There's more evidence today that Apple could be thinking hard about a smaller iPad.
File this report under "United Daily News appears to be reporting that Samsung and AU Optronics have sent samples of a 7.85-inch screen to Apple." if you must, but Taiwan's
The idea of a dimensionally-challenged (or advantaged, depending on your user profile) iPad doesn't jive with much of Steve Jobs' tablet rhetoric, however. The late Apple founder famously dissed 7-inch tabs, saying it wasn't an optimal size for apps or for most users' fingers.
Lots of iPad 3 rumors have also pointed to a significantthat's on the way. It's difficult to imagine Apple making that kind of improvement while also shrinking the screen.
So if Apple is working on a smaller iPad, it doesn't seem likely to be the iPad 3--which puts us into the dark territory of the multiple new devices rumor, so I'll just stop right there.
To recap--someone, somewhere in Apple's wide, wide universe is likely at least thinking about the idea of a smaller iPad. We'll see if it goes any further than that.