Apple reportedly testing 8-inch iPad

Just weeks before the iPad 3 is set to be revealed, Apple is testing an 8-inch iPad.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
2 min read

Apple is considering an 8-inch iPad. Just weeks before the iPad 3 is set to be revealed, Apple is reportedly testing a smaller version of its phenomenally successful tablet.

Apple is testing smaller screens from assorted manufacturers to see who could build a smaller iPad, the Wall Street Journal reports. The current model measures 9.7 inches.

Of course, testing smaller screens doesn't mean an 8-inch iPad will ever see the light of day. After all, Apple founder Steve Jobs himself once said that your fingers are too fat for 7-inch tablets.

Up until now Apple has only made one version of the iPhone and iPad at a time, in keeping with the company's minimalist philosophy, or something. It's all part of Apple's marketing of the iPhone and iPad as premium devices for fancy Dans.

Instead of giving customers a choice of size and shape, like other gadget companies, Apple sets out to convince us that the one Apple option is the best possible shape and size for a phone or tablet. Making a different-sized tablet could dilute that message.

Still, the iPad is well established now, owning the tablet market to an almost laughable degree. Apple makes iPods, laptops and computers in different shapes and sizes, so perhaps it's time to do the same with the iPad.

That would also fight back against the resurgent Samsung, which offers a tablet in every shape and size going: the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 is the latest 7-inch model, followed by the Galaxy Tab 7.7, Galaxy Tab 8.9 and Galaxy Tab 10.1. There's even talk of an 11.6-inch Tab for the tablet-using giant.

Other 7-inch rivals include the newly announced cheapo ZTE Light 2 or the Amazon Kindle Fire, currently doing great business in the US.

Even if a mini iPad is a possibility, it's unlikely to be any time soon. I'm poised and excited about the next generation of iPad, expected on 7 March. Speculation is rampant, with leaked photos of the alleged iPad 3 hinting at a better battery and improved camera. CNET will be there to reveal the iPad 3 when it's announced by Apple, but in the meantime feast your eyes on Andy's favourite iPad 3 concept designs.

For more thoughts on what we could see in the next iPad, here's our own Jason Jenkins and Luke Westaway sorting the facts from the rampant speculation.

Would you buy an 8-inch iPad? What would Apple need to change to make the iPad Mini work? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook wall.