Bloomberg: Apple preps smaller iPad, sources say

“Apple Inc. 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. and Microsoft Corp. prepare competing handheld devices,” Peter Burrows and Adam Satariano report for Bloomberg.

“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,” Burrows and Satariano report. “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.”

Burrows and Satariano report, “A smaller, less expensive iPad could undercut the ambitions of Google, Microsoft and Amazon.com Inc. to gain traction in the advancing tablet market, said Shaw Wu, an analyst at Sterne Agee & Leach Inc. The new device will probably have a price closer to Google’s Nexus 7 tablet and Amazon’s Kindle Fire, both of which have 7-inch screens and cost $199. ‘It would be the competitors’ worst nightmare,’ Wu said in an interview… Apple benefits from having more than 225,000 apps that have been tailored specifically for the current iPad… The company also boasts more than 360 retail stores where the device can be purchased and tested by consumers. Google said the Nexus 7 will be available only from its online store, while Microsoft will sell its tablets online and at its smaller chain of 20 stores.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
WSJ: Apple’s ‘iPad mini’ launch nears – July 5, 2012
RUMOR: Apple preps ‘iPad mini’ with 7.85-inch Sharp IGZO display to retail for $249-$299 – July 3, 2012
RUMOR: Apple to launch upgraded 9.7-inch IGZO iPad this summer; displays to shift from Samsung to Sharp – June 29, 2012
Apple supplier Hon Hai in talks to buy more Sharp shares; Terry Gou says Sharp alliance will beat Samsung in HD – June 18, 2012
Sharp to supply technology to Hon Hai’s China plant for Apple iPhone display production – May 24, 2012
Sharp announces production of world’s first IGZO LCD Panels – April 13, 2012
Foxconn-Sharp partnership likely targeting Apple orders – March 28, 2012
Taiwan Apple supplier Hon Hai becomes Sharp’s largest shareholder with 10% stake – March 28, 2012
Apple to unveil smaller 7.85-inch iPad this year, says anonymous Samsung official – March 13, 2012
Wow, Sharp sure is ramping up IGZO display production for some reason – March 2, 2012

25 Comments

  1. Though I wouldn’t get one myself, I think it’s a great idea. It will bring in more revenue and profit and more importantly will keep (or increase) Apple’s tablet market share at astronomical levels. This will have carry-over effects to desktops and smartphones as vertical integration will become more and more attractive as we are already seeing.

    I always thought Steve’s quote about sanding down your fingernails was completely ridiculous.

  2. These will be on every kids Christmas list this year. Bringing in another wave of life-long Apple users. I have 5, 11, and 13 year-olds and can honestly say they are all in the market for this size device.

  3. Anyone else think this hare is being set to run to manipulate stock price? WSJ not notably Apple-friendly these days. When rumour is quashed, share sell-off ensues. Or am I paranoid, like everyone thinks I am?

  4. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again … I’ll believe it when someone from Apple is standing on a stage showing me the device, telling me what it can do, when it will do it, and how much it will cost. Until then it’s just speculation and rumors.

    1. I agree. Personally I doubt it. The Amazon Fire does not appear to be maintaining it’s initial sales so it is hardly eating into iPad sales. I think that the current size is perfect. Any bigger and a MacBook Air is an alternative, and any smaller why not get an iPhone, especially if the iPhone is going to get a slightly bigger screen.

    2. I agree.

      I believe the Fire is to the iPad what low-end, cheap Android phones are to the iPhone. They are purchased by people that would not spend the money on an iPad and are not interested/have very little use for the full iPad functionality. In other words, they are not going to buy many apps and, when they do, are not likely to spend much money via them. I’m sure there is some percentage that buy them specifically because their eyes prefer reading for long periods on the Fire vs iPad.

      Just like with the much-ballyhooed iPhone nano, I do not believe that Apple will try to compete in that segment of tablets by simply making a similar Apple product. That type of suits-in-a-room thinking of following competitors is not how Apple has operated since 1997. Maybe it was only Jobs that believed anything smaller than the iPad screen was too small. But if that is still true, then it would not be something Apple would make using the ethos of making great products that they believe the consumer needs. The rumor of iPad-mini sans retina display suggests to me that this is not going to be produced.

      I also think this is a ‘tweener device. It’s either a too big to carry in your pocket iPod touch or an iPad with a screen that is too small. Since you can’t carry it in a pocket, you will already be carrying it in a backpack, messenger, or shoulder bag. The extra size/weight at that point becomes negligible compared to the difference in screen real estate. Not as much a ‘tweener as the Surface, but one nonetheless.

      I think we will see an Apple HDTV before we see and iPad mini.

  5. It is all too extremely plausible a scenario. My only disappointment would be a non-retina display screen on an 8 inch iPad Thanks to the iPad 3 I can never go back, especially on a smaller device. I yam spoiled.

  6. Every time the rumors heat up about a nano, nothing materializes. I can see a bigger updated iPod Touch but not a smaller iPad. Steve was emphatic about all the reasons Apple would not release a smaller iPad.

  7. Also there’s a pattern to these rumors. Whenever there’s a new tablet, or even vaporware surfaces, the rumors start in like Apple’s scared and desperate to grab more market share. Apple does not run scared and is not motivated by competition in this sense.

  8. Ridiculous. Apple has proven time and time again that a 7″ tablet makes no sense because of how people use tablets. It is horrible for reading magazines and books, etc.

    An 8 ” tablet makes even less sense because it is only 1.7″ smaller than the current iPad. Also, Apple is much more about user experience than pure market share, especially if it has to lose money on devices to gain market share, which Apple won’t do.

    This is the exact same pattern of rumors the iPhone nano went through right before it debuted . . . oh, wait, that never happened.

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