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Chinese site claims design of Apple's 7-inch iPad is 'finished'

post #1 of 113
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Though questionable, rumors of a 7-inch iPad from Apple continue to crop up, with a new report alleging the device is now a "finished product."

Citing rumors from production plants in Shenzhen, China, Shanzai.com reported Friday that Apple is in fact working on a 7-inch tablet, though its alleged design is said to be more like an iPhone 4.

"Yes there will be a (7-inch) tablet, yes it's well underway in terms of product development and in fact its a finished product," the report said. "Yes 5 plus different designs have been floating around to help Apple protect itself from people discovering its next product look and feel but... the final design will in fact bear more resemblance to the iPhone 4 stylings than the original iPad design."

Rumors began to crop up in April, soon after the iPad launched in the U.S., that Apple was working on a smaller, cheaper version of the iPad. The reports have primarily come from overseas publications citing sources in Apple's supply chain.

In August, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News claimed that Apple was pursuing an iPad with a smaller screen and lighter weight, because the current 9.7-inch device is too big and heavy for some users. That report alleged that the new model will cut its weight from 700 grams to 500 grams.

Though questionable, the persistent rumors have been specific in some cases, with another report claiming the device will feature a Cortex-A9 processor and a screen resolution of 1,024-by-768 pixels. However, that same DigiTimes report also inaccurately claimed that a new Apple TV, powered by the AMD Fusion hybrid processor, would connect to Apple's App Store and go into mass production in December.
post #2 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

I sure hope they wake up and make it 16x9.

I sure hope you wake up and see it's not an Apple product.

And Apple made the iPad 4:3 for a reason. You want 16:9, buy a Dell tablet.

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post #3 of 113
I would welcome such a move because the current iPad is too heavy to hold it for long period of time reading something on it. After a while it feels like its made out of lead. I don't mind the size but it should be lighter! A 7'' light tablet would be great.
post #4 of 113
Does that mean current model 10'' screen size will be discontinued?

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post #5 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario View Post

Does that mean current model 10'' screen size will be discontinued?

At 2 to 3 million sales a month within the first 6 months I wouldnt think so.
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post #6 of 113
Someone please tell me where a 7" iPad would fit in Apple's product line? There's a 64GB iPod Touch for $399 and a 9.7" 16GB iPad for $499. I don't see Apple offering a 7" tablet at $399 - the same price as their top of the line iPod touch, and it makes no sense to price it more than the iPad.

The only thing that would make sense is if Apple added more bells and whistles to the $499 10" iPad - like a Camera/GPS/Gyroscope, and increase the price point by $100, leaving the $499 price point for the 7" iPad. Still, I don't see that happening as the 10" iPad is a runaway success, and I don't see Apple doing anything to tamper with that.
post #7 of 113
It seems to me that if this rumour was true, then Apple would have been moving heaven and earth for a Christmas season release.

Just sayin'.
post #8 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by lav1daloca View Post

I would welcome such a move because the current iPad is too heavy to hold it for long period of time reading something on it. After a while it feels like its made out of lead. I don't mind the size but it should be lighter! A 7'' light tablet would be great.

There is certainly a market now for these tablets and I think a 7 model would thrive. Though one of Apples greatest strengths is also one of their greatest weaknesses when trying to come to market, which makes me wonder how legit this is. Apple isnt going to simply crunch the 10 iPad UI into a 7 iPad display or spread the iPod Touch UI onto a 7 iPad display.

They will tailor the UI and OS to be idealized for this device. They will also need a new SDK and App Store portal for these tailored apps. I cant see Apple doing it any other way.

Its possible they worked on many different sizes simultaneously so that they can release the new size with a complete ecosystem addition within a year of the first iPad launching, but I have doubts about that. It may cause consumer confusion and, lets be realistic, they arent even getting iOS 4.x for the iPad until November and Apple still only has one iPhone design per year, so a 7 iPad this soon seems very un-Apple to me (though I hope this does come out).
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post #9 of 113
I have no problem whatsoever with the size or weight of the current iPad model. If it's too heavy to hold in your hand for an extending period of time, maybe it's time to hit the gym and bulk up a bit?

The new iPad mini would compete better with other ereaders like the Kindle, and the lower price would surely make it more appealing. When I first heard about it I rolled my eyes, it seemed like a joke. But it is a reasonable marketing tactic in the end.
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post #10 of 113
Of course this rumor is true, I have no idea why Ai keeps repeating, "though questionable". It's a finished product ready to go. We've known since before the first iPad that a 7" model was on the way. It makes a lot of sense, as the standard iPad is far too big and heavy for some users needs, and it will be 2 years before you see a Retina display on something that large. The 7" ( or rather 6.7") screen however, will be glorious with it's IPS display and 300+ pixels per inch.

And no it will NOT be 16:9, because Apple isn't a completely stupid couch nerd.
post #11 of 113
9.7" iPad is too large to fit in my white coat pocket. If it moves to 7", Apple opens up an entirely new revenue stream of hospitals wanting to buy one for every doctor on staff. Plus, there's a lot of bezel on the current version I consider wasted space!
post #12 of 113
I really still do not see the need or want for a 7" iPad. Alot of people that have been flocking to the iPad have been using it for more screen than their iPhone or Touch when they don't need to fire up their home computer or laptop. I really think apple thought long and hard before coming out with the size they did for the iPad and I just dont see the need or want for it right now. I think if they do come out with iPad 2 this January it will be the same size as the current model with all the upgrades we expect. I just don't think there are many people out their holding off on getting an iPad because the screen is too big. Most people are just waiting for camera's/Facetime ect. To come out with a iPad mini before iPad 2 would not be a good move. I can maybe see a mini next year if there is success at that size with other tablet makers and people call for apple to come in at that size and do it right.
post #13 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by serpicolugnut View Post

Someone please tell me where a 7" iPad would fit in Apple's product line? There's a 64GB iPod Touch for $399 and a 9.7" 16GB iPad for $499. I don't see Apple offering a 7" tablet at $399 - the same price as their top of the line iPod touch, and it makes no sense to price it more than the iPad.

There is no logical reason not to have a 3.5" iPod, 7" iPad and a 10" iPad all at the same price. It is not like people are asking for a 7" iPad because the 10" is too expensive and the iPod is too cheap. They want a larger screen than a iPod and a smaller lighter device than a 10" iPad. It could make perfect sense to make the 7" versions the same price as equivalent 10" versions and let people choose the form factor that fits their needs. Much like the Droid2 and DroidX.
post #14 of 113
I'll ask the obvious question for anyone not familiar with Clayton Christensen's book, The Innovator's Solution ... What job does a 7" tablet form factor do? Or, what role would that size play?

The iPad's 1024x768 role is obvious ... people "hire" an iPad to do the jobs they'd rather not do on a laptop ... causal games, casual content creation, consume video, tweet, blog, email, balance their chequebook, etc. The screen real estate, battery life, form factor etc all make this possible.

An iPod touch or iPhone can't do some of these things as efficiently, that is, low enough cost of entry barrier to make me hire it do to those tasks. Shooting out a decent sized blog post on the iPod touch is posible, but painful. Ditto web surfing. And I'd far rather read my newsgroups on an iPad, rather than the (comparatively) tiny screen of a touch or iPhone.

I'm not convinced the 7" form factor brings any efficiency to these sorts of jobs that the iPad perfectly fulfils. The screen real estate and keyboard issues alone may make it a bit better than a touch-sized device, but I'm not sure enough that most won't go for the existing iPad factor instead.

That's my 20 years of design and marketing input, anyway, worth about $0.02.
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post #15 of 113
I don't buy it. A 7" screen is half the area of the 10". But is not any more pocketable or portable.

My guess is that factory workers are leaking details of tablets from other manufacturers - and mistakenly assuming they are from Apple. This has often happened with phone parts.

C.
post #16 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

I sure hope they wake up and make it 16x9.

If the price is right, the aspect ratio is right and it will be able to view 'net videos, I'd be interested.

Agreed. They need something in a more Newtonesque form factor.
post #17 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveyJJ View Post

I'll ask the obvious question for anyone not familiar with Clayton Christensen's book, The Innovator's Solution ... What job does a 7" tablet form factor do? Or, what role would that size play?

The iPad's 1024x768 role is obvious ... people "hire" an iPad to do the jobs they'd rather not do on a laptop ... causal games, casual content creation, consume video, tweet, blog, email, balance their chequebook, etc. The screen real estate, battery life, form factor etc all make this possible.

An iPod touch or iPhone can't do some of these things as efficiently, that is, low enough cost of entry barrier to make me hire it do to those tasks. Shooting out a decent sized blog post on the iPod touch is posible, but painful. Ditto web surfing. And I'd far rather read my newsgroups on an iPad, rather than the (comparatively) tiny screen of a touch or iPhone.

I'm not convinced the 7" form factor brings any efficiency to these sorts of jobs that the iPad perfectly fulfils. The screen real estate and keyboard issues alone may make it a bit better than a touch-sized device, but I'm not sure enough that most won't go for the existing iPad factor instead.

That's my 20 years of design and marketing input, anyway, worth about $0.02.

20 years hasn't told you that none of that matters, people will buy these models based on:

#1 Price.
#2 Portability.

If they can afford any of them, they'll pick the one they want to carry around. If they x hundred dollars, they buy the one that costs that.

Pretty simple. I'm sure we're not talking about whether or not people will buy them, as that would unimaginably stupid. There were plenty of people who took the time to make themselves look as stupid as possible in this category, from January 2010 - about the late April Early May timeframe. Then the shutting up, began.
post #18 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post

Agreed. They need something in a more Newtonesque form factor.

Yeah, that old Newton was a great success wasn't it?

C.
post #19 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

9.7" iPad is too large to fit in my white coat pocket. If it moves to 7", Apple opens up an entirely new revenue stream of hospitals wanting to buy one for every doctor on staff. Plus, there's a lot of bezel on the current version I consider wasted space!

It's a really good thing you are not a designer then, as that bezel has about as much if not more function than the screen itself.

Ever pay any attention to where you hold the device every single time it's picked up!!!!!!

Christ
post #20 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by swtchdtomak View Post

It seems to me that if this rumour was true, then Apple would have been moving heaven and earth for a Christmas season release.

Just sayin'.

Could someone (swtchdtomak) tell me what '"just sayin'" means, after, um, saying something. If it means that you are disengaged or in denial and therefor don't mean the words, why are you saying them? If you do mean them, why are you lying about it?
post #21 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

I don't buy it. A 7" screen is half the area of the 10". But is not any more pocketable or portable.
C.

Oh yes it is. Inner pocket of a jacket. Would make the perfect paperback replacement for me - I'd buy both sizes, one for home use (and when I plan to bring a bag) and the other for reading books + web surfing and casual website updates on the go (Wordpress)...
post #22 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

It's a really good thing you are not a designer then, as that bezel has about as much if not more function than the screen itself.

Ever pay any attention to where you hold the device every single time it's picked up!!!!!!

Christ

To me, it looks like other tablets coming out now have an even larger bezel for the relative display size.
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post #23 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by 0yvind View Post

Oh yes it is. Inner pocket of a jacket. Would make the perfect paperback replacement for me - I'd buy both sizes, one for home use (and when I plan to bring a bag) and the other for reading books + web surfing and casual website updates on the go (Wordpress)...

Don't forget the mass is dictated by the battery. It would weigh half a kilogram!
Making it a paperback replacement capable of ripping the lining out of your jacket.

I don't buy it - but as always with these things. Time will be the judge.

C.
post #24 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElmCityWeb View Post

I have no problem whatsoever with the size or weight of the current iPad model. If it's too heavy to hold in your hand for an extending period of time, maybe it's time to hit the gym and bulk up a bit?

But that's not my concern, my concern with the current iPad is that even in portrait mode, it's hard to to the two thumb typing method. Typing in landscape mode requires awkward holds in my opinion. And a smaller one would fit in my inside jacket pocket better.
post #25 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by lav1daloca View Post

I would welcome such a move because the current iPad is too heavy to hold it for long period of time reading something on it. After a while it feels like its made out of lead. I don't mind the size but it should be lighter! A 7'' light tablet would be great.

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post #26 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

Don't forget the mass is dictated by the battery. It would weigh half a kilogram!
Making it a paperback replacement capable of ripping the lining out of your jacket.

How old of a jacket? I've carried much heavier things in pockets, not often, and not recently, but you're certainly well below the safety threshold for most coats and jackets in good repair. My guess is the only way a half kilogram is going to damage a pocket is if the jacket is in obvious need of repair in the first place. Fabric and stitching is a lot stronger than you'd think.
post #27 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by lav1daloca View Post

I would welcome such a move because the current iPad is too heavy to hold it for long period of time reading something on it. After a while it feels like its made out of lead. I don't mind the size but it should be lighter! A 7'' light tablet would be great.

i initially was against the 10" and wanted 7" but now i have a 10 ipad and a kindle 6" and i say the 10 is the right size. i imagine they will bring the weight down a tad soon. but i really don't care if apple sells both sizes. i would probably end up with both eventually lol.
post #28 of 113
Reminds me a lot of the endless iPhone mini rumors just after the iPhone came out. It was such a great idea that it never happened.
post #29 of 113
I'd rather have 10hours of battery life or more.
post #30 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by witheredmind View Post

Reminds me a lot of the endless iPhone mini rumors just after the iPhone came out. It was such a great idea that it never happened.

Yeah, it's exactly like the iPhone mini, and just as likely to happen.

A 7" tablet is probably the worst possible size for a tablet. Too big to be pocket portable (have fun carrying that around in a jacket pocket) and would totally fill up a woman's purse. Too small to give the degree of productivity (e.g., ease of typing) the current form factor offers, and even at the same screen resolution, shrunk, there will be UI problems with controls crowded too close together. Not to mention that they'd still need to release a new SDK for this and develpers will need to adapt graphics... and they haven't done so, so this isn't happening any time soon as rumored. The only thing this might be better at, if it were much lighter, would maybe be as an e-reader, but for everything else, not so much.

I have to agree that these 7" screens are for someone else's tablet, not an Apple tablet.
post #31 of 113
Shrinking the battery to fit in the 7" is a no go. Unless they reduce the clock speed to compensate power drain.
post #32 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by serpicolugnut View Post

Someone please tell me where a 7" iPad would fit in Apple's product line? There's a 64GB iPod Touch for $399 and a 9.7" 16GB iPad for $499. I don't see Apple offering a 7" tablet at $399 - the same price as their top of the line iPod touch, and it makes no sense to price it more than the iPad.

The only thing that would make sense is if Apple added more bells and whistles to the $499 10" iPad - like a Camera/GPS/Gyroscope, and increase the price point by $100, leaving the $499 price point for the 7" iPad. Still, I don't see that happening as the 10" iPad is a runaway success, and I don't see Apple doing anything to tamper with that.

That makes a lot of sense, but (1) there's been so much noise about a smaller iPad that there's probably something to it, and (2) Apple wants to dominate the $349-$399 price point and the market for people who want a smaller iPad before the cheaper tablets get a hold in the market.

If Apple brings out a smaller iPad, I suspect they will reduce the price on the top iPod touch. Right now the touch line is $229/$299/$399 for 8GB/32GB/64GB. The memory is the only thing that distinguishes the models, so Apple has some room to move if they want to wedge a smaller iPod at $349 or $399.

I don't think Apple is in a huge hurry to cut their margins on the touch or give people a cheaper iPad option, but I think we'll see the new iPad sometime in 2011.
post #33 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porchland View Post

That makes a lot of sense, but (1) there's been so much noise about a smaller iPad that there's probably something to it ...

As noted previously, there has been even more noise about an iPhone mini over the years, with any number of analysts and sources assuring us that Apple will be releasing it, "any day now." So, the amount of noise doesn't really mean anything.
post #34 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

I sure hope they wake up and make it 16x9.

Great for videos. Stupid for everything else an iPad does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by serpicolugnut View Post

Someone please tell me where a 7" iPad would fit in Apple's product line? There's a 64GB iPod Touch for $399 and a 9.7" 16GB iPad for $499. I don't see Apple offering a 7" tablet at $399 - the same price as their top of the line iPod touch, and it makes no sense to price it more than the iPad.

I see no issue with a 64 GB iPod touch and a 16 GB 7" iPad both at the $399 price point. If you primarily want a media player, get the touch. If mobile computing device (browsing, apps, etc) is your primary use, get the 7" iPad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveyJJ View Post

I'm not convinced the 7" form factor brings any efficiency to these sorts of jobs that the iPad perfectly fulfils. The screen real estate and keyboard issues alone may make it a bit better than a touch-sized device, but I'm not sure enough that most won't go for the existing iPad factor instead.

That's my 20 years of design and marketing input, anyway, worth about $0.02.

Well, from a usability standpoint, ever try typing on an iPad in landscape orientation while holding it? You need one hand to hold it and you are left to pecking out text (or any other interface interaction) with the other. I've got pretty big hands and I can't reach the entire screen with my thumbs if holding it in two hands like you'd do with an iPhone. The onscreen keyboard is ridiculously large and inefficient because you have to move your hand around so much to reach all the keys. And if you try to hold it in both hands to type in portrait mode, the center of gravity is too high and it wants to flip out of your hands.

A 7" screen would actually be more efficient because you can reach interface elements with less movement (ever try using a Mac with a 30" screen. Moving the mouse from the menu bar to the dock is very cumbersome).

And if you did want to hold it in one hand, the 7" is also better. Most people's hands would be big enough that they can get their fingers behind the center of gravity to provide support. One of the reasons for the large bezel on the current iPad is because you need it for your thumb to hook around the front of the device so it doesn't flip out of your hand (because the center of gravity is beyond the reach of your hand underneath). A 7" iPad could therefore have a smaller bezel, making the overall device even smaller than just the smaller screen.

Apple could easily make a 7" iPad with the same resolution as the current iPad using a more dense LCD. And it would still be less dense than the iPhone's retina display. So you could display the same amount of information.

So as you can see, there are many efficiency and usability advantages to a smaller iPad, and we didn't even get into portability issues.
post #35 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

9.7" iPad is too large to fit in my white coat pocket. If it moves to 7", Apple opens up an entirely new revenue stream of hospitals wanting to buy one for every doctor on staff. Plus, there's a lot of bezel on the current version I consider wasted space!

It's an ergonomics issue. Even with the bezel size of the current iPad, I sometimes flip book pages inadvertently. So it has to be that wide. A smaller iPad that fits in the palm of the hand could have a narrower bezel around the edge of the screen, or essentially none, like the iPhone. I'd say that 7" is still too large for palmability though, at least for most people.
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post #36 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

How old of a jacket? I've carried much heavier things in pockets, not often, and not recently, but you're certainly well below the safety threshold for most coats and jackets in good repair. My guess is the only way a half kilogram is going to damage a pocket is if the jacket is in obvious need of repair in the first place. Fabric and stitching is a lot stronger than you'd think.

I'd break the world into two important categories.

There are the cool and groovy hipsters, who simply don't own or wear Jackets of any form. "Pocketable" means "jeans pocketable". Anything bigger goes into a cool satchel type thing.

And there are the besuited business types, who'd not be seen dead with half a kilo of electronics clanging around ruining the line of their Armani's. Remember the Newon!

There are those who fit into neither category of course.

C.
post #37 of 113
I expect that Apple will release this with a 10" + a camera.
Drop the current 10" by $50.
7" comes in at $375.

The touch drops in price by $100 and the top end model adds a good camera.

Apple is going to be putting cameras on almost all new models - if not ALL new models.

Even though the iPad is selling faster than it can be built -- Apple does NOT wait for the market -- it keeps up the desire factor. And upgrading and lowering the price for a sell-out item is strategically a great idea.

Having people lust and wait for the top end model will help their image.


>> and don't forget, another manufacturer is going online -- so I'm expecting that they will double output, and probably have the NEW factory working on the newer devices like the 7" -- so expect the rumor-mill on this one to be tighter than usual (new deals and all that effect).
post #38 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustReelFilms View Post

Shrinking the battery to fit in the 7" is a no go. Unless they reduce the clock speed to compensate power drain.

I'd say the power consumption due to screen size is the limiting factor, not the processor. Smaller screen, smaller total power drain. Note that iPhone4 has the same processor and even better battery life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

I'd be happy with a more iP4esque aspect ratio.

Don't get any weird ideas, but for once, I agree with this. 1.5:1 is a good middle ground for the general gamut of media the devices will display, and it perfectly fits iPhone apps too. Making a device 16:9 just for one media type (widescreen videos) is unfortunate because it needlessly cramps every other use in my opinion because the smallest dimension is just too small for other uses.
post #39 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Well, from a usability standpoint, ever try typing on an iPad in landscape orientation while holding it? You need one hand to hold it and you are left to pecking out text (or any other interface interaction) with the other. I've got pretty big hands and I can't reach the entire screen with my thumbs if holding it in two hands like you'd do with an iPhone. The onscreen keyboard is ridiculously large and inefficient because you have to move your hand around so much to reach all the keys. And if you try to hold it in both hands to type in portrait mode, the center of gravity is too high and it wants to flip out of your hands.

A 7" screen would actually be more efficient because you can reach interface elements with less movement (ever try using a Mac with a 30" screen. Moving the mouse from the menu bar to the dock is very cumbersome). ...

Well, I doubt very much, unless you have giant hands, you'll be able to thumb type on a (mythical) 7" iPad in landscape, so you'll be stuck with the same procedure. (i.e., most people would see no benefit) Portrait, perhaps, but for actual two-handed typing, which the 10" iPad is absolutely great for, the 7" will totally suck in comparison.

And, if moving the mouse from the menu bar to the dock is "cumbersome", I think you definitely need to adjust your mouse settings. I can go from one side of a 27" screen to the other without even thinking about it. A 7" screen will play havoc with UI controls, crowding them too close together, so any efficiency of movement (totally minimal) will be lost to errant taps.
post #40 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

It's an ergonomics issue. Even with the bezel size of the current iPad, I sometimes flip book pages inadvertently. So it has to be that wide. A smaller iPad that fits in the palm of the hand could have a narrower bezel around the edge of the screen, or essentially none, like the iPhone. I'd say that 7" is still too large for palmability though, at least for most people.

7" in a 4:3 aspect ratio for sure. There are plenty of photos showing people palming 7" widescreen tablets.

From my perspective, a 7" iPad in a 4:3 form factor doesn't really provide much benefit when compared to the 10" version. It won't really be much more portable, and offering a widescreen iPad doesn't make sense given the success of the 4:3 model. I can't help but think these 7" iPad rumors are false.
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