Apple developed 7-inch iPad alongside current model - rumor

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Apple developed a smaller, 7-inch version of the iPad, but eventually only released a larger 9.7-inch model this year, according to a new rumor.



Citing anonymous sources, Jim Dalrymple of The Loop said this week that Apple has had a 7-inch iPad in its internal labs for some time. The hardware was allegedly developed alongside the original iPad, but Apple decided not to release the smaller model.



Recent rumors have suggested Apple is working on a 7-inch iPad, but Dalrymple suggested instead that Apple isn't "working" on one -- "it's already done," he said.



"Why did Apple choose to go with the larger model instead? Only Steve Jobs knows that for sure," he said. "Perhaps Apple didn't want comparisons to the iPhone or iPod touch. Even though those comparisons were made with the larger iPad, they would have been even more prevalent with a 7-inch model."



He also surmised that Apple "doesn't have to" release the 7-inch model, even as competitors like Samsung are betting on a 7-inch device as a potential market. Simply put, the strong initial success of the iPad means there's no need for Apple to rush out a new model.



"The iPad is one of the best selling devices in history," Dalrymple said. "Why would Apple need to release a smaller version to compete in a market it owns. It doesn't."



If recent reports are correct, Apple could be looking to release a 7-inch version of the iPad in 2011. Publications in the Far East have indicated that the device would be smaller and lighter than the current model, making it more appealing for e-reading.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 91
    bugsnwbugsnw Posts: 716member
    I'd buy the 7" model. Sometimes two inches is a lot.
  • Reply 2 of 91
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,215member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple developed a smaller, 7-inch version of the iPad, but eventually only released a larger 9.7-inch model this year, according to a new rumor.



    If true .... it would tell me two things. Apple determined the larger one was a better bet. Also should they ever need to release a 7" they have it ready to go. I only wonder what happens to apps, would they scale up or down or update SDK to create another set for the store.
  • Reply 3 of 91
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,300member
    Please. The only people really interested in a 7" table are manufacturers who know they will get clobbered if the offer a 10" tablet matching the size of the iPad.



    If they get any sales they can claim "see! People really did want a 7" tablet after all!"



    While I could see Apple maybe offering one in a year or so, it's far too soon for something as incremental as a 7" tablet. Three years later, the only variation in iPhone models are last years models.



    I wonder which manufacturer or stock shorter started this rumor to build up the "disappointment" when the the 7" form factor fails to materialize.
  • Reply 4 of 91
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    If true .... it would tell me two things. Apple determined the larger one was a better bet. Also should they ever need to release a 7" they have it ready to go. I only wonder what happens to apps, would they scale up or down or update SDK to create another set for the store.



    That may be why they stuck with 9 inch, as not to create too many application versions. I am interested in the 7 inch to use on patient rounds using citrix receiver, can stick it in coat pocket and lighter to carry. iPhone/iPod touch too small to do meaningful things with it.
  • Reply 5 of 91
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    While I don't doubt they might have something "ready to go," I'm guessing that this might all just be about their product development methodology where they created a couple of different options and decided that the 10" version was a better way to go.



    There may not really be any 7" version planned for production and sale at this point. That might have just been a development model.



    Doesn't mean they can't or won't change their plans.
  • Reply 6 of 91
    Quote:

    Citing anonymous sources, Jim Dalrymple of The Loop said this week that Apple has had a 7-inch iPad in its internal labs for some time.



    Anonymous sources! Must be true then.
  • Reply 7 of 91
    joe hsjoe hs Posts: 488member
    Developed? No doubt.

    Going to be sold? Unlikely.
  • Reply 8 of 91
    aizmovaizmov Posts: 989member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bugsnw View Post


    I'd buy the 7" model. Sometimes two inches is a lot.





    That what she said.
  • Reply 9 of 91
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    If true .... it would tell me two things. Apple determined the larger one was a better bet. Also should they ever need to release a 7" they have it ready to go. I only wonder what happens to apps, would they scale up or down or update SDK to create another set for the store.



    They?d have to create a new UI and SDK to go along with new display I/O. This isn?t like a desktop OS UI.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post


    Please. The only people really interested in a 7" table are manufacturers who know they will get clobbered if the offer a 10" tablet matching the size of the iPad.



    If they get any sales they can claim "see! People really did want a 7" tablet after all!"



    While I could see Apple maybe offering one in a year or so, it's far too soon for something as incremental as a 7" tablet. Three years later, the only variation in iPhone models are last years models.



    I wonder which manufacturer or stock shorter started this rumor to build up the "disappointment" when the the 7" form factor fails to materialize.



    I don?t see how this rumour can?t be legit. I can other vendors figuring out the best size and aspect ratio display in the board room, but not Apple. This is something that is best done with mockups and actually holding the device to find the best feel and fit after you experience it in your hands.



    People have said Apple only started working on a CDMA iPhone because of Android growth (of course ignoring the vendors who use it are doing so because they were facing profit challenges while Apple is taking ⅓ of all handset profits) but I don?t see how Apple hasn?t had a CDMA iPhone in the works since they started the project.
  • Reply 10 of 91
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,300member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "Why did Apple choose to go with the larger model instead? Only Steve Jobs knows that for sure," he said.



    Probably because it's an ideal size? Big enough from the iPhone/iPod touch to be distinctive, but not so big as to be unwieldily?



    I don't get the "demand" for a 7" tablet. Even at 7" its still too big to put in a pocket, and not that much smaller than a 10". I don't expect a 7" any time soon, if ever. If 7" tablets take off on other platforms, I could see Apple maybe doing it - but it offers another layer of complexity from hardware supply side management to software questions of handling another resolution that I don't see Apple in any hurry to address.
  • Reply 11 of 91
    irelandireland Posts: 17,584member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bugsnw View Post


    I'd buy the 7" model. Sometimes two inches is a lot.



    It's actually 2.7", which is basically 3". If you cut out a 7" piece of paper it's WAY smaller than the iPad. I actually think the iPad is too big, but that 7" would be much too small.



    The perfect size for me, and I think for most people is around 8.7" or so. Give us that with the same resolution as the 9.7" model and I'd buy it.
  • Reply 12 of 91
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,300member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I don?t see how this rumour can?t be legit. I can other vendors figuring out the best size and aspect ratio display in the board room, but not Apple. This is something that is best done with mockups and actually holding the device to find the best feel and fit after you experience it in your hands.



    Oh, I don't doubt there aren't dozens of different mockups - many of which are probably fully functional. In fact as thorough as Apple is, I would be shocked if it weren't so since as you point out, unless you have something to hold and really play with it's impossible to thoroughly test it out.



    What I find ridiculous is the assertion that because they may or may not have a working prototype, and because competitors are release 7" tables, that Apple will therefore be releasing a 7" tablet.



    Don't bank on it. Especially right now! They have the hottest product in consumer electronics history - there is no way they are going to complicate their ecosystem with a new model right now. None what so ever. As I said, we are three years later and the only variation in iPhone models are that they continue to sell the previous years models.
  • Reply 13 of 91
    irelandireland Posts: 17,584member
    Besides, an 8.7" iPad at the same resolution as the current model would be lighter, which would be great. And the screen would still be BIG. Just shave off an inch and the iPad would be "perfect".
  • Reply 14 of 91
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post


    Probably because it's an ideal size? Big enough from the iPhone/iPod touch to be distinctive, but not so big as to be unwieldily?



    I don't get the "demand" for a 7" tablet. Even at 7" its still too big to put in a pocket, and not that much smaller than a 10". I don't expect a 7" any time soon, if ever. If 7" tablets take off on other platforms, I could see Apple maybe doing it - but it offers another layer of complexity from hardware supply side management to software questions of handling another resolution that I don't see Apple in any hurry to address.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    If true .... it would tell me two things. Apple determined the larger one was a better bet. Also should they ever need to release a 7" they have it ready to go. I only wonder what happens to apps, would they scale up or down or update SDK to create another set for the store.





    The current resolution of the ipad isn't spectacular. It is completely possible that the 7" tablet can have the same resolution but just higher ppi. Even at that, I don't think it will make it a retina display.
  • Reply 15 of 91
    The 9.7 inch iPad is just more uniquely "magical" because no one else can get the battery life of the iPad from a 10 inch tablet.



    Apple develops a lot of things, but that does not mean they're gonna release them.



    Time will tell.
  • Reply 16 of 91
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,595member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    If true .... it would tell me two things. Apple determined the larger one was a better bet. Also should they ever need to release a 7" they have it ready to go. I only wonder what happens to apps, would they scale up or down or update SDK to create another set for the store.



    It also tells me that few companies are so thoroughly prepared when they bring a new product to market.
  • Reply 17 of 91
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    I think most current iPad usage is in the home. A 7" model would definitely put it on the road. Most commuters, male and female, are caring bags, briefcases or back packs of some sort. The large iPad doesn't fit very well, at least not for my toting gear. 7" will fit in almost any bag/purse.
  • Reply 18 of 91
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    Those anonymous sources are always such a reliable source for news
  • Reply 19 of 91
    mgl323mgl323 Posts: 247member
    The next iPad will not be a 7-inch. Instead it will be lighter compare to the original iPad. That way people can hold it with one hand for a while and not complain that it's to heavy. Oh yeah and some other hardware upgrades too
  • Reply 20 of 91
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post


    Probably because it's an ideal size? Big enough from the iPhone/iPod touch to be distinctive, but not so big as to be unwieldily?



    I don't get the "demand" for a 7" tablet. Even at 7" its still too big to put in a pocket, and not that much smaller than a 10". I don't expect a 7" any time soon, if ever. If 7" tablets take off on other platforms, I could see Apple maybe doing it - but it offers another layer of complexity from hardware supply side management to software questions of handling another resolution that I don't see Apple in any hurry to address.



    If everybody else is doing a 7" device as their response to Apple, it seems to me that Apple has an advantage in that the extra screen real estate does have its advantages.



    What Apple needs to do in response is keep the cost down and reduce weight. Really, wouldn't a lighter iPad get it done? I mean there isn't likely to be many pockets suited to a 7" design. No real market for it. If there is a need for a larger screen, it makes more sense to make a future version of the Touch somewhat larger and, as I noted already, reducing the weight of the iPad. There's no reason why the iPad has to be committed to a 9.7" screen, either. It could be a future version will sport a 9" screen or 8.6" screen, something along those lines. That would certainly be a way of reducing weight without making the more drastic move of reducing the screen down to the 7" range.



    Apple has a hit in the iPad because it did something I never expected, namely bringing in a first-generation device with a starting price below $600 yet sporting a significantly sized screen.



    Of course if market conditions require it, it's not cast in stone that a 7" model is not going to happen. But right now, it certainly doesn't appear to be necessary.



    One has to think, though, that if the original iPad is such a polished product, Version 2 is going to be absolutely outstanding and perhaps even impossible for competitors to challenge. As long as Apple holds the line on price, the competition is SOL.
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