New Talk Apple Testing 7-Inch iPad

New Talk Apple Testing 7-Inch iPad

Despite past protests against a smaller iPad, Apple appears to be moving ahead with plans to introduce a smaller iPad possibly as early as 2012. Two iPad display firms reportedly have sent samples to Apple for approval. If true, today’s report would lend credence to an earlier Wall Street report that the tech giant is setting its sights on Amazon’s $199 7-inch Kindle Fire.

According to Taiwan’s UDN, LG Display and AU Optronics sent 7.85-inch display samples for an iPad Mini to the Cupertino, Calif. tablet maker. The reports make note of 52 percent increase in the smaller tablet display offering 52 percent crisper resolution and lower prices for emerging markets. Last week, Toconderoga Securities analyst Brian White told investors his checks with suppliers in China and Taiwan make him also believe an iPad mini is in the works, although his report mentioned only a lower cost, not whether the device would sport a screen smaller than the current 9.7-inch display.

Talk of Apple offering an iPad with a smaller display should be taken at this stage as unconfirmed speculation. In the past, Apple has derided a small-screen tablet. The late Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs said users would be forced to “sand down their fingers” in order to operate a smaller tablet. Executives at the iPad maker have pointed to the present 10-inch screen as “the minimum size required to create great tablet apps.”

But could pressure from Amazon finally push Apple to void its previous objections. It should be interesting to see whether more clues emerge to the iPad’s future.

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  • David Fonseca

    I think its a great idea! We will be hard pressed on whether to buy a Fire or an iPad for the grandparents this year. Its really hard to turn down $199.

  • aidan taylor

    3.5″ iPad/iPod 9″ iPad/iPod.. We do not need more. I think they are going back to the old cluttered product days.

  • infin

    Frankly, I still don’t believe Apple will make a iPad mini.

  • Fitz

    Don’t do it apple.  You did it right the first time!  Remain the leader in technology, don’t follow.  The kindle fire is $199 because it’s smaller.  They couldn’t make tablet the same size as the iPad because you can’t do it and price it at $199.  The only way competitors can challenge the iPad is by making a smaller, cheaper version.

  • Fitz

    Do you really think it’s a good idea to buy grandparents something smaller than an iPad?  I don’t know about you, but my grandparents have a hard enough time reading a restaurant menu half the time.

  • professores365

    Hummm….. Apple already as an excellent  tablet i dont think they il fragment on off their best produtcs,doesn’t make sense.

  • henrieschnee

    Now, from the minds that brought you the “two different sized iPhone 5″-rumor: The new & improved “two different sized iPad 3″-rumor!

  • Jay

    Nope, rumors are wrong.

  • decons

    Was doing research for an article I hav e to write for a class this site helped quite a lot thanks!

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  • David Fonseca

    I was able to play with one and liked the size a lot. However, you make a really good point Ryan.

  • Gregintosh

    I think it’d be better to offer an 8GB iPad 2 for $299 alongside a line of iPad 3′s w/Retina starting at $399.

    I think Siri would actually be even MORE useful on an iPad since I browse a lot of forums on the iPad and it would save me on typing on the keyboard when replying to posts. 

    So including Siri on all iPads starting next year would put it miles above its competition again.

    Compared to a Kindle Fire, just $100 more gets you a bigger screen + Siri + Camera + battery life improvements (10 hours versus “up to 8 with wi-fi off, aka 5 hours tops of surfing) = A great deal.

  • Wayne_Luke

    Than it is likely they will have problems holding something as heavy as an iPad for long periods of time as well. If I bought my father a tablet, it would be the Fire simply for the weight. May not seem like much of a difference but it would add up easily for someone who is 65 years old and has had four wrist surgeries for repetitive stress.

  • geek

    And I also know 20 somethings I would not trust walking and chewing gum.  The older set have zero problems with GPS, texting, and a wide array of CE devices. They are also smart enough to pay more money than is necessary. The Kindle Fire at 7″ or soon to be 10″ will be tough competitors.  BTW us old folks also have laptops with cameras but a smaller device for us to travel to the old age home may be appealing, or on our golf carts playing 18, or on our flights to Europe etc.

  • Mike Rathjen

    Testing it does not mean selling it. So even if the rumor is 100% correct it means nothing.

    Personally I don’t think we’ll see a 7″ iPad, but I would like one in that size.

  • TokyoSpark

    Nice use of the tribute “apple” Ed, wonder how many people catch it.

  • Mike Kohler

    The smaller size would make a lot of sense if you want to use it as a navigator or field GPS. Currently the iPhone is too small for displaying topo maps and the iPad to large to carry handily. 7″ would be just perfect. And Apple should put a decent GPS chip inside and clarify if it will function away from cell towers. Garmin and other could just pack it in with their overpriced touch-GPS.

  • Sabin

    “But could pressure from Amazon finally push Apple to void its previous objections?”That should have a question mark.

  • aga

    Not sure you would. I had a 7 incher; screen is too small.

  • ADimensionOfMind

    I’ve said it before on other 7inch stories and I’ll say it again ….bollocks : )

About the author

Ed SutherlandEd Sutherland is a veteran technology journalist who first heard of Apple when they grew on trees, Yahoo was run out of a Stanford dorm and Google was an unknown upstart. Since then, Sutherland has covered the whole technology landscape, concentrating on tracking the trends and figuring out the finances of large (and small) technology companies.

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