Rumors of a mini-iPad
Although Steve Jobs reportedly said the user experience on a screen smaller than ten inches would not suffice, Apple is known to change their minds from time to time. In the past, there have been rumors of a smaller iPad with rumors surfacing again, this time with technologists buying into the possibility.
According to Digitimes, their inside sources tell them a 7.85 inch iPad could be released before the fourth quarter of 2012 after the potential release of the newest full sized iPad in the first quarter which could be timed with Steve Jobs’ birthday on February 24th.
With the rise of devices like the seven inch Amazon Kindle Fire, Apple could be looking to remain the dominant force in the tablet market. Digitimes said, “in order to cope with increasing market competition including the 7-inch Kindle Fire from Amazon and the launch of large-size smartphones from handset vendors, Apple has been persuaded into the development of 7.85-inch iPads, the sources indicated.”
The rumor is that Apple has been prototyping the device over the last year, calling it an “iPad mini” internally. Past rumors note the mini iPad would have the same high resolution as the current iPad which would give it a major advantage.
The rumors continue to leak from Apple and while it could be experimentation and tinkering, it also could be a pivot for the company to offer a middle ground to bridge the iPhone/iPod with the iPad. The company is likely monitoring the success of the Kindle Fire and other smaller tablets.