You have to love the Asian gadget supply chain, as it frequently divulges information about upcoming products. The Economic Daily News of Taiwan is reporting that construction of a 7-inch iPad has begun, which could point to a launch in time for the holidays. The companies reported to be working on the little iPad will not comment, as Apple (s aapl) requires absolute secrecy. This publication had correctly reported that Apple was working on the original iPad before launch, so it’s a source with a track record.
This iPad could be a bigger seller than the original if it comes to pass, for a number of reasons. It would most likely be cheaper to produce than the bigger iPad, as components should be less expensive in bulk. The IPS screen used in the iPad is not the cheapest type in use, and a 7-inch screen should be cheaper than the 9.7-inch used in the original iPad.
The smaller tablet would be more portable than the larger sibling, and that should resonate well with consumers. It would be lighter as a result, and more comfortable to use in the hands for extended periods. This would not be a sacrifice over using the bigger iPad, given the screen is not that much smaller. This would make the littler iPad shine as an e-book reader, as it would be closer to the size of the Kindle (s amzn) and other dedicated readers.
Apple would need to keep the screen resolution the same, even though the display is slightly smaller. The current resolution (1024×768) is as low as practical for full-featured devices. Keeping the same resolution would insure that all iPad apps would run on the smaller model without modification.
Image credit: iLounge.com
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