Apple 7-Inch iPad Rumors Heat Up

Apple iPadApple is preparing to announce over the next months a small version of the iPad. Or, at least, that’s what the latest rumors are pointing to regarding Apple’s sleek tablet.

But it does sounds odd.

The late Steve Jobs himself said during a 2010 conference call that Apple won’t make a 7-inch tablet, because “the screen is too small to express the software” and “as a software driven company we think about the software strategies first”.

Nonetheless, The Wall Street Journal learned from two official component suppliers that Apple told them to be ready to mass produce a tablet smaller than 8-inches in September. From what I read till now, this seems to be the most reliable report about a smaller iPad. Another report from a Chinese website says Apple’s small iPad will use an IGZO display from Sharp, however, it wouldn’t be able to meet Retina display quality.

Competition Quivers

If Apple ultimately delivers a 7-inch iPad, competitors like Nexus 7, Kindle Fire or Galaxy Tab 7.7 will find it difficult to compete.

Apple has 360 retail stores worldwide and an online presence, while Google, for example, will only sell Nexus 7 online and in 20 retail stores. Also, let’s not forget about two important things that defined Apple over the last two years: App Store and Retina display.

Analysts predict a small version of the iPad needs to be competitively priced under $300. But then again, Apple has historically played on the high-end of pricing ranges.

Tim Cook All Grown Up

It’s well-known that Jobs told Apple CEO Tim Cook to never ask “What would Steve Jobs do?” and “just do what you like.” If rumors turn out to be true, we might witness the first Apple decision Cook has taken that is directly in contrast to Jobs’ stated position.

And Cook, for all we know, could be setting Apple up for another shift. If a 7-inch iPad is released in September and the next generation iPhone comes out in the same month, Apple could make a surprise announcement and unveil both of them during the same event.

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