iPad 3 is old news: 7.85-inch model due in Q3, says report

Forget the iPad 3, a 7.85-inch model due later this year, says report.

Enough about the iPad 3 already. The first iPad to come in a smaller size is due for production in the third quarter, an Asia-based report says.

Apple is likely to begin production of a 7.85-inch iPad in the third quarter of this year, Taipei-based DigiTimes said, citing sources, in a story dated Thursday.

And the price? It could go as low as $249-$299, the report said.

Before Apple goes that low, though, an 8GB iPad 2 priced below $400 is expected on March 7, when the company also announces the iPad 3.

The 7.85-inch iPad report confirms a string of past reports and word from CNET's own sources. In October of last year, sources who speak with display manufacturers in Asia told CNET that chatter about an iPad-mini was picking up.

That said, the idea of a smaller iPad confounds some Apple observers, particularly when no one less than Steve Jobs dissed the idea.

But times change. Amazon has shown that a 7-inch tablet can strike a chord with consumers. Moreover, the 7.85-inch iPad is expected to have the same 1,024x768 resolution of the iPad 2, meaning that no changes need to be made to apps to accommodate the smaller screen.

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