Looks like Applephiles will soon have one more gadget to add to their collection of must-have gear. Two insiders tell Bloomberg that a "mini" iPad is in the works, and should arrive by the end of this year. The planned tablet—intended to help battle competition from Google, Amazon, and Microsoft—shrinks the screen from 9.7 inches diagonally to 7 or 8 inches, and will lack the top-notch display of its bigger cousin, according to those insiders. But it'll be cheaper and, likely, "competitors’ worst nightmare," says an analyst.
Another analyst tells CNET—which goes ahead and calls the tablet the iPad Mini—that plans are firmly underway: "There's a business plan for it, there's a mass production target for it, and we know that it's for Apple." The smaller tablet would likely be priced somewhere near $199 to compete with Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire. But consumers would likely be willing to pay a small premium for the Apple version. "Fifty or a hundred bucks wouldn’t be enough to make someone switch," the analyst adds. The plan does, however, seem to violate Steve Jobs' vision: He believed the current iPad's size was the smallest that could satisfy users, notes Bloomberg.