Rumor Report: Apple Testing Mini iPad

Posted by · February 14, 2012 10:32 am

With an iPad event reportedly scheduled for the first week in March, it only seems fitting for the Apple rumor mill to kick it up a notch. While some (meaning me) might be satisfied in simply holding out hope that the announcement of a $299 iPad is somewhere on the agenda, others will not stop stoking the hype until the event—which is yet to be confirmed, I might add—has come and gone.

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBaseThe latest rumor originated Tuesday morning in the Wall Street Journal. Citing its most beloved source, “people familiar with the situation,” the report alleged that the company’s component suppliers in Asia—a current target of serious consumer criticism—are testing a new 8-inch tablet. As the company “looks to broaden its product pipeline amid intensifying competition and maintain its dominant market share,” the report continued, the smaller iPad will likely target smaller tablets such as the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet, among others.

As far as specs are considered, one “familiar” person divulged that the iPad mini has similar screen resolution to that experienced on the iPad 2. Other than that, the WSJ report remains rather silent about the new tablet’s features.

It’s also important to keep in mind that the alleged tablet is still in the testing phase, which means that Apple may ultimately choose not to move forward with producing the device. Should the company ultimately decide to offer an 8-inch tablet, this would be the latest instance that Tim Cook has distinguished himself from his legendary predecessor, who claimed that a 9.7-inch screen—the size of the iPad 2—was “the minimum size required to create great tablet apps.” Despite falling from its 68.2 percent hold on the tablet market in 2010, Apple’s current market share of 57.6 percent makes it difficult to question the late CEO’s assertion.

Will the smaller tablet make its debut along with the next-generation iPad in March? Probably not. But you’re kidding yourself if you think that’s going to keep rumors of just that from circulating between now and then.

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