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A 7.85 inch iPad Mini coming in 2012, will it be "Dead on arrival"?

iPad mini

It is almost certain that we can expect the iPad 3 in the next 2-4 months. But now Digitimes reports about a possible iPad Mini with a 7.85 inch display which is to be launched before the 4th quarter of 2012. Sources in the supply chain indicate that Apple has been persuaded to develop 7.85-inch iPads to cope with increasing market competition like Amazons' 7-inch Kindle Fire , which is selling 1 million units a week, and large-size smartphones like the Galaxy Nexus from handset vendors. Digitimes also reported that Apple will purchase 7.85-inch panels from LG Display and AU Optronics.

Wether Apple will really launch a smaller iPad is yet to be seen. Rumors about a 7 inch iPad have emerged before. Some even say that there was a 7 inch iPad ready to launch at the same time as the launch of it's 9.7 inch brother. Apple eventually decided not to launch the 7 inch version. It's a bit unlikely that it will actually come about if we know what Steve Jobs has actually said about a 7 inch tablet.

Here are some Steve Jobs quotes about 7 inch tablets:

“7-inch tablets are tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with the iPad,”

“These are among the reasons that the current crop of 7-inch tablets are going to be DOA — dead on arrival,”

“The reason we [won’t] make a 7-inch tablet isn’t because we don’t want to hit that price point,”

“It’s because we think the screen is too small to express the software. When we make decisions on 7-inch tablets it’s not about cost, it’s about the value of the product when you factor in the software.”

"Commenting on avalanche of tablets heading to market. Just a handful of credible entrants. Almost all use 7" screen, compared to iPad at nearly 10" screen. 7" screen is only 45% as large as iPad's screen. Hold an iPad in portrait view and draw a horizontal line halfway down. What's left is a 7" screen...too small. There are clear limits to how close elements can be on the screen before users can't touch accurately. We believe 10-inch screen is minimum necessary."

"Apple has done extensive user testing and we really understand this stuff…There are clear limits on how close you can place things on a touch screen, which is why we think 10 inch is the minimum screen size to create great tablet apps. One naturally thinks that a 7-inch screen would offer 70 percent of the benefits of a 10-inch screen…this is far from the truth. Seven-inch screens are 45 percent as large as an iPad. This size isn’t sufficient for making great tablet apps."

If you read these lines, there doesn't seem to be any hope of a 7 inch tablet (he used the words DEAD ON ARRIVAL). BUT, there is hope yet. Steve was talking about CURRENT crop of 7-inch tablets. So maybe with the state of current technology it would have Steve's approval to launch an iPad mini, with a 7.85 inch screen (that's not the same as 7 inch).

Will the iPad mini ever come? What do you think? Would you buy one?




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by Dr. Radut.