Apple working on ‘iPad Mini’ with 7.85-inch display?
A week ago we claimed Apple would not release an ‘iPad Mini’. New rumors are now floating about claiming Apple may indeed be working on a smaller version of the iPad, an iPad Mini, released as a smaller, cheaper counterpart to the iPad 3.
According to the rumor, AU Optronics has sent 7.85-inch display panels to Apple for testing. The report, from Taiwanese Economic Daily, claims Apple has already set specifications for the smaller iPad, with the goal being to provide direct competition to Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
Last year, at precisely this time, the late Steve Jobs squashed rumors of a smaller iPad:
“The reason we [won't] make a 7-inch tablet isn’t because we don’t want to hit that price point, it’s because we think the screen is too small to express the software.”
It’s possible Apple may be considering the potential of a smaller iPad, with testing a device playing a part in their consideration. The company no doubt tests a variety of products, with many never seeing the light of day.
That said, it seems more likely to me that Apple may reduce prices on the original iPad and iPad 2 when iPad 3 is announced as opposed to releasing an entirely new product that fits between the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad in terms of size.
Perhaps the next iPhone and iPod touch will receive a larger screen (not 7.85 inches), and we will certainly see a new iPad released at some point in 2012, but I still find it difficult to believe Apple would release am iPad with a screen that is smaller by only 2 inches. I don’t have any concrete evidence supporting my position, or indicating what Apple’s plans are, it’s simply a gut feeling.
What do you think? Will Apple release a smaller iPad, the iPad Mini? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!