The report comes after The Korea Times wrote in March 2012 that Samsung was supplying Apple with “new PLS-based LCD technology for smaller iPads.” An unnamed Samsung official was reported to have said in confidence that Apple was “planning to release a smaller iPad, probably with a 7.86-inch screen,” later this year. The current iPad has a 9.7-inch screen.
According to the rumour mill, if Apple does release an iPad Mini, it would only be 7.85-inches big.
It seems Apple has been dabbling with devices in all sorts of sizes from 4-inches to 12-inches, so the rumors aren’t that shocking.
Since Windows 8-based tablets set to hit the market later this year will be more in the price range of the current iPads, the real competition for Apple on the low end will be from Amazon’s Kindle Fire. However, Apple’s first-quarter results revealed that Amazon’s entry had a minimal impact on iPad sales.
Nobody knows for sure if Apple will release an iPad mini, but some analysts think it’s a smart business strategy. Here’s why:
iPad mini Would Be Competition’s Worst Nightmare.
From a competitive standpoint, it would appear that an iPad mini with a lower price point would be the competition’s terrible nightmare. Most of them already have a major challenge competing against the iPad 2, as well as the new iPad with their $399 and $499 starting price points. As it stands now, only AMZN has had modest success with its Kindle Fire at $199. That means that a lower priced iPad mini would make it even more difficult for the competition to join the bandwagon.
Despite the latest reports and rumours, though, there are reasons for skepticism. Firstly rumors of a smaller version of the iPad have circulated since Apple’s initial introduction of the product in early 2010 and have not materialised for some time. Second, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was famously skeptical of 7-inch tablets, calling such devices “tweeners” that are too big to compete with smartphones and too small to vie with the iPad. Finally, Apple would likely cannibalize sales of its pricier iPads if it released a smaller, cheaper model.
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