Google's Nexus 7 debuted this summer. Still, Schiller says that the iPad has gone on to phenomenal sales, even as those less costly devices are said to be experiencing solid sales.