Rumours of a coming iPad mini have continued to intensify, with Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal now both reporting claims that Apple is developing a 7″-8″ version of the iPad.
The WSJ goes as far as to claim that manucacturers LG and AU Optronics have already been working on the display, and that the device is set to launch in the autmun alongside a new iPhone.
Analyst talk remains focused on a claim that Apple needs to target the same budget market that the Kindle Fire and now Nexus 7 are both targeting.
However, Apple has never focused on budget markets. It practically invented the demand for tablets, and the iPad still outsells all competitors.
Additionally, Steve Jobs went on record previously stating that he did not think a smaller version of the iPad would be a useful idea.
Whether Apple have decided to change their minds in a post-Steve Jobs world remains to be seen, but it would be easy to dismiss current speculation as the sort of wild rumour that frequently follows Apple through the year before product launches.
The question is whether Apple really would need to cannibalise existing marketshare, and so far the answers are lacking.
The argument already made is that the iPad is too expensive for mainstream markets in China doesn’t wash as Apple already has a very strong presence in China for all its product ranges.
And as previously stated, Apple do not normally target budget markets.
Of course, all will be revealed in September anyway. About the most confident prediction we can make is that the iPhone 5 may be refreshed with a larger screen. And until confirmed, even that is but just one of many rumours.