Another Apple rumour has broken cover, this one regarding the iPad.
No guesses as to where it’s from – the ever-present sources of DigiTimes in the far east, who claim Apple is planning a mini version of the iPad.
This has long been the subject of speculation, ever since Amazon first announced its own 7 inch Kindle Fire tablet.
And with the numbers of the Fire shipping and apparently selling, analysts reckon the slate is set to become the clear rival to the iPad, leaping ahead of the likes of the Galaxy Tab inside its launch quarter.
A response from Apple is far from unthinkable then, and DigiTimes’ latest nugget of information actually gives a piece of concrete detail on the spec of the alleged mini-iPad.
Rumour has it that the display will be 7.85 inches in size, so technically the device will be closer to an 8 inch tablet than a 7 incher.
That makes sense as one of the criticisms of the Kindle Fire, apart from its sluggish responsiveness, is the fact that the 7 inch screen is a little too small. Indeed Steve Jobs openly criticised the first 7 inch tablet, the Galaxy Tab, as being too small to provide an enjoyable app experience.
So it would make sense that Apple would step things up a little, while still trying to keep the budget down on this cut-down model.
Bear in mind that this is still very much speculation at the moment. The source also names a target release date, however, and that’s a launch before the final quarter of 2012, presumably September.
We’re still not sure Apple is going to bring out any form of budget or cut-down iPad, but we’ve been wrong before.
Another option, as we’ve previously pointed out, is to keep the iPad 2 on when the iPad 3 comes out, and cut the price of that down to offer a relatively budget alternative. The iPad 3 is set to be enough of an advance, with a rumoured much higher resolution display, to make this feasible.
That seems more likely than a mini-iPad to us, but we shall see next year.