While rumors have been buzzing around about a 7-inch iPad for quite some time, the idea may not ever become a reality. And according to Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair (as revealed to AllThingsD), a smaller iPad probably isn’t in Apple’s future (although they do seem to have tested the idea).
According to Blair, a 7-inch iPad has been in testing at Apple for over a year, but its unlikely that 2012 will see such a release from Apple. Instead, Apple will keep the iPad 2 and significantly reduce its price when the iPad 3 is unveiled, allowing them to address the lower-cost tablet market.
Blair considers pricing to be the main issue that Apple needs to address to keep their competition at bay and keep their customers happy enough to keep purchasing the iPad, but suggests that Apple can reduce prices in other ways without decreasing the screen size.
It doesn’t seem likely to me, however, that Apple will make any radical changes in pricing or screen size, even considering competition from Amazon’s Kindle Fire and the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet.
Apple has never been known to alter their M.O. to keep up with the competition, and in the end, content and user experience are the most important factors – two areas that Apple consistently does well in.