They’re back! Rumors about a 7.85-inch iPad, that is. Since the announcement of the ‘new iPad’ last Wednesday, these rumors have started to fly. According to the Taiwanese weblog DigiTimes, sources in Apple’s supply chain are reporting that Apple is hard at work on a smaller iPad to battle the lower-tier tablets like Amazon’s Kindle Fire and the Samsung Galaxy Tab.
It’s believed that Apple will price the sub 8-inch iPads at $249 or $299. Not bad considering the 16GB iPad 2 Wi-Fi only model is priced at $399. Rumors, most of which are coming from DigiTimes, also have it that Apple has already finalized a deal with AU Optronics for doing the displays, with production expected to begin in Q3 of 2012. “Although the 7.85-inch iPads may not adopt Retina displays as in the recently released new iPads, the 7.85-inch model is likely to use IPS/FFS panels from LG Display and probably AU Optronics (AUO),” says the report.
I’m not to sure on this. I’m not writing it off because it definitely is a possibility. If Tim Cook and the rest of Apple wants the iPad to lead this “Post PC era” they speak of, the shiny tablet has to be both affordable to the masses and come in different sizes, just like the PCs. On the other hand, there’s the fact that late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs shot down rumors of a 7-inch iPad quickly while alive. His argument was that the screen would be to small for the user’s fingers. But don’t Android users say that about the iPhone? Steve defended its size saying bigger screens aren’t practical. However, it wouldn’t be the first time that Jobs said one thing, only for Apple to do the complete opposite. He did it with video on iPods; he also said that nobody read books anymore, and that netbooks weren’t better than anything. Apple then went on to release a video based iPod, the iBookstore, and the MacBook Air. Just saying.