New reports have emerged again about Apple cooking an iPad version that comes with a display screen measuring 7 to 8 inches. According to Bloomberg, the news came a week after Google launched the Nexus 7, its first own-branded 7-inch tablet for $199.
The smaller Apple iPad, dubbed as the iPad Mini by industry observers, will launch this October and sell near the price range of the Amazon Kindle Fire and Google Nexus 7. As such, the Cupertino-based tech giant will have to do away with its popular high-definition Retina display on the alleged iPad Mini, Bloomberg added.
Apple has yet to confirm the validity of this report. It remains unclear if the purported iPad Mini will drop other hardware features found on the conventional iPad. It may lose 4G LTE connectivity or the front and rear cameras. With the reduction in size, it is likely that storage space will be less at 8 GB, rather than the standard 16 GB / 32 GB / 64 GB version of the present iPad.
A couple of months ago, the notion of Apple releasing a smaller iPad tablet looked unconvincing. That perspective came before Google and Asus teamed up to produce the search giant’s first entry into the tablet hardware market with the Nexus 7. Moreover, Microsoft recently introduced its new line of Windows 8 tablets called Surface, which will hit stores before the year-end.
Fact check: The Apple iPad remains a force to reckon with in the tablet market. However, competition now is tighter, with most of Apple’s major rivals offering tablets with advanced specifications at a lower price than the iPad. The company may now feel the heightening pressure to respond to competition. The Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 are not the only high-end tablets. Other models include the Lenovo IdeaPad A1, Barnes & Noble’s Nook tablet, and RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook.
Several hints point to iPad Mini, if it does come into fruition, as a popular choice for many consumers, both iPad owners and prospect buyers. A recent survey by PriceGrabber shows that 52 percent of over 2,000 online consumers would highly consider purchasing an iPad Mini.
Even so, Apple already told the public 7-inch tablets are high-risk notions. In 2010, the late Steve Jobs said that screens with 7-inch diagonals are not large enough to create bestselling apps tailored for tablets. However, the former CEO and co-founder of Apple was also known for picking at products even before the company entered the business of offering the same products he used to criticize, which include eBooks, mobile phones and video iPods.
Will Apple be ready to unleash the iPad Mini this year? The idea of a smaller iPad has been around since two years ago, but Bloomberg’s report somehow solidified the claims. It is now more likely to see an iPad Mini or a similar version compared to gossips in 2010. The report from Bloomberg falls in line with a claim by iMore in May, so October could be the month Apple fans have been waiting for.
Now more than ever, regardless of the rumor mill and number of reports in circulation for quite a few years now, an iPad Mini launch surely is closer to become a reality.