The detail comes from sources in Apple's upstream supply chain who spoke with DigiTimes. They indicated that the 7.85-inch iPad will take on comparable smaller tablet models like the Amazon Kindle Fire or Samsung Galaxy Tab.
"Although the 7.85-inch iPads may not adopt Retina displays as in the recently released new iPads, the 7.85-inch model is likely to use IPS/FFS panels from LG Display and probably AU Optronics (AUO)," the report said.
It was suggested that the 7.85-inch iPad model will be targeted toward the sub-$300 market, with Apple pricing the device at either $249 or $299. Apple's current low-end model is the 16GB iPad 2, which starts at $399 for the Wi-Fi-only model.
Reports claiming Apple is at work on a smaller iPad model have picked up considerable steam in recent weeks. This month alone it was said that Apple has inked a deal with AU Optronics for displays for the device, while production is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2012.
The source for many of the rumors related to a 7.85-inch iPad has been DigiTimes, a technology industry publication based out of Taiwan that has a hit-or-miss track record with respect to Apple-related rumors. But last month The Wall Street Journal chimed in and indicated that Apple was working with suppliers to test a new iPad model with an 7-inch screen size.
Though reports of a smaller iPad continue, many have dismissed the rumored device as a product that Apple will never actually sell. 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.
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