Is a tiny iPad in the works? At least, according to the occasionally reliable Taiwanese trade paper Digitimes, that could be the case.
Digitimes, citing sources, reported earlier today that Apple is likely to launch a “7.85-inch iPad prior to the fourth quarter of 2012,” in addition to a new iPad scheduled to be released at the end of the first quarter of the year.
The Taipei-based paper said that Apple has been pressured into developing a smaller tablet device in order to cope with increasing competition from other vendors, including Amazon. The online retail giant just released blockbuster sales figures for its new 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet.
While Apple could indeed be feeling the heat from the Kindle Fire, despite the fact that the company has a current estimated share of 75 percent of the still-emerging tablet market, these rumors aren’t entirely new ones.
Last year, for example, following the launch of Samsung’s seven-inch Galaxy Tab, the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs blasted devices smaller than the 10-inch iPad, dismissing these mini-tablets as “dead on arrival.”