iPad mini with Retina display goes onsale in NZ

Touch ID AWOL. | Local pricing | Apple vs Android NZ tablet market share.

Apple's iPad mini with Retina display is available from today, with NZ in the first wave of release (see pricing below).

The second generation of Apple's smaller (341g, 7.9-inch display) tablet gains the more powerful 64-bit A7 processor (which debuted with the iPad Air) and adds the higher resolution Retina display (2048-by-1536 pixel resolution at 326 pixels per inch to the original mini's 1024-by-768 resolution at 163ppi).

Apple fans are speculating when the company's new Touch ID fingerprint scanning technology, which features on the iPhone 5s, would will be migrated to the mini and other products. 

Today there was no news on that front. Touch ID is absent from the iPad mini with Retina display as final specs were revealed over-night, with no surprises beyond Apple's preview three weeks ago.

As with the iPad Air, there is only one official carrier for the wi-fi + 4G model in NZ: Vodafone.

Vodafone did not immediately post iPad mini with Retina display pricing, but the carrier has been selling the wi-fi + 4G model of the original mini for $450 (a $150 subsidy) on a one-year, $49.95/month Broadband Regular plan including 2GB of data. 

The latest iPad appears at a time when Google Android-based tablets - particularly cheaper 7 and 8-inch models - are chipping away at Apple's dominance.

IDC tells NBR ONLINE that for the first quarter of this year, 130,000 tablets were shipped into the NZ market (IDC tracks shipments rather than sales), which broke down by platform to:

Apple iOS (iPad): 47.2%
Android: 42.4%
Windows: 10.4%

The figures market a major shift from the first quarter of 2012, when Apple's iPad held 80% of the market.

iPad mini with Retina display pricing
All models in silver or grey.

wi-fi only
16GB: $599
32GB: $749
64GB: 899
128GB: $1049

wi-fi + 4G
16GB: $799
32GB: $949
64GB: $1099
128GB: $1249

The first-generation iPad mini remains on sale in a 16GB option only for $450 (wifi-only) or $649 (wi-fi + 4G).

Polyurethane Smart Covers cost $59, leather covers $119.

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