Apple To Take On Kindle Fire With 7.85-Inch ‘iPad Mini’ In Late 2012 [Rumor]

Apple To Take On Kindle Fire With 7.85-Inch ‘iPad Mini’ In Late 2012 [Rumor]

That’s right — rumors surrounding an “iPad mini” have been resurrected by DigiTimes, which claims Apple is really going to give Amazon’s Kindle Fire something to worry about next year with an 7.85-inch model of it’s hugely successful tablet.The Cupertino company will reportedly take on increasing competition from smaller tablets with a pocket-sized pad of its own during the fourth quarter of 2012, according to sources:

However, 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.

Despite its smaller display, the iPad mini will reportedly sport the same resolution as the existing iPad, which is 1024 x 768. That means existing apps could run without modification on the smaller device, with a high-resolution feel.

Rumors of a smaller iPad — around 7-inches in size — are certainly not new, with the iLounge mockup you see above published over a year ago. However, they seem to have a little more credence this time around as Apple looks to address competition from smaller and more affordable devices, like the $199 Kindle Fire, which attempt to take on its 9.7-inch iPad.

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  • ivucica

    If lower screen size means lower price, too, as a very happy iPad user I’m all for it.

  • Christopher Watson

    Apple don’t do mini. Rumour seems to come around every year. They will never do it because it would be a sub-par product.

  • Schmack

    Doesn’t make sense.   UI elements created for a 10 inch device would be difficult to use at the smaller size. 

  • Yousaf Khan

    I am dubious about this rumor but then thinking about it, Steve wanted to enter the business of textbooks. It may be a potential for book replacements offered to schools and for the rest of consumers.

  • WVMikeP

    THIS, THIS, THIS, THIS, THIS.

    Anyone who buys into these rumors don’t understand that, for Apple, a consistent, refined, and reliable user experience trumps feature lists.

  • TECHcetera

    It’s Not Gonna Happen! 7″ tablets are awful

  • Adam ‘Adman’ Lewinski

    Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.

  • Asszem
  • Jordan Clay

    7″ tablets are great for consuming media.  10″ and 7″ just have 2 different functions. 

    I bet they make it, and knock $150 off the price, down to $350 starting price

  • joewaylo

    Shrinking the screen isn’t a good rumor. It’s better where it is now.

    A more better concept would be increasing the screen real estate.
    * Shrink the black and white borders
    * Remove the home button and make it into a touchscreen feature like ICS
    * Keep it 10″ and shrink the casing dimensions down to borderline crazy while keeping the features available. (camera, gyro, compass, etc)

  • Len Williams

    When the iPad 1 originally came out, the apps that ran on it were iPhone apps that ran at double the size. As months went by, developers came out with additional apps that were explicitly created for the iPad to provide a better look and feel and designed for the exact size of the iPad’s screen, which has a different width to height  ratio from the iPhone. If the iPad mini comes out, all apps that run on the iPhone (thousands of them) should work on it without any problems whatsoever, just like they did on the original iPad. I don’t know if Apple actually will come out with a mini iPad. They generally keep their product lines quite lean, but it could happen. An Apple tablet halfway between the iPhone and iPad could be awfully tempting for those who iPhone and iPod Touch users who want more screen real estate but not the relatively large size of the iPad. 2012 will be an interesting year to watch what happens with the iPad 3, the iPhone 5, changes to the MacBook Pro line (will they all become Airs in all sizes?), the new iMacs and a revision to the Mac Pros. Exciting times!

  • David_Lazarus

    I think that the major change will be Retina display on the next iPad, other than I seriously doubt a smaller iPad. Why would they need a smaller iPad? They are still dominating the market.

  • Don Pope

    No

  • Freek Monsuur

    Apple responding to competitors is usually unlikely.

    Unchanged UI requirements for apps too. Buttons must be “finger sized”, so the UI of apps will be affected.

    Shrinking the device wouldn’t make it equally cheaper. Features would have to be removed as well, something that Apple doesn’t like.

    It’s impossible to compete with the Kindle Fire without the same strategy. Amazon makes no profit on the device itself.

  • Freek Monsuur

    Just like to iPod mini / nano?

  • MacGoo

    Apple never “responds” to competition. They may respond to demand, but what demand is there for this? The reason the Kindle Fire is doing so well is its price and its producer, Amazon. This is the first tablet (besides the iPad) with a complete ecosystem backing it up, produced by a well-known and respected content company. Sure, it may have proven that people aren’t categorically opposed to a 7-inch tablet, but Apple had done their own research and decided to go 10 inch. Only 2 iterations in, I don’t see them breaking from their previous model to produce an unasked for device – chances are better that they’ll reduce the price of the iPad 2 than produce a cheaper, smaller iPad mini.

  • Mike Rathjen

    I and many others have asked for it. The iPad is not really any more portable than a MacBook Air.

    A lighter, smaller, less expensive iPad would be perfect for me.

  • MacGoo

    You may be wanting one. As for “many others”, I remain skeptical. You want a smaller, less expensive iPad? Get a Kindle Fire. You’re probably not going to get one from Apple.

  • Connor Mulcahey

    if apple does remove the home button, gestures that already are in iOS will be the replacement as well as a few additional  gestures like a pull up from the bottom to get to the multitasking bar

  • César Garmendia Domínguez

    What I see is that Apple isn’t planning any “Mini iPad” at all. At least not with that name. Istead, they are to replace the iPod Touch by a new, 7” larger version. It sounds far logical than producing something that could be rejected by iPad users, but will be welcome by iPod Touchers…

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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