My first reaction is that this is a planned leak by Samsung as an attempt to dampen sales of the iPad 3 -- some people will delay buying, thinking a new model is coming in 6-7 months.
This is, indeed, a possibility!
But, consider this: there may be a way to use a smaller screen (with smaller buttons and controls) -- without the need to sand your fingers to a point or carry a stylus.
Some possibilities that could be used in combination:
- Device-resident Siri subset for dictation and commands
- A transparent HUD with resized (full-sized) buttons and controlls
- User and app-definable keyboard macros and shortcuts
- Additional virtual keyboard keys like: home, tab, arrows, select start/end...
- An invocable "cursor/keypad" HUD with magnifying glass, arrow, mouse overs, etc.
Several 3rd-party apps have virtual kbs with additional keys as above.
I am entering this post on my iPad in portrait mode using the split keyboard... It is quite nice and has a transparent center area that could easily provide the additional keys and the cursor/keypad.
Try it -- I think you will see the possibilities!
IMO, if there is a demand for a smaller device, it need not have exact 1x-2x or retina resolution -- 1.5x would be OK. This could be handled by an enhanced SDK and execution-time hardware assist... Say, preferential resolution-independence...
If the need is there, the developers will come -- and often lead the way!