Marco Arment, of Instapaper and Tumblr fame, found a few interesting device data strings show up in his stat logs the other day. One was for an iPad2,5 while the other was for an iPad2,6.
As a quick refresher, when Apple introduces a major product revision, it increases the first number by a factor of one. For minor revisions, the second digit is increased by a factor of one. So are what are we to make of the iPad2,5 and iPad2,6 data strings?
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.
But this time, it’s more dramatic. Rather than just sell the original iPad 2 with a price cut, they’ve made a new product designed to be far less expensive from day one by combining old and new parts: the 32nm iPad 2’s guts, larger-cut iPhone 3GS screens, a smaller case and battery, and the new iPhone’s low-power LTE chip for $100 more.
This is all speculation, of course, but I’m convinced: like the leaked Dock connector, this move is so ingenious that it’s most likely to be what Apple has really done.
Not a bad prediction at all.