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Apple reportedly 'noodling with' 7.85-inch iPad prototype

post #1 of 88
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Apple is said to be "noodling with" ideas and prototypes for a 7.85-inch iPad, though it's not clear if the device will ever see the light of day, according to one well-connected insider.

John Gruber of Daring Fireball said during an episode of "The Talk Show" that he knows Apple has a test 7.85-inch iPad with a resolution of 1,024 by 768 in its lab, as noted by The Next Web.

"I've heard from numerous people that that's one of the ideas that they're noodling with," he said.

Gruber added that the height of such a device would be roughly the same as the width of the current iPad. After testing the appromixate size using a screenshot rotated into landscape mode, he believes it would be "usable."


Screenshot of iPad in portrait viewed in landscape


"There are a couple areas where I think text is maybe a little too small, but it's not ridiculously small," he said.

He went on to say that he has "heard from nobody" on whether the 7-inch iPad will actually be released and when that would happen. Gruber did speculate, though, that Apple may have prepared enter the low-end tablet market should the Kindle Fire prove to be a runaway success. He also suggested that the company could possibly unveil the smaller iPad at the Worldwide Developers Conference, since it's unlikely that Apple would release a 2012 iPhone at WWDC.

Reports of a smaller iPad have persisted since the original iPad launched in April 2010. DigiTimes, which has mixed accuracy, has been one of the chief sources of rumors about a 7-inch iPad.

Speculation on a smaller form factor iPad gained legitimacy in February when The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple officials have been showing off designs for a smaller iPad that has a similar screen resolution as the iPad 2. The report did caution, though, that Apple could be simply testing new designs and might not actually release the device.

Recent reports have also suggested the rumored device could feature a "slim bezel display." A leaked research note from Samsung Securities that surfaced in March hinted that Apple will release a so-called "iPad mini" in the third quarter of 2012.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 88
They're using it to catch catfish? Really?
post #3 of 88
it makes sense that they would have prototyped several sizes of iPad and even iPhone before deciding on the sizes and designs that they released.

but just because they tested it doesn't mean they will ever release it.
post #4 of 88
If Apple can make foldable screens work properly, that'd be awesome... I don't think a 7 inch device is really what the people crave. No, not Braundo at all..
post #5 of 88
I'm calling it... iPad Mini

The regular iPad already has bigger icons and screen elements than the iPhone... so those won't be any harder to press. The slight reduction in size won't matter too much.

Think of the iPad Mini like a paperback... to the iPad's hardcover.
post #6 of 88
Well.. The iPod Touch is an endangered species. They might as well kill it off and replace it with a smaller iPad. Kindle Fire has proven there's a market for smaller tablets if done right.
post #7 of 88
One reason they might want/need such a product is if supplies of larger screens are limiting their ability to make (and thus to sell) iPads. Add a separate production pipeline for a separate model and maybe they can build more iPads?

As for the iPod Touch, it meets a need in non-iPhone-owners pockets, that something larger wouldnt fill, no pun intended.
post #8 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by alienzed View Post

I don't think a 7 inch device is really what the people crave. No, not Braundo at all..

haha, it actually was Brawndo, but +1 for the Idicoracy reference.
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post #9 of 88
Makes sense. The full iPad is still killing but they need something to compete more directly with the 7" / 200 dollar Kindle Fire. I could see a 7" iPad at 300 dollars.

If you think about it, it also makes a bit more sense that they dropped the generation number on iPad 3 back to straight up iPad. Say this iPad mini comes out in 6 months, it wouldn't fit right to only use one with version numbers.
post #10 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

Well.. The iPod Touch is an endangered species. They might as well kill it off and replace it with a smaller iPad. Kindle Fire has proven there's a market for smaller tablets if done right.

i know a few android owners who have bought ipod touches because apple / itunes match is a much better ecosystem for their music than amazon's cloud on android... and i'm hoping it's a gateway drug.
post #11 of 88
In my opinion the smaller size doesn't really mean the price will drop all that much compared to the existing iPad. If it were up to me I would rather but the larger iPad and see it as more of an investment and replacement to a MB Pro.
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post #12 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider

Gruber added that the height of such a device would be roughly the same as the width of the current iPad. After testing the appromixate size using a screenshot rotated into landscape mode, he believes it would be "usable."

It might be because im viewing the image on my iPhone but I'm not following how this is showing a 7.85" display.


Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

it makes sense that they would have prototyped several sizes of iPad and even iPhone before deciding on the sizes and designs that they released.

but just because they tested it doesn't mean they will ever release it.

I'd be more surprised if Apple didnt consider that size back in the 2000s when they still had no iOS-based device on the market.


Quote:
Originally Posted by september11th View Post

Makes sense. The full iPad is still killing but they need something to compete more directly with the 7" / 200 dollar Kindle Fire. I could see a 7" iPad at 300 dollars.

If you think about it, it also makes a bit more sense that they dropped the generation number on iPad 3 back to straight up iPad. Say this iPad mini comes out in 6 months, it wouldn't fit right to only use one with version numbers.

How exactly would the price drop to those levels? Note the iPod Touch prices. Also note they use a display and other inferior components to the iPhone.

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post #13 of 88
Remember those fake products that Apple new hires get assigned to?

post #14 of 88
The iPad is already small as is. I do not understand the tech-blogging-world's obsession with large smart phones and small tablets. A phone should fit in your pocket. A tablet should be like a piece of paper.

Not only that, apparently Jonny Ive and co made countless prototypes of the iPad (and iPhone) in all sorts of sizes. After much r&d they came to what was to be the "perfect size".

The only thing that makes sense is if the iPod Touch is starting to fall behind, then yes, that line may be updated to be a mini iPad of sorts... If it's marketed as an iPad or iPod, who knows.
post #15 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

Kindle Fire has proven there's a market for smaller tablets if done right.

Really? How did you come to that conclusion? Do you have any actual, hard data to back that up? Did Amazon report something that none of us heard about? (And, please don't link us to some newspaper stories or estimates put out by some consulting firm or analyst).

How does it stack up against the 55M iPads that Apple had sold at the end of last year, well before the new iPad?

Incidentally, all we can say - even if it sold well, which I doubt - is that, if you sell something for less than it costs to produce and sell, then it might sell well.
post #16 of 88
If it's a 7.85" screen shouldn't we be rounding it up to 8"? It's only .15" shy of that. To me it just doesn't make sense to call it a 7" screen when it's much closer to 8"..... I'm just saying.
post #17 of 88
Not sure if serious...

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post #18 of 88
I think they should also make a 15 inch iPad for those that want to view a screen like a laptop, but don't want to drag around a laptop.
post #19 of 88
So we have runours of a smaller iPad, larger iPod Touch and larger iPhone covering at least 4 new sizes and several new resolutions and all to be released in 2012. We got the iPad (3) and I still haven't seen the majority of my apps update to the Retina Display.

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post #20 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Really? How did you come to that conclusion? Do you have any actual, hard data to back that up? Did Amazon report something that none of us heard about? (And, please don't link us to some newspaper stories or estimates put out by some consulting firm or analyst).

How does it stack up against the 55M iPads that Apple had sold at the end of last year, well before the new iPad?

Incidentally, all we can say - even if it sold well, which I doubt - is that, if you sell something for less than it costs to produce and sell, then it might sell well.

Not quite. More like, if you sell something cheaply enough, ...

After all, customers don't care if the price is above or below COGS.
post #21 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

Not quite. More like, if you sell something cheaply enough, ...

After all, customers don't care if the price is above or below COGS.

Right, but 1) customers do care if the value is high enough to warrant the cost, and 2) smart companies care I the price is above or below the COGS.

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post #22 of 88
Gruber really sticks his neck out on predictions... "may never see the light of day" Has that guy ever had an original thought? Apple has buildings full of prototypes that never become a shipping product.

The rumor game has evolved and Gruber is out of touch. Bribing Apple interns with free beer at Cupertino bars is so last week.

These days, any Apple iOS device will have millions of units produced before it is announced. When Apple is ready to release a product, some Foxconn slave worker will be the one to let the world know by smuggling parts out of the factory in a body cavity.

Gruber needs to move to China and start working for Foxconn. His comments would be more believable if he spent 60 hrs a week making those small tablets. He would have no trouble smuggling a complete one out.
post #23 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by quamb View Post

The iPad is already small as is. I do not understand the tech-blogging-world's obsession with large smart phones and small tablets. A phone should fit in your pocket. A tablet should be like a piece of paper.

Not only that, apparently Jonny Ive and co made countless prototypes of the iPad (and iPhone) in all sorts of sizes. After much r&d they came to what was to be the "perfect size".

The only thing that makes sense is if the iPod Touch is starting to fall behind, then yes, that line may be updated to be a mini iPad of sorts... If it's marketed as an iPad or iPod, who knows.

Because the in-between size is actually very useful : ) Whatever logic there is for there being no reason for any size between the iPad and the phone is lost on me. I love my iPodTouch because it goes in my pocket, but if I had a larger version I would always still keep it on my person, in a vest pocket or whatever, which I couldn't do with an iPad.

It's like photographers say about cameras: The best camera is the one you bring with you. I find the Nook size (just talking size here, and not that I own one) not at all terrible for what it's supposed to be. I don't have any obsession with small size things. I'm amused by people browsing using their phones. Why would a slightly larger form which would be better for many things be a terrible idea? I don't see an "iPad mini" as being pointless in the least.
post #24 of 88
Apple should just make this the next iPhone. Then we'll see of all those fandroids with boners for 5 inch screens really want an iPhone with a bigger screen, or were just trolling and had no intention of ever buying an iPhone.

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post #25 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

It might be because im viewing the image on my iPhone but I'm not following how this is showing a 7.85" display.

I'm a little confused too, but I think what they did was take a screen shot on an iPad in portrait mode, and then displayed that image on an iPad in landscape mode. Thereby giving them an approximation of what the screen size might look like.

Whilst it may have helped them, I don't see how showing an image of that on a web site is going to help readers though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

How exactly would the price drop to those levels?

Exactly, it wouldn't drop by any appreciable amount if at all. In order to maintain an acceptable experience, the internals would need to be pretty much the same as the regular sized unit.

Although that size reduction would mean less room for battery.
post #26 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by september11th View Post

Makes sense. The full iPad is still killing but they need something to compete more directly with the 7" / 200 dollar Kindle Fire. I could see a 7" iPad at 300 dollars.

Personally I can see this happening, and I think it would be hugely successful as a gaming device - specially as a gaming device. But I don't think Apple would compete with Amazon on price. I really don't see the point. An 8" iPad/Pod would be a high end device - a full featured Apple device an would sell like hot cakes priced between the iPad and iPad.
post #27 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Really? How did you come to that conclusion? Do you have any actual, hard data to back that up? Did Amazon report something that none of us heard about? (And, please don't link us to some newspaper stories or estimates put out by some consulting firm or analyst).

How does it stack up against the 55M iPads that Apple had sold at the end of last year, well before the new iPad?

Incidentally, all we can say - even if it sold well, which I doubt - is that, if you sell something for less than it costs to produce and sell, then it might sell well.

Let me guess? Cause Steve Jobs said so?

So what if Apple releases a 7" iPad?
post #28 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by quamb View Post

The iPad is already small as is. I do not understand the tech-blogging-world's obsession with large smart phones and small tablets. A phone should fit in your pocket. A tablet should be like a piece of paper.
...

What I like about the idea of 7" iPad is that it has a chance to fit in my jacket/coat pocket. The 10" iPad won't.

But I do agree that smartphones don't really need to get larger.
post #29 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

Let me guess? Cause Steve Jobs said so?

So what if Apple releases a 7" iPad?

Simple, it means they feel they can make a solid profit with the device. There is nothing in his statement that indicated they never would release a small tablet, he merely argued rationally that any suspected success of the Kindle Fire as a loss leader is not evidence that Apple will release a $200 tablet.

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post #30 of 88
I. Won't buy it but for iPad to become the iPod of tablets it needs a 7" version, only way they will maintain a 80% market share.
post #31 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShAdOwXPR View Post

I. Won't buy it but for iPad to become the iPod of tablets it needs a 7" version, only way they will maintain a 80% market share.

Profit market share or unit market share?

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post #32 of 88
I still think a larger and more game centric iPod touch will be coming this fall instead. Apple did file for the iGame trademark four years ago.
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post #33 of 88
I own a iPod Touch and a BlackBerry Playbook. I love my PlayBook, but the size doesn't lend itself to let me put it in my pocket. It is too heavy to hold with one hand for long periods of time. I bought it for my mother, but she found the screen too small to read and to play word games. Instead, an IPad for her.

I think the 7 inch tablet is more of a niche product. I like my iPod Touch because it fits into my pocket. I love my PlayBook, but I don't know very many people I would recommend it to. But an IPad, I would recommend to most people.
post #34 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Profit market share or unit market share?

Both...
post #35 of 88
I for one think it's a bad idea. Why would you want a halfbreed? The iPad is the iPad, and Apple should let others like Samsung stick to their own marketing strategy not go after them.

Moreover who the f would want to read text, books or browse the web a little worse than on the current iPad? Why would you want to do that? For the sake of 150-200 grams? Or because the 10" iPad is just so freaking big you couldn't hold it even in two hands...wow.

What next? A 4,5" iPhone? Nice challenge for a 7" iPad....

As i said let Samsung and others market their own products. When i see the stupidity behind Galaxy Note and people clinging those devices to their ears i always saw WTF!? It looks horrible. And wrong. And stupid. Just like taking pictures with a 10" tablet like the iPad.
post #36 of 88
Let this be Apple's e-ink eBook named iBook. Amazon need competition in that space as they are terrible at designing software and they can't even make page buttons. Besides, you can't beat e-ink at the reading experience.
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post #37 of 88
A sole e-ink iPad would run counter against Apple's idea of simplified product line. This would be something Sony and competitors would do, which is fragment themselves even more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Let this be Apple's e-ink eBook named iBook. Amazon need competition in that space as they are terrible at designing software and they can't even make page buttons. Besides, you can't beat e-ink at the reading experience.
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post #38 of 88
ASUS would jump on that bandwagon and call it the ASUS S-UX SH3-MAL3 Optimus Ultimate P3N15 or something. Whether it will be successful is another matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

I think they should also make a 15 inch iPad for those that want to view a screen like a laptop, but don't want to drag around a laptop.
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post #39 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreiD View Post

I for one think it's a bad idea. Why would you want a halfbreed? The iPad is the iPad, and Apple should let others like Samsung stick to their own marketing strategy not go after them.

Moreover who the f would want to read text, books or browse the web a little worse than on the current iPad? Why would you want to do that? For the sake of 150-200 grams? Or because the 10" iPad is just so freaking big you couldn't hold it even in two hands...wow.

What next? A 4,5" iPhone? Nice challenge for a 7" iPad....

As i said let Samsung and others market their own products. When i see the stupidity behind Galaxy Note and people clinging those devices to their ears i always saw WTF!? It looks horrible. And wrong. And stupid. Just like taking pictures with a 10" tablet like the iPad.

The 7" iPad would address a different market demographic to the 10" iPad. I know lots of people who have a 6" Kindle simply because it's more comfortable to hold with one hand whilst reading an eBook and fits into your coat pocket or handbag. I'm sure kids would find the lighter, smaller, cheaper device easier to use and more parent friendly.

If Apple ignores the 7" sector Amazon will clean up, then once you have a Kindle you'll probably stick with it coz your content is on there once Amazon launch a 10" Kindle Fire later this year.
post #40 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

The 7" iPad would address a different market demographic to the 10" iPad. I know lots of people who have a 6" Kindle simply because it's more comfortable to hold with one hand whilst reading an eBook and fits into your coat pocket or handbag. I'm sure kids would find the lighter, smaller, cheaper device easier to use and more parent friendly.

If Apple ignores the 7" sector Amazon will clean up, then once you have a Kindle you'll probably stick with it coz your content is on there once Amazon launch a 10" Kindle Fire later this year.

Good point. The play here is really content. People are missing the point. A smaller iPad isn't about reacting to the competition it's about reaching into more homes and getting people to grab content from iTunes.

Letting your competition improve their smaller tablets to the point where it becomes dangerous is tantamount to leaving your flanks unguarded.

A writer made a great point recently about Microsoft and Office. They said that every month that goes by where Office isn't on the iPad doesn't hurt Apple it hurts the perception that Office is an essential product.

Apple has the same risk. The iPad is "the" tablet to have but you don't want go let your competition make ownership of an iPad carry less weight. The key is to deliver the right product at the right price.
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