According to a recent report, Apple will be releasing a smaller version of its industry-leading iPad tablet. The new version will feature a 7" screen and will cost between $200 and $250. Apple is said to be targeting an October 2012 release for the new tablet.
Rene Richtie of iMore reports that sources have informed him the new Apple tablet will essentially be the same as its 9.7" counterpart, just at a smaller size. Richtie believes this would mean the latest iPad's resolution of 2048x1536 would also be present on the new, smaller iPad. Rumors of a smaller iPad have been swirling for years - in fact, we reported on just such a rumor a few weeks ago, which also suggested a similar price tag - but Apple has steadfastly refused to confirm a smaller iPad would ever be made.
The smaller iPad would be going against the Amazon Kindle Fire, the Android tablet market leader. The Fire currently sells for $199 through Amazon.com as well as some bricks-and-mortar retail outlets, although Target recently confirmed it will no longer sell the tablet. The Kindle Fire holds 54.4% of the Android tablet market as of February, according to a market analysis released last month.
Steve Jobs was famously adamant about a 7" tablet being too small for consumers, saying such a size would never resonate with consumers. "It's meaningless unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of their present size," Jobs said in 2010.