The debut iPad Mini looks like it was released just in time to kill Android tablet Christmas sales.
I won't say 'rushed'. Apple never rushes anything, they just sweat their engineers harder than anyone else. But the iPad Mini is missing some obvious features Apple already has in-house to make it an Android tablet killer.
The next iPad Mini will have a Retina display, a major omission from the debut model. Look at photographs on a 3rd generation iPad Retina display versus an iPad 2, and you'll understand why pro photographers must have the 3rd generation device. The higher resolution makes an impressive difference in just shadow detail alone.
The next iPad Mini will also have a low-power A6 processor and / or a battery with higher capacity per unit volume. Apple will want to use its latest high-performance processor, but will need more power to run it in a smaller volume. It's either that or redesign the A6 CPU to use less power.
The power issue is why Apple didn't use the A6 in the iPad Mini. As an operations guy with an engineering degree, Tim Cook understands this very well. He also listened to his marketing people, who told him to get out a better direct competitor to Android tablets soon, since the e-reader market is headed to a 7 inch form factor.
Did Apple blow it with a 'premature' product launch?
No - the company simply left room for an iPad Mini development path.
Should you wait to get one?
No - you'll miss the productivity the debut model offers if you wait.