iPad Mini to debut later this year, new report suggests

A new report has today cited sources as suggesting Apple may launch a miniature version of its iPad tablet device as soon as this year, citing recent moves by Google and Amazon into the low-cost, high volume tablet market as being one of the drivers behind Apple's yet-to-be-confirmed decision.

Bloomberg - citing two anonymous sources - suggests the smaller, 7" to 8" version of the iPad (which they refer to as the iPad Mini) could go on sale as soon as October this year, but won't feature the high resolution "retina" display that the all new iPad announced this year boasts.

Instead the report suggests the new tablet - which would sell for a lower price than that of the existing iPad (starting from $499) and perhaps nearer near the price range of Amazon's Kindle Fire and Google's Nexus 7 tablet (both priced at $199) - has been extensively considered by Apple. As expected, Apple refused to comment on the speculation.

Similarly, Apple blog MacRumors suggests that Apple will use Sharp's indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) technology that will allow the display of the iPad Mini device to be thinner and brighter than it could otherwise be. Chinese website MyDrivers.com even goes as far as to suggest the display of the new iPad Mini will be 7.85".

Rumours of the smaller iPad have been persisting for a long time now, despite the late Steve Jobs publicly voicing his distaste for the smaller tablets that arguably are yet to find their place in the market. 

"There are clear limits of how close you can place physical elements on a touch screen, before users cannot reliably tap, flick or pinch them. This is one of the key reasons we think the 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps," Jobs said in 2010, calling 7" tablets "tweeners" and having no place between an iPhone and iPad.

Apple follower Daring Fireball's John Gruber mentioned on a podcast in April that he had heard Apple were testing the device in its labs, but said he couldn't be sure that Apple had any plans to publicly release the device.

Via: Bloomberg

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42 Comments

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I love the 7" for factor, bought an HTC Flyer and a Kindle Fire and prefer them to my 10" tablets...also they are perfect for surfing pr0n in bed >_>

drazgoosh said,
For me phone screens should be around 4"-4.7" and tablet screens from 9"-11"

Yes and No.

I agree with you but let me add one more to the mix. E-readers should be 7". But not everyone can afford a tablet and an e-reader.

£180-£200 or I'm not interested.

My girlfriend is almost insisting on buying the new iPad for me, but can't justify if I'd use it enough, hence why I'd love a cheaper iPad.

Only interested in iPad because I already own an iPhone and can easily get all my fav apps on the iPad for free, and I'll admit it I'd be a sheep because I know the iPad will be great, whereas others I wouldn't really know and usually the looks don't appeal to me.

knock off? You serious? By your logic iPad is a knock off from Microsoft from 2001 and that tablet was a knock off from some earlier version, can't remember who built it from the top of my head.

Like I said, most people actually grow a brain and realize that the name Apple doesn't mean everything, what does lower specs for higher price give you? Bragging rights? Too bad most just laugh you out.

Uplift said,
I can't see it, but this would be Google's worst nightmare, maybe even Microsofts.

No it won't. First the price will be higher than the Nexus, secondly I can bet the hardware will be alot weaker than the nexus has etc. Any person with a piece of brain can figure out what to buy in that case.

What? People want iPads, that has been proven, you know about the sales numbers right? Will a cheaper and smaller iPad increase iPad sales? Why buy a cheap iPad knock off when you can buy a real iPad for the same price? How much will the smaller iPad cost? You seem to have some inside information? Regardless I think that people will put out an extra 50.00 to get a real iPad over a cheap clone.

Edited by derekaw, Jul 4 2012, 10:10am :

alwaysonacoffebreak said,

No it won't. First the price will be higher than the Nexus, secondly I can bet the hardware will be alot weaker than the nexus has etc. Any person with a piece of brain can figure out what to buy in that case.

It isn't so much about which is more powerful or cheaper, the apps are very often of a better quality on the iPad. That's not to say every single app is amazing, but the whole iOS experience is somewhat more polished than any Android device even till this date.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,

No it won't. First the price will be higher than the Nexus, secondly I can bet the hardware will be alot weaker than the nexus has etc. Any person with a piece of brain can figure out what to buy in that case.

And anyone with half a brain knows mhz and mem-gb mean NOTHING to the average consumer, they want a sexy, shiny device with lots of amazing apps, and yes perhaps even bragging rights.. enter Apple. Now make that a touch smaller and more affordable it would **** all over the competition.

Most other tablets are just seen as a 'cheap ipad' or a knock off ...You are talking as if everyone is tech-savvy, most people do think Apple invented tablets.. they're wrong, but so what?

alwaysonacoffebreak said,

No it won't. First the price will be higher than the Nexus, secondly I can bet the hardware will be alot weaker than the nexus has etc. Any person with a piece of brain can figure out what to buy in that case.


It's not like Android apps actually make use of quad-core chips.

There have been rumours about this every year since the original iPad was released. I'm sceptical.

pikablu0530 said,
So the 7" iPad mini won't feature the "retina" display, but the 3.7" iPhone does.

Because they want you to buy a iPad mini 2

I think the intended implication is that it won't match the *resolution* exactly, but that doesn't preclude it being a 'retina' level display (just a lower high resolution)

Ok, so I don't think this will happen for a number of reasons, however, if if does ... I'm there I love my iPad3, but I'm destined to own all the apple products I can

Spirit Dave said,
Ok, so I don't think this will happen for a number of reasons, however, if if does ... I'm there I love my iPad3, but I'm destined to own all the apple products I can

Wow that is just silly. What will the 7" model offer you that you can't do with the 9.7" model?

The bad thing is that an iPad mini would cannibalize iPad sales. Not many people will buy both, and every sale of an iPad mini is a lost sale of the higher priced iPad. This might negatively affect profit margins.

rfirth said,
The bad thing is that an iPad mini would cannibalize iPad sales. Not many people will buy both, and every sale of an iPad mini is a lost sale of the higher priced iPad. This might negatively affect profit margins.

Just like every Ford Fiesta sale is a Ford Taurus lost sale, right?

The only people I see buying this are Apple fanboys who buy it just for the sake of having everything Apple.

Cøi said,
The only people I see buying this are Apple fanboys who buy it just for the sake of having everything Apple.

NO! The iPad Mini is clearly for people who want a tablet (especially one made by Apple) but can't afford the $499 + Tax for the premium (or $399 + Tax for the budget iPad). It will sell well.

Their is a reason why the Kindle Fire did so well. Amazon has the name and has the price point. Consumers bit. Now Google has one that competes at the same price point with much better specs. Apple doesn't want to lose this one so they will have to match it.

This is really-really getting boring now... Just wait and see... We get almost the same news in every month about this...

I think there is a place for a smaller iPad. The Kindle Fire has proved that there is a market for smaller cheaper tablets. Apple would want to be in that market and I think people would prefer an iPad over an iPad knock off. If I does happen I think a smaller iPad will be a huge success.

I think there is a place for a smaller iPad. The Kindle Fire has proved that there is a market for smaller cheaper tablets. Apple would want to be in that market and I think people would prefer an iPad over an iPad knock off. If I does happen I think a smaller iPad will be a huge success.

derekaw said,
I think there is a place for a smaller iPad. The Kindle Fire has proved that there is a market for smaller cheaper tablets. Apple would want to be in that market and I think people would prefer an iPad over an iPad knock off. If I does happen I think a smaller iPad will be a huge success.

I agree. At first I felt that 7 inches would be in the realm of "why not just use the iPhone, it's not that much smaller" but after trying some 7-8 inch tablet from other manufacturers, I could see it being the perfect size for a "travel tablet". Something you can throw in a small bag but still provides a better user experience than the tiny screen on a phone.

I recently used only my phone during a trip to Japan and many times felt like I would prefer something larger but at the same time a 10" iPad could've been a tad big.

derekaw said,
I think there is a place for a smaller iPad. The Kindle Fire has proved that there is a market for smaller cheaper tablets. Apple would want to be in that market and I think people would prefer an iPad over an iPad knock off. If I does happen I think a smaller iPad will be a huge success.

Wait, I thought that the Fire was a massive failure, that is what the Apple fanboys say here on Neowin. So why would Apple need to compete with a "failure?" And wouldn't Apple introducing a 7" device be copying all those Android devices? We know how much Apple hates copying. But I am sure this will be revolutionary and change everything.

That is if it is released at all. Haven't we been hearing of this rumor for a couple years?

Apple likes making money, (could Apple be the worlds first trillion dollar company ever?) I expect Apple can eat humble pie again (remember video on a tiny iPod screen?) If Apple thought there was a market for a smaller iPad then they will be there and people will buy it just like the millions and millions and millions of larger iPads that have already been sold.

I expect a lot of people are buying the smaller cheaper iPad clones because they cant afford the real bigger iPad. This could be huge.

nohone said,

Wait, I thought that the Fire was a massive failure, that is what the Apple fanboys say here on Neowin. So why would Apple need to compete with a "failure?" And wouldn't Apple introducing a 7" device be copying all those Android devices? We know how much Apple hates copying. But I am sure this will be revolutionary and change everything.

That is if it is released at all. Haven't we been hearing of this rumor for a couple years?

You put too much stock in what the Apple fanboys say.

Jobs clearly said that as a marketing ploy because the iPod Touch and iPhone are both sub-4 inch screens with which you "tap, flick, or pinch." I actually find 10 inches to be the "tweener" of tablets - 7 inches is okay for thumb typing and 11-12 inches is the minimum for two-hand typing (I'm yearning for the day they make a modern tablet this large). Anyone else find 10 inch tablets awkward?

I could see these being the new ipod touches.. as ipod touches serve no real purpose .. it would force people to buy full fledge iphones instead..

Lachlan said,
I could see these being the new ipod touches.. as ipod touches serve no real purpose .. it would force people to buy full fledge iphones instead..

Quite laughable. iPod Touches are perfect for parents. They buy it for their kids when they will not pay for a smartphone plan.

"There are clear limits of how close you can place physical elements on a touch screen, before users cannot reliably tap, flick or pinch them. This is one of the key reasons we think the 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps,"

And still, we use 3.7 inches screens (iPod and iPhone) without any problem.

myxomatosis said,
"There are clear limits of how close you can place physical elements on a touch screen, before users cannot reliably tap, flick or pinch them. This is one of the key reasons we think the 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps,"

And still, we use 3.7 inches screens (iPod and iPhone) without any problem.

But there isn't as much information on those screens..
What he means in the UI, and the iPad apps are designed with a specific scale, and precision, which is lost as you reduce the size..

Now most apps will probably work fine.. some may not..

Ideally the 7" would have it's own UI for apps, meaning just as an iPhone and iPad app can differ, so can an iPad Mini and a normal iPad can differ..

Either way, I'd like to see a $200 iPad..

Ryoken said,
Either way, I'd like to see a $200 iPad..

There is no way apple will ever get into the budget tablet market.. their ipod nano (with a 1 inch screen and 4gb) is like 150 bucks.. .

Ryoken said,
But there isn't as much information on those screens..
What he means in the UI, and the iPad apps are designed with a specific scale, and precision, which is lost as you reduce the size..

Now most apps will probably work fine.. some may not..

Ideally the 7" would have it's own UI for apps, meaning just as an iPhone and iPad app can differ, so can an iPad Mini and a normal iPad can differ..

Either way, I'd like to see a $200 iPad..


problem is because it has apple on it it will be closer to $400 probably

jupe said,

problem is because it has apple on it it will be closer to $400 probably

If it does then I don't care.. I'd buy the normal one..
Sell one for $200 and I'd buy it in a heartbeat..

Ryoken said,

If it does then I don't care.. I'd buy the normal one..
Sell one for $200 and I'd buy it in a heartbeat..

The iPad is $499... the iPod Touch is $199... an iPad mini would have to be somewhere in the middle.

The reason of the measures of an ipod touch or iphone screen is simply, on average that is the span that a thumb can cover, which means that you can tap every point of the screen with just one finger.

rfirth said,

The iPad is $499... the iPod Touch is $199... an iPad mini would have to be somewhere in the middle.


OR the iPod Touch just goes to $99. Apple will probably release the 7" for $249-$299