iPad mini rumours resurface

We first visited this story back in October, but now the rumours of a smaller iPad have returned, with more sources claiming a smaller Apple tablet will launch in 2012.

However, these rumours are different to those original ones. The first mention of an iPad mini was a device smaller in price, not size. But Apple is keen to face up to the growing threat of the Amazon Kindle Fire, according to an analyst who had discussions with suppliers in China, who indicated that the company was considering a low-cost tablet alongside the original iPad.

Now the 'mini' has been mentioned again, but Digitimes is suggesting that the new device will be mini in size as well as price, a 7.85-inch iPad no less. It also adds that the new tablet will be here before the fourth quarter of 2012 – ready for the Christmas market. Richard Shim, an analyst at DisplaySearch, has also told CNET a similar story, should you want further evidence. It is widely expected that Apple will also refresh the existing iPad device much earlier, with an iPad 3 landing around March.

Apple has long been linked to a smaller iPad, but Steve Jobs was always against it. 'Apple has done extensive user testing and we really understand this stuff...There are clear limits on how close you can place things on a touch-screen, which is why we think 10-inch is the minimum screen size to create great tablet apps,' Jobs said at the time.

He added: 'One naturally thinks that a seven-inch screen would offer 70% of the benefits of a 10-inch screen...this is far from the truth. Seven-inch screens are 45% as large as an iPad'.

But with Amazon making a lot of ground with a smaller and cheaper tablet, Apple's hand might well have been forced. It makes sense, but it could be some months before we get any real detail on this, leaked or otherwise.

Source: CNET

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