According to sources of top business publication Bloomberg, Apple is preparing to launch a competitor to Google’s soon-to-be-released Nexus 7 tablet this October. Reports of the ostensible “iPad mini” have been in many rumor mills since months after the release of Apple’s first iteration of the tablet, but the late Steve Jobs never believed in a tablet having a display size smaller than 9.7-inches. But naturally, many of the good old rumor mills had to oppose Jobs’ views in claiming that Apple is indeed working on a smaller device. After he passed away in October of last year, the appearances increased.
As you may have guessed, this new tablet will be “7 inches to 8 inches diagonally,” according to Bloomberg, and will have a Retina display that’s the same pixel density as the current iPad, making its overall resolution 1024 by 768 pixels. While this is clearly meant to be the fruity competition that the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire will be facing, it’s going to need better specifications than the current iPad to compete with the former device. (This is not to say that technical specs like the CPU are extremely important in an Apple product, but they do account for a significant amount of weight in customers’ decisions.)
Even though I said that Apple is working on this new tablet to become a competitor to some smaller devices out there, this is undoubtedly one of the more trivial reasons for a new product launch. It would seem that, in addition to wanting to have all their bases covered, Apple wants to enter a more minor market that could yield additional customers. I can see how this is a smart move, too, because I’ve even considered using a smaller tablet instead of a larger one for my main device in that category. Sadly, it’s not quite as versatile, but it is more portable. Sacrifices must be made, I suppose, and I’m sure a smaller device would be much better for gaming, just not for writing emails and such.
Earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal reported that a smaller iPad “could start shipping by the third quarter” of this year. There have been numerous other claims on a good deal of blogs across the Internet, but larger sources like Bloomberg and WSJ typically have more reliable sources. iMore also heard about this October launch back in May, adding that the tablet would be priced at around $200 to $250. (They were the blog that pinpointed everything about the new iPad back in February.) Such a price would mean that the iPod touch may cease to exist later this year — or it’ll just be discounted a good deal.
If Apple were to release a smaller tablet, would you buy it?
Nexus 7 image via AnandTech