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Apple Secretly Developing A Smaller 8″ iPad Mini [WSJ Report]

by on February 14th, 2012

As the speculated iPad 3 release date of March 7 nears, more and more reports regarding Apple’s plans for future iPads are coming forward. While a retina display supported 9.7″ iPad is what we are most likely to see Apple introduce next month, a new report published by Wall Street Journal (via MacRumors) suggests that a smaller screen iPad is also in the works. The publication claims that Apple is secretly working with suppliers on a smaller iPad carrying a display of approximately 8″ which is slightly larger than Amazon’s Kindle Fire. The report does caution, however, that Apple is continually testing new designs with its suppliers and could ultimately decide not to bring the smaller iPad to market.

Citing from the source:

Officials at some of Apple’s suppliers, who declined to be named, said the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has shown them screen designs for a new device with a screen size of around 8-inches, and said it is qualifying suppliers for it. Apple’s latest tablet, the iPad 2, comes with a 9.7-inch screen. It was launched late last year. 

One person said the smaller device will have a similar resolution screen as the iPad 2. Apple is working with screen makers including Taiwan-based AU Optronics Co. and LG Display Co. of South Korea to supply the test panels, the person said.

Meanwhile, John Gruber of Daring Fireball does not seem so thrilled about the report:

“This is not the iPad 3, which I believe will have a same-sized (9.7 inches) double resolution display. This is a different iPad, which, last I heard, Apple was only considering, not committed to bringing to market. I wouldn’t bet on it.”

So what do you think guys, will Apple eventually launch a smaller iPad contrary to what Steve Jobs once said, “7-inch tablets are tweeners; too big to compete against a smartphone, and too small to compete with the iPad” ? Do share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!

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Posted under: iPad Rumours