So why did Apple suddenly come up with the iPad Mini, even after Steve Jobs public denouncements of the 7 inch class of tablets? It fits different use cases. Ten inch tablets like the iPad are just too big for a number of them. Operating an iPad for longer time without support of a table or your lap (on the couch, in bed) is hard. You cannot grasp the whole device with one hand. With 7 inch tablets like the Nexus 7, Amazon Kindle Fire and now the iPad Mini, you can. Imagine being a doctor, checking up on your patients while making your round through the hospital? Much easier. It will even fit in your doctor’s lab coat pocket. Seating guests in your restaurant or writing names and phone numbers down for your waiting list? A breez. Demoing at conventions, or writing down email addresses of interested people? No more need for an iPad grip, just one hand. I bet you that businesses will love the iPad Mini for data entry much more than the normal iPad, that shines at media consumption at home. And the fact that Google/Asus and Amazon and have had some first well selling tablets in this category, highlighted by the Nexus 7 trashing by Schiller, indicates that Apple couldn’t stay behind and had to come with an iPad version in the 7 inch category.
The iPad mini has the same resolution as the the original iPad (not Retina) so that iPad apps do not need to be changed to be run on an iPad mini. I would doubt if this is 100% true. In particular button size is related to the size of fingers, and while the number of pixels might be the same, the physical area of the button will be less for the iPad mini. This reduced the touch area so it might be harder to operate buttons on the iPad mini. Same can be seen with Android tablet apps that were created for 10 inch tablets and run on 7 inch.
I seldom take my iPad out of my home, I do in particular for conferences when I will be using Twitter a lot for a whole day. Stronger wifi, better battery life makes the iPad better than an iPhone. When do you take your tablet with you? And what do you expect from the new iPad mini?