It’s been known for a while that Apple is testing a smaller 7-inch version of the iPad, but up until now, there hasn’t been a lot of reason to think they’ll actually release one (especially considering that Steve Jobs was very vocal about his dislike for smaller tablets).
According to a new report, however, Apple is indeed planning a 7-inch iPad, which is expected to launch in October for between $200 and $250. iMore reports:
Apple will be going forward with the 7-inch iPad, currently targeting an October 2012 release alongside the new iPhone, and — here’s the killer — at a $200 to $250 price point. According to our source, which has proven reliable in the past, the reason for such aggressive pricing is to do to the tablet market what Apple did to the MP3 market in 2004 with the expansion of the iPod product line — leave absolutely no space for competitors.
The report claims that the device will feature a resolution of 2048 x 1536 – the same as the Retina display on the new iPad. This would give the “iPad mini” a pixel density identical to that of the iPhone 4S. The new 7-inch iPad is expected to be nearly identical to the new 3rd-generation iPad, just scaled down in size.
Apple is reportedly cutting down on the built-in storage for the device in order to offer it cheaper. According to the report, Apple will offer an 8GB version of the smaller iPad for $200 – the same price as an entry-level iPod touch.
This report seems a bit hard to swallow to me – why would Apple release a 7-inch iPad at less than half the price of the current entry-level iPad? It would position the device to compete directly with other 7-inch tablets, such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire – but wouldn’t this hurt their sales of the new iPad?
Previous reports have suggested that Apple may launch a smaller version of the iPad in the latter half of this year, but iMore’s report offers more information than any previous rumor. Further, iMore has a decent track record when it comes to Apple rumors, having correctly pegged details of the iPhone 4S and the third-gen iPad (1, 2).
It’s worth taking all rumors like this with a grain of salt – and this report is particularly hard to swallow. Still, considering that iMore is typically very accurate in their claims, this might be something worth keeping in mind.
Check out out previous post for an idea of what a 7-inch iPad might look and feel like in comparison to Apple’s other devices.