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WSJ, Bloomberg sources add to 'mini-iPad' rumors

updated 08:27 pm EDT, Wed July 4, 2012

Suggested screen supplies from LG Display, Sharp or AU Optronics

More fire is being added to the rumors of a 7-inch (or 8-inch, depending on the source) "mini" iPad. Both the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) and Bloomberg claim to have anonymous sources with "knowledge of the plans" that confirm a screen between seven and eight inches in diameter, and the component suppliers in Asia are preparing for a mass production of the device in September. The source of the screens, however, differ from more recent murmurs.

The WSJ mentions that the screen suppliers will be LG Display and AU Optronics. A rumor that surfaced yesterday suggested Sharp would be supplying IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) displays measuring 7.85 inches, which would give a better image on a thinner screen, and a potential pixel density of 330 ppi.

The claimed timing of manufacture seems to match previously published rumors, although there is no change to that of its suggested price. Current estimates are for between $250 and $300, despite the challenges from other tablets, with both the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire both selling for $200.

Claims of Apple making a 7-inch version of the iPad have been around since the arrival of the original iPad in 2010. Asian racing and pop star Jimmy Lin was pictured holding a supposed 7-inch tablet running iOS just six months after the original model debuted.

There has also been some speculation that the new device, if actually produced, may not carry the iPad brand name in order to avoid Apple catching flack for contravening its late co-founder Steve Jobs' assertions that 7-inch devices are "tweeners -- too big to compete with a smartphone, and too small to compete with the iPad." Jobs also said on separate occasions that 7-inch devices offer too many compromises and are too small for fingers to use as easily as the larger screen, calling them "dead on arrival. That prediction thus far has been borne out -- no 7-inch tablet other than Amazon's very short-lived success with the Kindle Fire has done well in the market.

Making a smaller device with a more targeted purpose -- a dedicated iTunes Store companion, for example, or a stripped-down tablet aimed directly at youngsters or students -- might get around Apple's stated dislike of the smaller form factor. Apple, as expected, declined to comment.

by MacNN Staff



  1. global.philosopher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This may explain why LG has exited the tablet mark

    If they have been sourced to make displays for an "iPad Mini" then they will make more money fromthis than what they would by competing with Google and Amazon.

    In addition, they may actually make more PROFIT than all the other Android tablet OEM's combined.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I still can't see this

    I still think that 7" (ok, 7.85") is a weird size. I still don't see the need for anything to fit between a soon-to-be (probably) 4" iPhone and a 9.7" iPad. I still don't believe Apple will release any new iDevice without Retina displays, and that Apple will actively seek to compete with low-margin, low-budget products like the Fire or the Nexus tablet - for the same reason that they don't compete with el-cheapo Windows PCs by releasing a sub-$500 Mac.

    But then again, I have been wrong in the past and the fact that "I can't see it" matters surprisingly little to Apple... :)

  1. psdenno

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The crack journalists..... report the new device will have " a screen between seven and eight inches in diameter". Since the word "diameter" is generally a term associated with circles, has macnn let us know it will have a ROUND screen? Or i s it just another case of sloppy reporting?

  1. hyteckit

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    Diameter? They must be think diagonal. Haha..

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