Apple Inc. (AAPL) plans to debut a smaller, cheaper iPad by year-end, two people with knowledge of the plans said, to help maintain dominance of the tablet market as Google Inc. (GOOG) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) prepare competing handheld devices.
The new model will have a screen that’s 7 inches to 8 inches diagonally, less than the current 9.7-inch version, said the people, who asked not to be identified because Apple hasn’t made its plans public. The product, which Apple may announce by October, won’t have the high-definition screen featured on the iPad that was released in March, one of the people said.
The late Apple CEO Steve Jobs put down smaller tablets in the 7-inch form factor, but the market seems to have ignited a new desire for a cheaper, smaller tablet. Here’s what Jobs had to say during Apple’s 2010 Q4 earnings call:
The proof of this will be in the price of our competitors’ products, which will likely offer less, for more. These are among the reasons that we think that the current crop of 7-inch tablets are going to be DOA: Dead on Arrival. Their manufacturers’ will learn the painful lesson that their tablets will be too small, and increase the size next year, thereby abandoning both customers and developers who jumped on the 7-inch bandwagon with a …product. Sounds like lots of fun ahead.
The recent $199 Nexus 7 from Google looks to be an affordable consumption device that has had positive reviews. Should Apple enter this smaller iPad market, it would obviously generate further revenues, but could possibly add further strain for developers.
Would you be interested in a 7-inch iPad?
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Posted under: iPad Rumours