Further to yesterday’s entry about why I don’t believe we can expect an iPad 3 just yet, hatches a new rumour that Apple plans to compete with the Amazon’s recent 7-inch tablet success and release an iPad “mini”. Not officially named that, but I’d be more comfortable saying that THIS could be the iPad 3 everyone is expecting on March 7. 1/3 smaller than the original 10-inch screen from the iPad 1 and 2. This would be a compact and comfortable child-freindly version.
And since they can’t sit around and wait for Kindle to gobble up that market entirely, they could speed up the release for later this year. (Q3 would be my guess) Which means this could be available to the public in the fall.
The top answer would be price. Rumoured to be in the $249-299 price range added to the recent success of the Kindle Fire means that a smaller sized tablet market exists. Then there’s a parent that wants to buy an iPad-like tablet for a child to throw around, possibly damage, that would consider a cheaper solution than a current $900 iPad.
That said, the idea of a smaller iPad is confusing to me, especially since Steve Jobs dissed the idea. But times change. Amazon has shown that a 7-inch tablet can strike a chord with consumers. Additionally, the 7.85-inch iPad can be expected to have the same 1,024×768 resolution of the iPad 2, meaning that no changes need to be made to apps to accommodate the smaller screen. Hmm, it’s like it’s already existed all along. Now it can be official.