Apple's worst-kept secret and one of its most momentous announcements of the day has just been made: the iPad mini is getting upgraded with a new Retina display. The new screen's resolution is 2048 x 1536 — matching that of the latest 10-inch iPads — and the processor powering it is the same 64-bit Apple A7 chip as in the iPad Air and iPhone 5S.
Available in November for $399 with Wi-Fi or $529 with mobile data, the new mini is more expensive than its direct predecessor, but the first-gen device is being kept around as well. The 2012 iPad mini gets a price cut, now costing $299 and acting as Apple's entry-level tablet device.
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Same resolution as the 10-inch iPad
Alongside the refreshed 7.9-inch iPad mini, Apple is introducing a new set of colorful Smart Covers, costing $39 each, and more expansive wraparound cases that cost $69. The 2013 iPad mini will be available in either a white and silver color combo or a space gray and black pairing. One of the subtler upgrades on the list of changes is the addition of a new 128GB storage option — that will set you back $699 on the Wi-Fi mini or $829 if you want a mobile connection as well. Apple's being unusually cagey with the timing of the new iPad mini's release, identifying it only as "later in November," but Tim Cook closed off today's presentation by promising that all the new products will be available in time for the holidays.