Apple reportedly testing smaller iPad with 8-inch screen

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014


Apple is said to be working with suppliers to test a new iPad model with a smaller form factor, sporting an 8-inch screen rather than the 9.7-inch size found on current models.



Citing people familiar with the situation, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that Apple officials have shown some suppliers designs for a device with an 8-inch screen size. It was said that Apple is qualifying potential suppliers to manufacture the device.



"One person said the smaller device will have a similar screen resolution as the iPad 2," authors Lorraine Luk and Jessica E. Vascellaro wrote. "Apple is working with screen makers including Taiwan-based AU Optronics and LG Display Co. of South Korea to supply the test panels, the person said."



The report also came with a caveat, noting that Apple works with suppliers to test new designs regularly, but that such a device may never see the light of day.



While the Journal has a respectable track record with respect to Apple rumors, like most publications it is not spotless. One of the newspaper's biggest misses came before the launch of the first iPad in 2010, when it suggested the then-unnamed tablet could recognize individual users via a forward-facing camera and customize the system's user interface for them. It also claimed that Apple could partner with Microsoft to bring Bing maps to iOS devices.



Tuesday's report comes on the heels of an initial story from the publication, which claims that Apple plans to add 4G long-term evolution high-speed data connectivity to the third-generation iPad. The LTE iPad will reportedly operate on networks from both Verizon and AT&T in the U.S., and it would be the first 4G device from Apple.











Apple is expected to hold a media event on March 7 to announce its third-generation iPad. The new device is expected to sport the same 9.7-inch screen size as the current generation model, but will have a higher-resolution "Retina Display" similar to the pixel density found on the iPhone 4S screen.



Rumors of a so-called "iPad mini" are not new and have persisted for years. But Apple has long downplayed the prospect of such a device, calling the screen size too small to be functional and criticizing competitors who released 7-inch touchscreen tablets.



In October of 2010, late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs slammed rivals who were building 7-inch tablets, saying the screen size was too small for users. He said that manufacturers of those devices would need to ship sandpaper with their 7-inch tablets so users could file down their fingers to the point where they could hit smaller targets on the screen.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • irelandireland Posts: 15,357member
    Probably Apple's way of hunting for supply chain leaks.
  • allmypeopleallmypeople Posts: 231member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Probably Apple's way of hunting for supply chain leaks.





    Yup! Not going to happen! only 1.7" smaller than the current one?! LOL



    The best chance of anything remotely close to this would likely be a larger iPod touch.
  • idaveidave Posts: 1,283member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by allmypeople View Post


    Yup! Not going to happen! only 1.7" smaller than the current one?! LOL



    The best chance of anything remotely close to this would likely be a larger iPod touch.



    Yeah, I'd go for that. I love my Galaxy Player with its five inch screen! It fits in my pocket, unlike any 7-10 inch tablet.
  • woodlinkwoodlink Posts: 198member
    Not



    Going



    To



    Happen
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,516member
    The only possible play here would be the educational market. Here we are talking K-6.



    The real need is for a sub 7" device or a larger touch.
  • rabbit_coachrabbit_coach Posts: 1,114member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Probably Apple's way of hunting for supply chain leaks.



    Might be a new device altogether, something like an entry device for toddlers, before they are big enough to hold an 9.7" iPad.
  • xavier83xavier83 Posts: 63member
    Its an ipod touch XL...
  • retrogustoretrogusto Posts: 424member
    I guess they've figured out that we're not buying the barrage of ridiculous 7" iPad stories, so they've upped it to 8.



    Still not buying.
  • screamingfistscreamingfist Posts: 971member
    i still laugh at Jobs comment. I guess he forgot that the iphone had a small touch screen. that, or apple forgot to ship the sandpaper with your purchase.
  • jonamacjonamac Posts: 384member
    I find it incredible that anyone still listens to these rumours. It's just not going to happen.



    Apple make decisions based on rational design considerations.



    1) This offers nothing the existing iPad does not.



    2) This would complicate the wonderfully simple two-form-factor approach Apple has been so successful with so far.



    Introducing a tweener device would mean having UI elements that were slightly smaller than their 9.7" counterparts. That's not elegant, it's Androidesque. Developers lives are incredibly simple designing for 'the iPad'. Why give them the headache of having to design for two different screen sizes that aren't different enough to be worthwhile? It's messy and it's not Apple. I really would have thought people would be getting this by now.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,981member
    Because we all know how much people loved it when Apple released the iPhone nano.



    Right?



    Guys?



    The iPhone nano! Because if there's one thing people are screaming for and one thing they KNOW FOR A FACT will exist, it's a SMALLER IPHONE.



    Right?



  • alonso perezalonso perez Posts: 385member
    But I could see the following:
    • An 8.5" to 9", standard resolution iPad Mini

    • An 11" to 12", double resolution iPad HD

    Shaving only 1" from the current size might seem pointless, but it wouldn't be if at the same time a 1" larger model appeared.



    Two sizes at two price points, for somewhat different markets. The UI would be the same, and the sizes would not be very far apart. It would not be that different from choosing between a 13" and 15" notebook, something we have done for years. It's the typical portability vs. screen size tradeoff.



    I would definitely go for the larger iPad, but I could see the smaller one making more sense for younger people, especially if it is also cheaper.



    There is nothing un-Apple about having two iPad sizes. It's been that way forever with notebooks, iMacs, and iPods. One size does not fit all.



    I do agree that 7" is a no-mans land. A 4" iPod Touch could make more sense, along with a very slight increase in the iPhone screen size, to 3.7" or 3.8" tops. Anything larger is just not comfortable or phone-like, regardless of what Samsung does.
  • rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by allmypeople View Post


    Yup! Not going to happen! only 1.7" smaller than the current one?! LOL



    The best chance of anything remotely close to this would likely be a larger iPod touch.



    Agreed. Plus any rumor that implies they're doing something because of competition (read: kindle fire) I call BS on. It was a media meme that the Fire would eat into iPad sales. But according to Tim Cook there is no evidence of that. If anything the Fire is probably eating into the sales of Nook or other Android tablets.
  • rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post


    I find it incredible that anyone still listens to these rumours. It's just not going to happen.



    Apple make decisions based on rational design considerations.



    1) This offers nothing the existing iPad does not.



    2) This would complicate the wonderfully simple two-form-factor approach Apple has been so successful with so far.



    Introducing a tweener device would mean having UI elements that were slightly smaller than their 9.7" counterparts. That's not elegant, it's Androidesque. Developers lives are incredibly simple designing for 'the iPad'. Why give them the headache of having to design for two different screen sizes that aren't different enough to be worthwhile? It's messy and it's not Apple. I really would have thought people would be getting this by now.



    But it fits into the investor analysts meme that Apple has to release something to compete with the great "iPad killer" Kindle Fire.
  • nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    If true I bet for automotive use
  • carmissimocarmissimo Posts: 837member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by allmypeople View Post


    Yup! Not going to happen! only 1.7" smaller than the current one?! LOL



    The best chance of anything remotely close to this would likely be a larger iPod touch.



    Agreed. The next logical move would be to increase the screen size of the iPod Touch to the point where it can still fit in your typical pocket. The current size is good for a phone but too small to be ideal for a pocket computer. As well, make the Nano a little larger to help compensate. You don't have to change the resolution of the device if it goes from 3.5 inches to let's say 4.7 inches.



    If you offer a 4.7-inch Touch and the 9.7-inch iPad, it makes an 8-inch iPad pointless. Too large to be carried in your pocket but inferior to the 9.7-inch iPad because of a more cramped screen. Lose/lose. And in terms of price point, where would it fit in. If it's too close to the 9.7-inch model, who would buy it and if it goes down market, it would impact Touch sales. Either way, Apple gains nothing from bringing out this product.



    That's the biggest thing here. What is Apple's motivation for bringing out such a device. The iPad is wildly successful and the competitors with smaller screens floundering. The Fire is not really in competition because it doesn't have the capabilities of Apple's devices. You can do more with a Touch right now than a Fire and if Apple makes the Touch a little larger, it will be a rather compelling option at that price point.
  • rabbit_coachrabbit_coach Posts: 1,114member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by screamingfist View Post


    i still laugh at Jobs comment. I guess he forgot that the iphone had a small touch screen. that, or apple forgot to ship the sandpaper with your purchase.



    I can join your laugh, the longer we can look back, the more obvious it becomes how spot on he was with his comment!
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 16,832member
    deleted
  • maccherrymaccherry Posts: 924member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by allmypeople View Post


    Yup! Not going to happen! only 1.7" smaller than the current one?! LOL



    The best chance of anything remotely close to this would likely be a larger iPod touch.



    Yep! That is the most obvious response to this stupid a$$ article.
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 16,832member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post


    If true I bet for automotive use



    Agreed. This is in the works.
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