The iPad rumor that just won’t die – the one that says Apple will release a smaller iPad or an iPad Mini as it’s often called – has gained strength again this week. Reports from both Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal say the iPad Mini is coming this fall.
Here’s a key slice of what the WSJ has to say on this:
Apple Inc.’s component suppliers in Asia are preparing for mass production in September of a tablet computer with a smaller screen than the iPad, people familiar with the situation said, suggesting a launch for the device is near. Two of the people said that the tablet’s screen will likely be smaller than eight inches. The iPad’s screen measures 9.7 inches, unchanged since the first model was released in 2010.
Officials at the component suppliers, who declined to be named, said this week that Apple has told them to prepare for mass production of the smaller tablet.
John Gruber of Daring Fireball notes that if these reports prove true he expects the iPad Mini (or whatever it ends up being called) would likely be a 7.85 inch tablet with a 1024X768 display – based on the reasons and logic put forward by A.T. FAUST III of App Advice a few months back.
I’ve been following this smaller iPad rumor since it first surfaced, and it seems to gain momentum each time a small 7 inch-ish tablet gains some media attention. This time round it’s the Google Nexus tablet and many reports have put forward the idea that an iPad Mini would be a response to the Kindle Fire and Google’s tablet.
I’m not convinced that Apple needs to respond to the Amazon or Google tablets – as neither one of them is a true iPad rival. It’s very much apples to oranges when looking at the capabilities of the devices. I am becoming more convinced though that we will see an iPad Mini released this year or next. I think this is becoming one of those Apple rumors where there’s just too much smoke for there not to be some real fire.
I guess I’ve reached the stage where I’d be more surprised not to see the iPad Mini released in the next 8-10 months, and I wouldn’t be shocked at all to see it launched this year.
What do you all think? Will we see the iPad Mini sometime this year or in the first half of 2013?