Apple looking at 7-inch iPad, says report

A Taiwanese Web site claims that suppliers have sent Apple samples of smaller screens.

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There's more evidence today that Apple could be thinking hard about a smaller iPad.

File this report under " roughly translated reports from Chinese news outlets talking to sources at Apple's suppliers in the region " if you must, but Taiwan's United Daily News appears to be reporting that Samsung and AU Optronics have sent samples of a 7.85-inch screen to Apple.

The report backs up prior rumblings we've heard from Apple's supply chain about some kind of "iPad mini," possibly at a much lower price point than the iPad 2 to compete with the $199, 7-inch Kindle Fire.

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 significant resolution upgrade that'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.

 

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