iPad 4 is Mini 7-inch tablet: Release date rumors rumble on [u]

Here comes the 'iPad Mini' -- number 4 in Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) sequence of iOS tablets. Rumors suggest its screen will be around 7 to 8 inches in size, diagonally, and its release date will be "by October." In IT Blogwatch, bloggers see it as a reaction to Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Nexus 7.

iPad Mini

By Richi Jennings: Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: Captain Dave, where are you?..

[Updated 10am with more analysis] 

Peter Burrows and Adam Satariano channel "people with knowledge":

The new model will have a screen that’s [smaller] than the current 9.7-inch version, said the people. ... Apple may announce [it] by October. ... A smaller, less expensive iPad could undercut the ambitions of Google, Microsoft and Amazon. ... [It] will probably have a price closer to Google’s Nexus 7 tablet and Amazon’s Kindle Fire.


Apple declined to comment. ... [But the] approach has worked for Apple’s iPod. ... The screen of the small model will have the same number of pixels as those in the iPad [2], one person said.      

Sean Ludwig adds color:

We’d heard previously that Apple was purchasing 7.1-inch screens for smaller iPads. ... [But] the prospect of the “iPad Mini” has never been more believable...because of the Google Nexus 7.


An iPad mini would most likely carry a price between $200 and $300 to stay competitive.      

And Erica Ogg listens in
: [You're fired -Ed.]

...many in the tech world have been clamoring for a smaller iPad for years. ... But it’s not necessarily clear how much profit Apple could squeeze from [such] a device.
It’s all tied to its competitors. ... Apple is taking the Nexus 7 and the Surface seriously. So seriously...that it could be willing to lose potential profits. ... Apple has [perhaps] decided that it needs to get smaller in order to get cheaper.      


But Eric Slivka sounds skeptical:

Using the same resolution...will minimize fragmentation for developers.
Apple has been mulling the idea of a smaller iPad...even as Steve Jobs was panning 7-inch tablets. ... Apple may now feel that the time is right.
...talk of an iPad Mini has been circulating for quite some time. ... [But] Apple routinely tests products that are never released to the public.      


Meanwhile, Vlad Bobleanta impales the mongers:

Update: Jonny Evans isn't behind the Times (it's the WSJ):

This morning's...Journal confirms production...has begun, citing sources who claim Apple is working with display manufacturers including LG and AU Optronics. ... You shouldn’t be fooled when they say it’s only how you use it that matters: at the end of the day, size is everything. ... Apple’s original decision to favor a 10-inch device was...because at that time the true targets of the mobile device/PC hybrid were netbooks and PCs.
Apple sees this as an iPad market and...it sees the succcess of the Android-powered Amazon Fire as a challenge. ... Of course, speculation Apple intends launching a 7-inch iPad may be nothing more than wishful thinking. ... The speculation isn’t new. It has been around for months...extending back into last year.
Apple should be able to introduce these things at prices others cannot match. ... It could see Apple use up its stocks of A5 processors, rather than deploying the A5X...and introduced in tandem with the iPhone 5.
What do you think?

And Finally...
Captain Dave, where are you?

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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