Apple Preps 'iPad Mini': Reports

Cheaper tablet would have smaller screen
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2012 7:45 AM CDT
Apple Preps 'iPad Mini': Reports
FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011 file photo and Apple logo is seen during an announcement at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.. The European Union's antitrust watchdog announced Tuesday Dec. 6, 2011, is probing whether Apple and five major publishing houses have colluded to restrict competition...   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)

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. (More Apple stories.)

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