Apple rumored to be purchasing 7.1-inch screens for iPad mini

Apple is once again rumored to be purchasing screens for a smaller, iPad mini type device. This time for 7.1-inches, according to VentureBeat.

Something closer to 7 inches makes more sense for Apple, since it would be able to directly compete against Amazon’s $199 Kindle Fire, which will likely see a significant price reduction this Fall. Our source says Apple is particularly keen on taking back ground from the Kindle Fire, which is estimated to have sold 6 million units over the holidays. Apple is positioning the smaller iPad for launch later this year, but those plans could easily change, our source notes.

I'm not quite sold on the idea of Apple releasing a smaller tablet just on the grounds of competing with one specific product, especially a smaller, cheaper less capable device. It just sounds like the same type of thinking that had analysts and pundits alike insisting Apple simply had to produce a netbook to compete with zero-margin PC laptops.

Apple sold 15.43 million units sold full sized, full prices iPad 2 tablets last quarter alone. Apple also typically keeps developers in mind. Adding another iPad would mean either scaling apps down to fit a physically smaller 1024x768 screen, or creating yet another UI size for developers to target. Triple binaries sound like fun to anyone?

Source: VentureBeat

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Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

Apple rumored to be purchasing 7.1-inch screens for iPad mini


To me, it makes more sense for Apple to release a 7" iPod touch. There would be enough resolution, and no UI issues. Steve Jobs (and some Kindle Fire reviews I read) talked about the need to chisel down fingers to work on a smaller device. That would be less of an issue when scaling up rather than scaling down. Videos and eBooks would still look awesome. The only problem I see with this is that a 7" deice really is a different size and would require a special UI to look best.

I think a 7" iPad with the same 960x480 as the iPhone 4/4S, or same 1024 x 768 as iPad might be a viable option, if the price is right. Maybe $349 for the 16Gb version? That would make a 64Gb version about $150 more than a 64Gb Touch, but $150 less than a 64Gb iPad.

They make a 7" iPad, I am definitely getting one, ASAP. Perfect form factor for me but far more capable than the useless toy Kindle Fire.

7" is a great form factor. Our Nook Color is about the perfect compromise of size and portability, but it's lacking in performance and the app selection is pathetic. Acceptable for the price though.
In a 10" I'd consider the ASUS Transformer, with the ability to be almost a true laptop, the ideal form factor. It is very close to being just what I need to replace my laptop completely. Another year or so and I think it will be there, probably with Windows 8. Will be interesting to see if Apple recognizes and responds to this market.

Not happening. Not after Steve Jobs said it was too small for a pleasant touchscreen experience, and the format was dead on arrival, too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with the iPad.
He has already been proven wrong on this, but Apple is not going about face just to compete with Amazon. The current iPad sells way too well for that.
I do like the 7" iPod Touch idea though.

Blackberry Playbook is coming on strong right now. Great performance, great price, and now with QNX 2.0 great app potential. And the bridge capability is something that should be standard on all tablets.
Regardless of what Steve thought, Apple will need to enter this market at some point.

"Something closer to 7 inches makes more sense for Apple, since it would be able to directly compete against Amazon’s $199 Kindle Fire." The problem with that idea is that Apple doesn't WANT to compete with Amazon. They don't care. They have stated more than once that the Kindle Fire is not affecting their sales.
Beyond that, it would be an insult to Steve Jobs's memory to release a 7 inch iPad because he hated the idea.

They don't care? That's ridiculous. Amazon, B&N, Blackberry, Samsung, etc have sold tens of millions of 7" devices.
Apple may be incredibly arrogant, but they aren't stupid. Their business model largely depends on locking people into their proprietary world, and when they don't offer what people want that model starts to fall apart. It's happened in the past and will happen again at some point if they haven't learned their lesson.