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back to article Apple 'prepping smaller iPad'

Apple may be prepping a smaller, lower-cost iPad, perhaps as both a defensive parry to Amazon's $199 Kindle Fire and a less-pricey offering to cost-conscious emerging markets. Such are the conclusions to be drawn from a report on Tuesday that both Taiwan's AU Optronics and Korea's LG Display have provided Apple with 7.85-inch …

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JDX
Gold badge

Cost

Is there any technical reason a smaller device would cost less to build? Sounds like same components just a smaller screen so a touch less raw material, but miniaturizing tends to cost more not less.

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Re: Cost

Yup, quite a few... The only parts which presently impose a size limit (and a premium if you were to go smaller) are the battery capacity and the users fingers. Everything else is miles away from any kind of super small size premium level.

Screens are actually easier to make smaller, just try and find a large OLED for example! So the screen will be cheaper. A smaller screen will use less power, which is handy as the battery (as always) is really going to be the compromising component.

I doubt they could keep the current margins, and might have to cut it a bit, but that's always the way with a product range. Top end products have the margin. That's how Nokia managed to fail, they dominate the low end, and lost the top.

At the end of the day, a mini-pad would be firmly aimed at those that might go Android, to tempt them into the collective and convert them.

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Headmaster

The bulk of the iPad is battery, battery necessary to power such a large screen.

Reduce the size of the screen and you reduce the power requirements, hence the size of the battery.

The actual electronics don't need to scale as they take up a low % of internal space that they can easily be fitted into a 7" chassis, just as they can a 9.7" chassis. After all, much the same components are fitted in every smartphone from 3.2" upwards.

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Anonymous Coward

It's not the cost to build. The markup will be less.

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Mushroom

Don't make me go back and remind you what the "rumour mill" had to say about the phantom iPhone 5. Stop writing these stupid articles and report some real news. That's supposed to be your job, you hack.

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Silver badge

A billion thumbs up

As I recall, one of the rumours for the iPad 2 was "retina" display. Presumably the Apple reporting tactic is "if we're wrong, just add it into iProduct version+1 rumour, repeat as necessary"

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Anonymous Coward

Corrections..

This "mini" Ipad has already been released..

It's about 1/4 the size of it's older brother, and they call it "iPod touch". Unfortunately, due to the reduced size, they couldn't fit a 3G radio in.

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re: Corrections..

I thought the mini ipad had already been release, it was called the iphone and they managed to squeeze wifi and 3G into it (well after a couple of goes anyway!).

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FAIL

Yes

I couldn't have said it better myself.

You idiots at the Reg just look like MUGS reporting these chinese rumours now.

Wheres the Reg tombstone icon when we need it?

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They ran out of tombstones as they were so popular...

Lettuce

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I can't see it happening, this is just "iPhone Nano" all over again.

Also since when has Apple ever been arsed about what their competitors are doing when it comes to price?

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Presumably...

...since Steve passed away. Once the innovator at the helm is gone, shareholders start making the decisions and those will always be short term gain.

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Bronze badge
Pint

Smaller screens probably cheaper to make

That's one reason at least.

Apple would be mad to miss out on smaller tablets, just as they're a bit mad not to offer more than one size of phone. I expect this to change too.

The thing about people is that different people like different compromises in terms of pocketability etc.

Some may want a device which is bigger than a phone to surf on but small enough to fit in the pocket, for example. The new smaller kindle is that sort of form factor - pocketable - which the ipad certainly isn't.

I do hope that we're not going to keep hearing references to what Steve Jobs might or might not have done.

(I wonder if we'll see Flash on an ipad too :-) )

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Pocketable?

Are you a giant? How big do your pockets need to be to fit a 7" tablet in them?

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Silver badge

A decent leather jacket will take a surprisingly large device in its inside pocket.

That sounds almost like a euphemism....but it's not.

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Windows

Fit a tablet into my pocket???

Firstly, my winter jacket can comfortably take my ASUS 701 in a side-pocket. Charger, modem and mouse in the other. Almost always carry them about with me.

My Autumn Barbour can take my IBM T30 in the rear 'poachers pocket'. Dropping the rabbits off, and the shotgun cartridges, natch.

(I bag the ASUS with a plastic shopping bag when it's snowing, of course...)

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FAIL

Standard pockets

The original 7" Galaxy Tab fits comfortably into an inside jacket pocket or most back pockets in jeans. This is what makes it such a great form factor when travelling.

GJC

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Sounds like they're copying Samsung?

Smaller device ... better resolution ... it's starting to sound a lot like the Samsung devices ...

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Anonymous Coward

Sound more like click-bait

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Anonymous Coward

Riiiiiiiiiiiiight

As that's what they did with the iPhone when they dominated that market, oh wait, that's complete cr*p too!

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re: Riiiiiiiight

Well actually they are. They are still making the 3GS, that's your cut down budget iphone.

So unless they have some new "super" feature for the ipad 3 they have a problem. How can you sell an ipad1/2 as a budget option if there's bugger all difference to the ipad 3? Also the margins might not let them slash the price of the budget option enough to get in and mix it up with the Android tablets. Hence they might need a real budget model.

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Holmes

Its the apps

The super feature which sells iPads and iPhones has long been the Apps available, not the specs, I would say. The specs stability and backwards compatibility make developing the apps supremely more viable than the constantly changing standards on Android. Having taken a look at the Galaxy Nexus just now as well as the Samsung Tablets, whilst they are ok devices, with spectacular specs, they just don't have the apps I need to use on a day to day basis, not to mention the decent Exchange integration. Developers will focus on the iDevices for some time to come simply because they appear not to make much money off of the Android app markets by comparison.

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Alternatively

Get an Archos 80 G9, 8" 1024x768 running Android 3.2 for £200. I will be, when the turbo version comes out any day now...

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iPad Minus?

or iPod Touch Plus?

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Silver badge

Odd...

I assume the iphone4/4s box does include sandpaper then?

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Anonymous Coward

The rumour mill...

I can understand that when a factory gets a big order of specific parts from a specific company, one can speculate what they intend.

They may have got the *name* of the iPhone wrong, but to all intents and purposes, the iPhone4s is a significant upgrade over the iPhone4.

I can't help but think if they *had* named it the iPhone5, the world would've rejoiced and been quite happy with the result. I can also see Jobs having one last laugh before he died - all that speculation, that "it's definitely going to happen" - just to be thwarted by a name. Kinda funny when you think about the possibilities of that. It's the old adage "what's in a name?"

The iPad smaller form factor - well, if this rumour is coming from the factories that manufacture iPads and some of the parts on order are a smaller screen, it stands to reason - assuming the sources are right - that Apple will indeed release a smaller, cheaper version, regardless of what Jobs said. It also makes financial sense, as the Kindle Fire could snag a significant portion of the tablet market due to price alone, but couple that with Amazons success with the Kindle reader and their massive brand - they are the *only* ones currently who could challenge Apple in this market. Apple are not going to take that lying down.

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Coat

What Steve said

What Steve actually said was "7 inch tablet? Over my dead body!"

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Bronze badge

Why assume they're for biddy iPads?

Could be a screen for a new magic trackpad, or some other gizmo. The Aspect ratio might be a clue, but I suspect a small number of production samples just means they're playing with ideas, or more likely, competitors heads.

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Silver badge

IF APPLE CALLED....

A baked in the oven dog turd, ' iPad mini ' then put a logo on it people would buy it.

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Paris Hilton

Get in first...

I'm going to pre-order in the morning. This one's gonna be HOT..

**Paris because she's as cute as an iPad mini

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Anonymous Coward

An in the next day Samsung and others would start believing that there is a market for baked dog turds and announce their own, and the rabid anti-apple sheepleˆHˆHˆH cognoscenti would say it is better and buy those.

Please try and use intelligent arguments, do not repeat the same used when Apple announced the first iPad.

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True that :)

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J 3
Facepalm

Sandpaper...

Hm, good idea, why didn't I think of that! That might make the 6th generation iPod nano's interface completely useable, then. For example (but not only), try to tap the lilliputian letters that appear on the right side of the screen when one is listing songs...

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Black Helicopters

So that's why there was no iPod Touch upgrade..

..at the same time they announced the iphone 4s.

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Bronze badge

What fresh heresy is this?

The Book of Jobs clearly says " thou shalt not do 7 inches. Seven inches thou shalt ot do. No seven inches."

Is the old tyme (damned spelling corrector) to be cast by the wayside?

So the iPad nano becomes the iPhone maxi?

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zb

Is that why you are not allowed porn on an iPad?

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Silver badge

"So the iPad nano becomes the iPhone maxi?"

You're thinking of the upcoming 13 inch version, the maxiPad.

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Yeah, and flash-based MP3 players were doomed too...

I remember Jobs saying that flash-based MP3 players were simply not capable of providing a good user experience. Until, of course, Apple released flash-based MP3 players.

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WTF?

I assume he was referring to the state of play with cost, power drain and development of Flash Ram at the time (iDevices tend to use single chip solutions for storage) and certainly if my first iPod Touch had been twice the price and twice the size, that wouldn't have been a great user experience for me...

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I don't understand the comment about fingers and size.

What about the iPhone?

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It's not about the size

I think a lot of people tend to forget what made Apple great and many others fail. Apple is not about following others in other markets. It's about creating new and exiting products that create whole new markets. If Apple chooses to produce a smaller tablet, it won't be to compete with Amazon or anyone else, it will be because they have come up with something that others have missed, something that they think people will want.

Apple doesn't play catch up, Apple leads. That's how they went from nothing to everything in less than 10 years and that's why I switched to their products.

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Anonymous Coward

Downvote him!

Sorry, that was an article (*) about a possible, unconfirmed rumor about Apple. You're not allowed to say anything good about Apple, this kind of article serves only as clickbait for the members of the Church of I-Hate-Apple.

(*)Honestly, reporting on rumors just because they are about Apple? It would be quite trivial to generate those automatically just repeating crap from "analysts" and blogs. Way to go, El Reg!

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Anonymous Coward

My generation

Steve (RIP) was the same vintage as me. I cannot remember if he always wore spectacles, but I can guarantee you that sometime in his early to late 40s, he started wearing them for reading. I was fortunate to have passed the half century before i required them.

Reality check for the über-nerds. No one over 45 can use a 7" "slab" OR an iPhone successfully without spectacles. 10" is the minimum "doable" size, thus the iTpad size and Steve J's comments.

And while we are at it, the 40+ generation has loads of cash to spend on quality items - we are the target market

Personally, I doubt whether a 7" iPad will appear. Some other whizz-bang device might happen in that format though.

Dweeb

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Yet Another Reality Check

A significant proportion of nerds actually already wear glasses...

I for one would like a lovely hackable 5-7 inch robust tablet, but my needs may not be representative of yours, and I accept that. I certainly don't see it coming from Apple with their lockdown, and I'm not sure I like Android at all either.

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Paris Hilton

Repeat aloud:

Market share in a non-recession is important yes?

Market share in a non-recession is important yes?

Market share in a non-recession is important yes?

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maybe, just maybe

they've noticed that the 7" tablet from BN - a store with, like Apple, actual physical storefronts - is currently the best-seling Android tablet. This despite or because it's being pitched as an e-reader.

I think Apple has realized that there is a good-sized chunk of the market that wants a smaller display.

I'm curious about whether they want to go to 7" or down to 5" -- I had a chance to play with the Samsung 5" android mini tablet / big media player this weekend, and it is a very nice size point.

Genuinely pocketable. About the size of the Tungsten T3, extended.

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Silver badge
Happy

7"/17.78 cm rules

I picked up a few of the pre-Jobs tablet when visiting China. Sure the finish was a little iffy, but they had neat features that Apple never deployed on their copies.

The company I work for has now successfully deployed 7 inch units for use by maintenance technicians for a truck company and has landed a contract for a telephone company so their field technicians can interrogate circuit assignments, etc.

Most work uniforms have pockets large enough to accommodate a 7" pad case, whereas a 10" would never fit a pocket.

I fitted a 7" unit in the kitchen for my wife to read off recipes from the InterNet. I also have a 7" unit on my motorcycle that enhances the function of, and adds features to, my set of wheels.

Jobs wasn't bad in product feasibility, but he sure was in the mid-sized tablet - as Apple now acknowledges.

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smaller?

hmm isnt a smaller ipad an iphone?

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What Jobs said publicly wasn't always what Apple was planning privately

"Steve Jobs – who would of course have been involved in any decision to go forward on such a device – mercilessly savaged 7-inch tablets during a quarterly financial report conference call that was held a year ago tomorrow.

A smaller display, Jobs said, "isn't sufficient to create great tablet apps."

Yup and Jobs also publicly dismissed solid-state MP3 players…. when Apple was secretly working on such products; in the meantime, Jobs attacked the offerings by rival companies. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the same thing is happening here, but Jobs’ public pronouncements were sometimes made for tactical reasons.

I think JeevesMkII pretty much nailed it – and the track record for the rumour mill is exactly stellar as http://stupidapplerumors.com/ has shown.

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