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Credible Reports of a 7.85 Inch iPad Mini Emerge 193

Posted by timothy
from the betting-against-december-26th-launch-date dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Network World: "For months now, rumors of an iPad with a 7.85-inch screen have been circulating through the blogosphere. And though Steve Jobs once said that 7-inch tablets are 'dead on arrival,' the relative success of the Amazon Kindle Fire and other smaller tablets suggests that consumers are more than willing to accept a smaller screen size in exchange for a cheaper buy-in point. Indeed, you might remember that Apple CEO Tim Cook recently said that Apple saw a tremendous uptick in overall iPad sales once it lowered the price of the iPad 2 down to $399. That said, a chorus of credible reports over the past few days have all claimed that Apple is currently working on a slimmed down iPad and that it may be set for release as early as this Fall."
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Credible Reports of a 7.85 Inch iPad Mini Emerge

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  • by QuantumRiff (120817) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @11:17AM (#40552759)

    Or do they have different shaped corners than the Samsung models?
    Cause really, what they need is more lawyers involved. its legal stimulus in a crappy economy.

    • Because Android was there first. Samsung ICS devices have no home button.

      • by marsu_k (701360)
        Uhh, no. Galaxy Nexus doesn't have one. Rest of the Galaxy line has, like the recent S3.
        • The galaxy tabs don't have home buttons.

          • by marsu_k (701360)
            Oh yes, forgot about the Tabs, was just thinking about phones. However, Samsung is hardly unique in this respect; pretty much every tablet with HC or ICS skips the traditional Android HW buttons.
        • by gl4ss (559668)

          getting rid of them is a construction simplicity thing.

          it sucks, simply because then you can't have anything onscreen at the bottom of the screen - same problem if you have capacitive buttons. it's a huge design issue and affects numerous android and windows phone products.

          it isn't that big of an issue on big screen devices like the tabs, or kindle fire, because there's more space around the bottom and the home, back etc keys only take a small portion.

    • by camperslo (704715)

      Or do they have different shaped corners than the Samsung models?

      Regardless, there many be some people who choose to suspend buying Samsung or other South Korean products now that the country has announced that they'll be doing "research" whaling. (Of course they should be told why business is going elsewhere) Calling it research whaling exploits a loophole to engage in a banned practice.

      I don't suppose political researchers use harpoons? They can end up traveling to places like the Cayman Islands though.

      http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/2012/08/investigating-mitt-romn [vanityfair.com]

  • Nano's not as good as an Ipod touch, but Apple sometimes sees the utility in going for the lower end market.

    If Apple brings a 7-inch pad to market that outperforms Fire and Nexus 7 I'd be interested.

    • by SomePgmr (2021234)

      I'd guess an 8" tablet would have to be $300. Argument for it over the Nexus and Fire is "larger screen" and "access to the best apps through itunes, blah blah blah".

      iPod Touch starts at $200.
      iPad Mini starting at $300.
      iPad 2 starting at $400.

      Plugs the hole, fields a device to stop any potential competitor's beachhead in tablets, and they still get the premium over the alternatives.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126)

        Argument for it over the Nexus and Fire is "larger screen" and "access to the best apps through itunes, blah blah blah".

        These are both reasons NOT to buy it. Everyone seems to assume that people get smaller screens because they are cheaper, but some of us actually just like smaller devices that can fit in a (large) pocket and are paperback novel sized. It is just a nice size for reading and typing. Larger screens are particularly bad for typing because the keyboard becomes too big to comfortably use.

    • What measure of performance are you interested in? Whetstone? Dhrystone? Linpack?

      Does anything other than the software library really matter? Assuming it hits the same $200 price point that Google and Amazon have hit, then the iPad wins hands-down.

      I ordered a Nexus 7 because, at $200, I'm not risking much. If the iPad Mini comes in at $200, it will easily own the 7" market.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        ", then the iPad wins hands-down."

        Why would the less diverse library win?

        • by Eponymous Coward (6097) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @12:31PM (#40553921)

          I'm speaking about normal people who account for most tablet computer sales. Slashdot readers may find the RIM Playbook / Windows Surface / Kindle Fire / other Android tablet to be have a more compelling software library and that will make those tablets a better buy.

          I have both iOS and Android devices in my house and the holes in the Android library (for normal users) are slowly being filled, but app quality still lags. For now, I still can't recommend anything other than an iPad to people who ask me what they should get.

      • by Picass0 (147474)

        An Ipad mini needs to be ~ $200-225. If they get too close to $250-275 there are 10 inch screens that begin to compete.

        • by Belial6 (794905)
          That implies that 10" is better. I have a 10" tablet. I am likely going to get the Nexus 7". When we got a Fire for my wife, we found that while the 10" is dandy for around the house, the 7" is way better if you actually want to take it with you.

          I agree on the price point, but for a different reason. Apple would need to hit the $200-$225 price point because the iPad isn't better than a decent Android tablet. If they get too high above the price of the Kindle or the Nexus, most people won't buy it.
    • Yeah, I've actually been holding out hoping for a smaller iPad. It's not about money - I just prefer the smaller size. And, having used various iOS and Android devices (mostly phones, but stiill) - I decided I wasn't interested in the Android options out there.

    • by guises (2423402) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @11:49AM (#40553251)

      If Apple brings a 7-inch pad to market that outperforms Fire and Nexus 7 I'd be interested.

      It's possible that Apple could bring a better performing 7-inch tablet, but it will not beat the price/performance ratio. You're forgetting Apple's market - they never compete on price. My guess: they charge $250-$300 for something very similar to whatever's going for $200 in Android land at the time, but they add some trivial feature and play that up in the marketing as being worth the price difference. Siri 2, for example.

    • Nano's not as good as an Ipod touch,

      My iPod Nano is controlled by buttons, not a touchscreen (yes, it's not the latest generation). To me, this makes it infinitely superior to the iPod Touch.

      • ...but yes, I was referring to the most recent Nano.

        Touchscreens are more flexible but I appreciate being able to skip a song without turning on the screen and looking.

        I sure Apple will eventually kill the wheel on ipods and I think that will be a mistake.

    • by RatBastard (949)

      Not as good? That really depends on what you need it for. If all you want is to able to play music or listen to audio books why do you need a pocket computer?

    • Since it probably will not have all the limitations of the Kindle Fire it will outperform that one for sure.

      I got the KF as a Christmas gift. I live in Mexico. There's a small flaw in the screen that showed up after a month. Amazon is willing to replace the device if I send it to the USA and they ship it to an USA address. After some more pushing they even wanted to refund the shipping cost to the USA (as an Amazon gift card, of course). When I got the KF I had to pay 20+% import duties and other taxes (40

  • by jdastrup (1075795) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @11:18AM (#40552775)
    And I always thought the rumor was for a 7.625-inch screen.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 05, 2012 @11:19AM (#40552785)

    And though Steve Jobs once said that 7-inch tablets are 'dead on arrival,'

    steve jobs knows all about 'dead on arrival', eh?

  • by The Living Fractal (162153) <{banantarr} {at} {hotmail.com}> on Thursday July 05, 2012 @11:20AM (#40552789) Homepage
    I wish I could have multiple devices with the same SIM card address and just tell the network which one I am using at the time. Then I'd use this 7" device at home and leave the iPhone on the charger, and vice versa when I'm traveling.
    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      Bluetooth tethering. It works great. Perhaps you need to have a chat with your service provider and express your displeasure that you can't do this for free.

      • Bluetooth thethering is slow (some people really use that?). Wifi is much faster and more convenient (on all laptops).

        • by ceoyoyo (59147)

          Yes, I suppose if you have a fast connection you could use wifi. In the city I find Bluetooth is usually as fast as the 3G speed, and BT uses less power.

    • Which is why SIM cards are usually removable.

      • The iPhone 4S uses a micro Sim card while the iPad (at least iPad 2) uses a standard one. The new mini iPad ... well lets see :D

        • by TummyX (84871)

          iPad 2 has a microsim

          • Well, I hold it in my hands right now and it does not look like it has. But when I'm at home I check. Might be you are right, I just don't remember that I broke 2 micro SIMs out of the normal SIM compartment.

    • It's so sad that VoIP hasn't replaced POTS and cellular yet...this would be so easy to do with SIP or IAX.

  • by Bradmont (513167) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @11:20AM (#40552801)
    I have a 10" tablet, and I find it too big for any kind of natural handheld use. And a laptop is a much more natural form factor for non-handheld (tabletop, lying down & watching a movie, etc) uses. I haven't used a 7" tablet, but I have used e-readers a lot, which are about the same size, and they are very comfortable to hold. I don't get why Jobs would have thought it was 10" or bust.
    • by Phyrexia (55710) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @11:23AM (#40552831) Homepage

      I find the iPad too small for several uses. I would love a tablet with an 8.5x11" useable screen.

      • by guidryp (702488)

        I find the iPad too small for several uses. I would love a tablet with an 8.5x11" useable screen.

        Yep. For a home or office tablet, I would also like something bigger than an iPad.

        For full page applications like PDFs/Comic books/Magazines, I would rather have a bigger screen than 10". But using carbon fiber or something to keep weight in check.

        For the more portable one-handed/ereader application, I would prefers something even smaller than 7". 5"-6" with minimal side bezels would be fine.

        I realize this is in the same range as big smartphones. But big smartphones/plans are extremely expensive.

        I really d

    • by peragrin (659227)

      Do you have more than one size of paper?

      Tablets have uses for lots of sizes. I love my nook sometimes the screen is too small though.

    • I don't get why Jobs would have thought it was 10" or bust.

      I have a Nook Color 7" with ICS(pre-CM9) on it and the screen elements are too small for adult fingers with 'tablet' layout apps.

      I should really take some video of me trying to use the thing and post some of the more dramatic comedy-of-errors to YouTube.

      That said, the large Android tablets don't seem all that great and I'm not buying Apple gear, so instead I wait for better tech (with a working keyboard at that).

    • by Belial6 (794905) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @12:51PM (#40554247)
      Because Apple didn't make a 7" tablet. Apple's marketing has always declared that any features Apple doesn't have is either irrelevant or actively bad, and any feature that Apple does have but their competitors don't are absolutely indispensable.
    • The goal was really 1024x768 resolution. A resolution that is quite standard and would allow very effective viewing of regular web pages. It didn't hurt that a lot of PC/Mac developers already had artwork for that resolution and it would make porting to iPad that much easier. 10 inches was just the size required for a display of that resolution.

      However the retina type displays change that size requirement. That 1024x768 resolution can be offered in a smaller device. A device that could be entirely compat
      • Pretty sure they could have made a 8" 1024x768 if they wanted to when they released the first iPad. It could also have been bigger than 10".
        10" was a choice. Just like 3.5" was on the iPhone.

  • Naturally (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Applekid (993327) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @11:22AM (#40552827)

    Well of course credible reports have emerged. The market needs some uncertainty injected into it since the Nexus 7 is soon to be released, and Apple certainly doesn't want anyone to buy that when they could have an iPad in a few short months.

    Just a marketing ploy. It's a shame how complicit the media is when Apple wants to do it versus, well, any other technology company ever.

    • Well ... considering that io6 will be including a layout manager makes this "marketing ploy" more than just a rumor. There's little reason to use a layout manager on the current hardware since everything scales by 2. Of course, that all changes when a different screen size enters the mix.
      • by Applekid (993327)

        Well ... considering that io6 will be including a layout manager makes this "marketing ploy" more than just a rumor. There's little reason to use a layout manager on the current hardware since everything scales by 2. Of course, that all changes when a different screen size enters the mix.

        Not saying it isn't true, just saying that if there wasn't fear of the competition, they'd keep it quiet.

    • by l0ungeb0y (442022)

      Damn right! I'm so sick of Apple manipulating the media by getting them to publish OUTRIGHT LIES about products it has absolutely no intention of ever producing. I mean it seems just like yesterday that Apple duped us all by "leaking" the details of that absolute vaporware called the..

      the...

      uhh...

      Well they leaked it and it was a total sham meant to hurt the market!

      FYI: Apple has a history of being notoriously ANTI-LEAK and the rumors usually come from fanboys or pundits, not Apple
      The company famous for leak

  • by dmomo (256005) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @11:24AM (#40552839) Homepage

    It was called the iPad Nano. Mine can make phone calls.

  • This seems like a good move, but I keep waiting for Apple to misstep and return to the dark ages it was in in the 1990s before Steve Jobs returned.
    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by geekoid (135745)

      It suspect it will take a year from his death for is momentum to start to slow significant amount to notice.

    • The difference, is that when Jobs left this time, he left someone competent in charge. John Sculley was incompetent at running a computer company.

  • What if the smaller iPad wasn't intended for end users but for another OEM?

    With the announcement of "Eyes Free" and a Siri button for automobiles how great a leap is it to put an iPad in your car too? Instead of those pricey in dash nav screens that all of the auto manufacturers make, what if a few of them designed an in dash dock instead? It could come with a detachable iPad capable of replacing the nav, the entertainment system, and provide a platform for new apps. And you'd be able to take it with you

    • Interesting idea but it seems too unlike Apple to get into that kind of business. Methinks they would rather let aftermarket firms license the dock interface and make people buy regular old iPads.

      • by Belial6 (794905)
        I don't know. Jobs isn't at Apple anymore, so direction can certainly change. Also, Apple has pretty well saturated their iPhone/Pad/Pod market share. At this point, they are going to face the ever increasing onslaught of the unwashed Android masses. Getting a permanent, irremovable dock in people's cars, would go a long way in locking customers to Apple.

        That being said, I'm guessing it is just an iPad.
    • That really wouldn't be much different than BMW's "iPod out" support. On 2011 model year vehicles, you can actually get the iPod app's interface on the iDrive screen, and iPod functionality like the Genius playlist (or whatever it's called).

      It would just apply to the whole OS rather than just one app.

  • by nurb432 (527695) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @11:37AM (#40553039) Homepage Journal

    Why not a full 8?

    After buying a nook tablet, I have found that 7" isn't big enough to read a tech manual comfortably, but a 8" isn't bad and is still a bit more portable than a 9.7"/10"

    6" e-ink is still good for novels.. but id rather ditch them both and get a 9.7"/10" color e-ink at a reasonable price.

    • Twenty centimeters is a nice round figure. Twenty point three cm just sounds imperfect.

      • by nurb432 (527695)

        Perhaps, but their largerst market is in the US and we dont use metric on an ongoing basis.

        One or the other has to sound stupid. Being from the US, i say the odd fractional inch sounds worse.

        • Apple Deutschland sagt

          9,7" Multi-Touch Hochglanz-Widescreendisplay mit LED-Hintergrundbeleuchtung und IPS-Technologie (24,63 cm Diagonale)

          So. I was wrong. It seems that round numbers do not figure in Apple's design schemes

          Height: 9.50 inches (241.2 mm)
          Width: 7.31 inches (185.7 mm)
          Depth: 0.37 inch (9.4 mm)
          Weight: 1.44 pounds (652 g)

    • by Wovel (964431)

      They can recut the 3GS screen to roughly 7.85" and com out at 1024x768.

  • What I hate about these rumors is that they are just that - rumors. Has anyone checked the track record of the suppliers "sources" of late? There will not be a 7 inch iPad and there never will be. The form factor will not accommodate a finger properly, and the app library will not work on a 7.85 inch screen. Apple is and never will be interested in the low end market. This is a fact. If anything, this is a smokescreen to keep competitors making seven inch screen tablets. Apple's brand loyalty department is
    • by TummyX (84871) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @12:28PM (#40553865)

      There will not be a 7 inch iPad and there never will be. The form factor will not accommodate a finger properly, and the app library will not work on a 7.85 inch screen.

      Erm. The 3.5" iPhone accommodates a finger properly. And if it has a 1024x768 screen (same was as iPad 1 & iPad 2), it will accomodate the apps fine.

      • Yeah, I'm largely a fan of Apple products - but I've never grokked the blind acceptance by some people of whatever Steve said. ESPECIALLY when there was already contradictory evidence available... in this case, the existence of the iPhone and iPod Touch.

        It's easy measure the size of the icons on an iPad, then do the math - on a 7.8" screen, they'll still be bigger than the versions displayed on an iPhone! So why people continue to spout this obviously false statement is hard to grasp.

        Steve Jobs was, first a

      • And if it has a 1024x768 screen (same was as iPad 1 & iPad 2), it will accomodate the apps fine.

        Of course, it will have to come with sandpaper so users can file down their fingers. [thenextweb.com]

    • by Belial6 (794905)
      That must be why there are no iOS devices smaller than 10".
  • I must surely be one of the lone dissenting voices with this idea, but - as a long-time iPad owner - I often found myself wishing Apple (or anyone else) also offered a hand-held touch-screen model that was twice as large, where reading books and magazines didn't feel so constricted and one could actually enjoy this wonderful portable medium for the experience it should be able to deliver around the household or elsewhere.

    Probably won't happen until we have paper-thin computing devices.... but I can't fa
    • I must surely be one of the lone dissenting voices with this idea, but - as a long-time iPad owner - I often found myself wishing Apple (or anyone else) also offered a hand-held touch-screen model that was twice as large

      Twice the 10" iPad size or twice the 7-8" size of Nook Color/Nook Tablet/Kindle Fire/Nexus 7/rumored iPad Mini/etc.?

      The latter -- a 15" 3:4 tablet would be 9"x12", pretty much perfect for letter/A4-formatted content, and right about the limit for what I would consider a tablet useful as a ta

  • Seriously, the entire news industry is having a shit fit over this rumor.

    Is news so slow that this needs to be announced multiple times at each news source I read??

  • Why is it that Google can release a 7" tablet for $199, but an unlocked Android phone with a 4" screen costs $400 - $800?

    Is the cellular chipset (and related testing and integration) really that expensive? is it the miniaturization to make a phone formfactor that makes it expensive?

    • Why is it that Google can release a 7" tablet for $199, but an unlocked Android phone with a 4" screen costs $400 - $800?

      Unlocking requires a special titanium key that is only manufactured by the monks of one particular abbey, perched high in the Himalayas. And the keys are very fragile, so they have to be carried down the mountains nestled in the breasts of virgins.

      So, as with most things, the cost is all related to labor.

  • Consumers will take a chance and/or forgive a lot of shortcomings in exchange for a lower price.

    Take Steam, discounting Left4Dead by 50% led to a 3000% increase in sales: http://www.edge-online.com/features/valve-are-games-too-expensive

    That's probably where the Steam Summer Sale came from. BTW, where is it this year?

  • by Tom (822) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @12:22PM (#40553781) Homepage Journal

    I'm very sceptical, that wouldn't be like Apple at all. I'm half expecting a much cheaper iPad in addition to the existing ones, but not with a different form factor.

    Reasons are plenty, one of them is that apps are all designed for this size, from button size to the occasional ruler app. There have been similar rumors for the iPhone several times, and they've all turned out to be wrong.

  • ...I'll be amused as hell, because that's about the screen size of the Newton MP2000 that was often rejected as way too large (the PalmPilot's tiny size being something of a reaction to this).

  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@gmail. c o m> on Thursday July 05, 2012 @12:49PM (#40554213) Journal

    "7-inch tablets are dead on arrival" - Steve Jobs

    "Steve Jobs is dead on arrival" - 7-inch tablets

  • I think that if tablets are going to reach maturity, artists and content creators need a 20 inch tablet. It doesn't matter what it costs, just that the tools are there. Sure, it's cool that there's a smaller ipad, but we need bigger ones that you can do actual work on.
  • Smart investors around the world are investing heavily in cargo pants in anticipation of the gadget's arrival on the tech scene. Basement geeks are re-considering their previous decision to abandon trousers altogether, thinking perhaps that decision was a bit 'premature.'

  • All of the apps are tied to the 10" size and 4:3 aspect ratio. That's why the ipad3 exactly quadrupled the resolution. So, will this just be shrunken, maintaining 1024x768 resolution on a smaller screen? Or will developers have to go back and add support for a new form factor, a la android? This is also why I think the rumors about the Galaxy Note2 are false. No way it has 1680x1050 - that's a 16x10 aspect, and all of their prior phones are 16x9.

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