Supplier chatter points to smaller 8-inch iPad

Apple is talking to component suppliers about an iPad with a smaller screen, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Apple might be considering a smaller iPad.
Apple might be considering a smaller iPad.

The supply chain--that gaggle of component makers behind the products people actually buy--is talking about a smaller iPad again.

On Tuesday, a report in The Wall Street Journal claimed that suppliers have shown Apple samples of a device with an 8-inch class screen.

Suppliers of the sample 8-inch class panels include AU Optronics and LG Display, according to the Journal.

This follows a CNET report--citing supply-chain sources--back in October when suppliers were yapping about a 7.85-inch screen.

If Apple commits to commercial production of a smaller iPad--which is unknown at this point--it would be a big step in expansion of the iPad line. To date, the iPad has been offered with a 9.7-inch screen only. And differences between models are limited to, for example, storage capacity and to networking--Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi with 3G.

Reports of the smaller iPad follow a rash of speculation about a follow-on to the iPad 2--or so-called iPad 3. Rumors point to a March announcement of an iPad 3 with a 9.7-inch screen but boasting a much higher resolution than the iPad 2.

Amazon--whose 7-inch Kindle Fire has been a hit with about five million sold--is now rumored to be targeting a larger 9-inch model.

Updated on February 14 at 1:35 p.m. PST: adding additional information about 7.85-inch screen size as reported by CNET back in October.

Featured Video

How Pixar created the world of 'The Good Dinosaur'

Pixar's upcoming new film imagines what it would have been like if dinosaurs never became extinct.'s Lexy Savvides reports on how real-world data helped make the movie's prehistoric landscapes look incredibly authentic.

by Lexy Savvides