WSJ: Apple testing iPad with smaller screen | iLounge News


WSJ: Apple testing iPad with smaller screen

Apple is currently working to test an iPad model with a smaller screen, according to a new report. Citing officials at some of Apple’s suppliers, the Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has shown the suppliers screen designs for a new device with a screen size of around eight inches, and said it is qualifying suppliers for it. One person said the smaller device will have a similar resolution to that of the iPad 2, and that Apple is working with AU Optronics and LG Display to supply the test panels. As noted in the report, Apple could opt not to proceed with the device; iLounge’s own sources have repeatedly said that Apple was working on an iPad model with a screen size in the seven-inch range, but have similarly expressed uncertainty as to whether the product would ever actually be released.

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Obviously we have no idea if this rumor is true, but personally I hope Apple is looking at smaller models.  The biggest problem with the iPad is how heavy it is, and its large enough to be a problem to carry with you.  A smaller iPad would be cheaper too (maybe cheap enough to gift to others?) even if it won’t compete directly with Amazon’s $200 Kindle Fire. 

Even a small reduction, say to 8.9 inches at 1024x768 would potentially be worthwhile.  Drop the price by $100 say to $399.  And wouldn’t decrease the ‘target’ size Steve Jobs spoke about that significantly.

Posted by Fanfoot on February 16, 2012 at 2:12 AM (CST)


Going forward, I would think if Apple really is planning on introducing a double resolution full size iPad that a “tweener” to use Jobs’ dismissive name at 1024x768 along with a moderately larger screened iPhone at 1024x768 is going to be almost necessary. This would give the market freedom to do away with the touch if the “tweener” is small enough to be readily portable and unify the screen ratio for assets, which is a large part of making development for iOS into an almost Android like experience for devs.

As it is now, they have to decide: iPad only or universal, if iPad only, will they support the iPad 1 that is even worse off than the touch in terms of memory issues, even if it is universal or “iPhone” only, they have to decide whether to support retina, if they choose to support retina they either have to write device specific code or they have to optimize memory and/or reduce the quality of their app because the touch cannot handle very much due to memory constraints… and if you add in a retina iPad on top of that? Unsustainable.

Posted by Code Monkey on February 17, 2012 at 9:27 AM (CST)

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