7-inch iPad on track for October 2012 release, $200 to $250 price

7-inch iPad on track for October 2012 release, $200 price

Apple will be going forward with the 7-inch iPad, currently targeting an October 2012 release alongside the new iPhone, and -- here's the killer -- at a $200 to $250 price point. According to our sources, the reason for such aggressive pricing is to do to the tablet market what Apple did to the MP3 market in 2004 with the expansion of the iPod product line -- leave absolutely no space for competitors.

We haven't gotten a firm read on the exact screen dimensions, so we're using 7-inches generically here. Our sources have indicated, however, that the 7-inch iPad will be identical to the current 9.7-inch iPad, just scaled down. While that might raise hopes for a 2048x1536 resolution Retina display, just like the new iPad, it's more likely Apple would stick with the same 1024x736 display currently found on the iPad 2. If that's the case, Retina display would make an appearance in a future version of the product.

One way Apple will be keeping costs lower is by providing less storage capacity. $200 to $250 will get you 8GB. By way of comparison, the current entry-level iPod touch also starts at $200 for 8GB. (And no, Apple won't be replacing the iPod touch with the 7-inch iPad, both devices will remain in the product lineup -- though it'll be interesting to see what happens with iPod touch pricing and storage capacity.)

While Apple's late co-founder, Steve Jobs, was famously dismissive of 7-inch tablets, calling them terrible and dead-on-arrival, he also said no one wanted to watch video on an iPod and that Apple wasn't interested in making a phone. One of Jobs' chief criticism of the 7-inch form factor was its impact on software -- that competitors stretched out smartphone apps instead of making iPad-class apps. Obviously, Apple's 7-inch iPad would run the same apps as the current 9.7 inch app, though scaled down. While that will affect design elements like touch targets, and may cause some developers to approach iPad apps in different ways, it's better than introducing a 3rd interface size to the mix (in addition to iPhone/iPod touch and 9.7-inch iPad).

Apple previously addressed the lower price point by keeping the 2011 iPad 2 around at $399 following the launch of the new iPad.

Rumors of a 7-inch iPad mini have been around since just after the launch of the original iPad in 2010, and picked up speed when competitors like Samsung, RIM, and Amazon began offering 7-inch tablets. Some, like the Kindle Fire, are already at the $200 price point, using cheap to compete with good. While Amazon won't talk sales numbers, and none of these devices can really be called successful at this point, to a certain segment of the market, cheap is what matters. Apple hasn't chosen to address that segment in desktop or laptop computers, or in phones, but they have in MP3 players and it sounds like they will again in tablets. And they'll do it in the same way -- by being cheap and good. For large scale markets like education, a 7-inch, $200 to $250 iPad would be compelling.

Steve Jobs' tag line for the original iPad was "...our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price".

Sound like Apple is getting ready to be even more unbelievable.

Update: This article has been updated to reflect more recent information, namely that Apple will likely start with a standard display and move to Retina display in the future version of the product.

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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7-inch iPad on track for October 2012 release, $200 to $250 price

111 Comments

My sources just said "absolutely not" to this headline, maybe you are getting confused with the iPod touch redesign?

Lots of people gave imore crap for a previous rumor(forget if it was new iPad or 4S) and they were correct so I believe them! If apple wants iPads in schools and to destroy the completion even more, a cheaper(in price) 7in retina iPad would leave all tablets even further in the dust. I bet it would be as popular as the iPod nano which became the most popular iPod (before the touch came out) I can see parents buying these for their kids for school easily

Both. We got pretty close to nailing the dates and details of both the iPhone 4S and the iPad 3 (the new iPad). Part of what makes this so stressful -- we take it really seriously.

Rene, if your sources are right about the iPad mini, I wonder if the rumored price of $200-$250 might have been "leaked" to put a damper on sales of Kindles, Nooks, and so on. Because with a true Retina display, I think the price would have to be $249 or $299.

Who said anything about Retina? 1024x768 would look just fine on a 7" screen, it looks awesome on the Playbook... not sure they could produce Retina this small at a price that big (because they still need to scale to 1024x768 / 2048x1536).
Either way, a price point that low would make this an iPad-killer. Nobody would buy the 10" anymore because 7" (or 7.85") is a WAY better form factor. They'd cannibalize sales, something to be careful of. The iPad makes you buy something else. The iPad-mini makes you decide NOT to buy that iPad and buy something else at a lower price point. Not good business. Convergence is bad when trying to move product.

I would still far -- FAR -- prefer the 9.7 inch iPad to any 7 inch iPad. 7-inch is a compromise. I already have an iPhone for that. 9.7 lets me get closer to approximating the actual work I can get done on a laptop.
Same reason I never bought a 7-inch netbook :)

"Part of what makes this so stressful..."
WTF? What is "stressful" about what you do? You write for a web site. You write about rumors. I'm sorry but, where's the "stress"?

I take this stuff seriously. I consider our readers' attention to be valuable. If I didn't stress over it, I probably shouldn't be doing it.

Don't stress over it Rene.
This should be a labor of love for you. Sure, there are deadlines and confirming sources and what not, but you should be ENJOYING doing this, not stressing over it, because if you let it be a stressful endeavor, one day you will find yourself having to abandon it due to health concerns. You are providing valuable information to readers who appreciate the work you do. Don't let it give you a heart attack. That's what the day job rat race is for and this shouldn't be that, for you.

I think you will probably end up eating your hat on this one Rene :-)
I'm not saying the 7" ipad won't happen, but it will never happen at that price point in my opinion.

Yeah, I use my 10" for watching movies on planes and stuff instead of my 13" MacBook, so I wouldn't want to go any smaller. 10" is small enough for what I use it for and like Rene said, if it's too big to take somewhere I still have my iPhone.

7.85 inch iPad is definitely coming this year, it is already in Apple supply chain in China.
I am surprise that this is still a rumor over in US; no secret can be kept when you make things in China.

If I can get my kindle loving mom a $200 iPad that would be amazing! She does like that she can take her kindle "anywhere" and still have a network connection. For free. Hmmmm

Except that Apple will surely stick with the idiotic glossy screen, instead of being the "leader" that it claims to be and shunning a fad that started with third-tier crap being sold at Best Buy.

I still think they should just make the screen on the iPod touch and iPhone bigger instead of making a smaller iPad. 4-4.3 inches. But many more people would buy iPads at $250.

I think this is exactly what the rumors are based on. There is not going to be a 7" iPad. The rumors extend from information that there will actually be an iPhone with a bigger screen, starting at $200 (with contract). Rumors like this always stem from some small truth, but are generally misguided. This cycle has happened before every recent Apple launch. Recap: larger iPhone screen, $200 price point, and they will call it the iPhone (no iPhone 5). Rene can hire me as a writer if I'm right.

Apple sort of did address the cheap market in phones by offering previous model iPhone for $100 less than the new version, and even offering the 3Gs for free, with contract.

Re: ..."do to the tablet market what Apple did to the MP3 market in 2004 with the expansion of the iPod product line"...
I completely understand this concept. In fact, I've been expecting Apple do do this since the original iPad was announced. Different sized iPads at different price points. (But no iPad shuffle, please.)
But, Rene, if there isn't a 7 to 8 inch iPad in October, be ready for a heavy (virtual) smack down. I won't hold anything back. I know that iMore needs to at least report on actual rumor sites' posts, but I'm hoping iMore doesn't descend too far into rumor-mongering.

I hear you. We're very careful about this stuff, and so far I think we've done a good job (iPhone 4S, iPad 3). This is 100% the most stressful part of my job and I don't take it lightly.
My guess (personal opinion) is that Apple doesn't intend to take next-generation Android or Amazon 7-inch tablet competition lightly, and will scorch the earth with this iPad before anyone else gets any traction.

Looks like they have learned their lessons from Iphone. Even though they are selling quite a bit, they lost market share to Android. And now, Samsung is giving good competition and it's becoming difficult to stop them. It's good to see if Apple use this trick and offer competitive price before Andorid/Windows 8 gets their foot strong in tablet market. This is why I think being fan is fine but being blind believer is wrong. Company should always offer choices and better prices and blind believer will enable company to keep prices jacked up be it Apple, Google, Microsoft or Samsung.

It was obvious to me a while back a 7" ipad was coming later. The only surprising tidbit is the retina screen.
I'd love to see it. It's a buy for the kiddo. I wonder if it'd come in 4G flavors?

If this product does come out, it'll be crippled with ridiculously small memory capacity and probably no GPS. And that latter omission will be particularly stupid, since a smaller tablet is an even better option for mobile use.
Then again, with no memory to speak of, you won't be able to hold much in the way of maps. So in the end, this product will be even more of a nearly useless gimmick than the larger iPad. And people will lap it up, and "the press" will fawn over it without a bit of real critical analysis.

Hello,
I am just the average user and have been holding off buying a Kindle Fire in the hopes that Apple will bring out an affordable Ipad mini! I have heard the rumors for several months and have been waiting!. the Ipad is too big, and the Ipod touch is too small. I want to be able to toss it in my bag and go! So, I am definitely sure that there will be a market. I have the original Nook and have been holding out for an Ipad of equal size! I hope Rene, you are right and am hopefully waiting!

If that were the case Apple would produce it with no native email or calendar.
Oops, that is the logic and smarts of those clowns at RIM.
The word is tens and tens of Playbooks have been sold.......yes, the iPad killer.

@Dixie Normis even without the native email and calendar, the playbook OS was and still is better than iOS...
Now the playbook has everything native its even better.
Word is even though the media is completely biased and hated on the PlayBook like crazy RIM was still able to sell over a million of them.
The Playbook doesn't have to be an iPad killer, many people will still like it even if they aren't part of the millions of iPad owners...
There are vastly less ferarris then there are Hondas and fords....ferrari is still better car, just not for everyone, especially the common people.

I hope this is true and the price is at $200, it would sell better than their current ipad and really take the tablet market over once more

The price point of this would eat to much into Apples profits to make it worthwhile.
At 200-250 they would be making no profit, just like everyone else is making no profit at that price point.
For arguments sake please endulge me in the following scenario, the numbers I make up are just for illustration and not based on an reality:

  • In a world where no 7 inch tablets exist, Apple will sell 1 billion 10 inch ipads
  • In a world where 7 inch tablets exist, Apple will sell 800 million 10 inch tablets

thus, because of Android, Touchpads and Playbooks, Apple lost 200 million 10 inch iPad sales because those people wanted a 7 inch tablet instead of a 10 inch, and went with one of the offerings.
There are also many consumers who want a 7 inch tablet, but, only want Apple offerings, thus, they buy the 10 inch model, lets say there are another 200 million of these people.
If Apple makes a 7 inch tablet that makes no profit, sure, they will retain those 200 million people who bought the Android/Touchpad/Playbook, but, they will also lose another 200 million people who want ONLY an Apple 7 inch
Net loss of 200 million sales that make a profit
So to summarize, if Apple makes no profit on a 7 inch tablet, there is no point of them releasing it. It will only reduce their profits.

You can rest assured that if they put a 7 inch tablet on the market, they've done the math and have figured out a way to make it profitable, this isn't their first day on the job.
Either that or they decided to take the losses for the purpose of driving out the competition. Of course you have to be careful selling products at a loss in the US, you can run into anti-trust issues.

Please let us know the last time Apple sold anything for a loss in the past decade?
GUARANTEED - they have the numbers worked out. It will have removable memory and/or iCloud required. I suspect there will be some level of cloud connection required.

In addition to that, it will most likely be a model tha ONLY features 3G/4G connectivity (with WiFi). To get the lower price point, you MUST sign up with a two year contract data plan.
$199 iPad Mini with data package will fly off the shelves.

How could Apple make any money with that price point? If they were losing money to drive competitors out of business, it could open them to a predatory pricing investigation.

Apple has huge markups in their prices, which is how they built that $100 Billion mountain of cash. They could drop prices quite a bit if they are interested in goals that allow for lower profitability.

Sorry.. It's just never gonna happen. Apple I'm sure has tons of prototypes, but those won't see the light of day. Face it, Apple isn't going to put out a crap device or something it isn't comfortable with and that is a small iPad. They sale a done of the 10"er's, they don't need another product to have people chose between.

I agree.
Moreover, a 7" iPad is not significantly cheaper to build than a 10" one, and Apple don't do cheap, it's just not part of their strategy.

This fall is going to be very fun. I look forward to the fireworks from an iPad Mini, Win8 tabs, and Android tabs.
I believe Rene and iMore's sources, there is actually thought and reason and just a huge headline with wild speculation. Nice job guys.

I agree. This seems waaayyyyy too good to be true. The kindle, nook tablet, Samsung 7inch galaxy whatever are barely cutting into apple's territory. No one knows them and no one wants to know them. People who buy them wind up wishing they just saved up a little more for the iPad. The only sales the 7 inch iPad would cut into would be the current iPads. Apple would just be competing with themselves. I'm sure apple is toying with the idea but in the end I doubt they pull the trigger on this.

No one knows or wants to know the kindle or nook? What cave are you in? Kindle does quite well for amazon. Is the kindle an ipad killer? Of course not, but then again even the fire doesnt try to be. But monochrome kindles roast the ipad when it comes to ereading.

I hope this happens. this will become the interface for my carputer. I just don't have room to elegantly incorporate my 10 inch iPad.
I hope it comes with GPS.

Here's my take:
Apple will release a 7" device.
It will be a 7" iPod Touch. (This will not replace the current touch, just be an addition to the iPod line-up)
The 7" iPod touch will run iPhone and iPod Touch apps, but NOT iPad apps. (Much like the iPhone and iPod Touch don't run iPad apps now).
The 7" device, much like the current iPod Touch, will have a marketing focus on gaming and music.
Just my $0.02US

I don't think you're too far off in you opinion. I'm a little skeptical with the screen being 2048x1536 though. If they took the resolution of the iPhone display and doubled it (1920x1280), I can definitely see that.

I post this everytime this rumour pops up.
I WANT ONE REALLY BADLY.
I still have the original iPad and the only problem I ever have with it is that it is big and heavy when it's in my purse with all my other stuff. A small one would be far more comfortable to read with on the go and I'd be tempted to wait in line to get one right away. The smaller price tag doesn't hurt either!
Please please please let it be real this time.

I vote for ipod larger screen consistent with large iphone screen. Jobs made it clear he thought smaller was not better and all the products launched now are part of his road map.

Love my Kindle Fire! It is a wonderful device for the money. It does all I would do on an ipad but saved me at least $350.

It will be interesting to see if Apple does, in fact, release a 7 to 8 inch iPad. And whether or not they decide to release a larger iPad, maybe up to 13". We're guessing the smaller iPad is more likely.
We don't see any technical issues with the smaller iPad. It could continue to use the original iPad's 1024x768 pixel geometry, and presumably support all existing non-Retina apps with no changes. All at a lower price. And there may or may not be minor changes to iOS to allow for increasing the actual tap target sizes without increasing the size of the associated graphics. (Some tap targets are already larger than the actual visible buttons.)
But a larger iPad might be problematic. Apple probably wouldn't increase the pixel count for a 13-inch-ish iPad, so Apple might not be able to claim "Retina" resolution. And it might be more tiring to move up to 30% more across the larger screen over extended use periods. Not to mention the possible added weight, less-portable size, potential cannibalization of MacBook Air, and higher retail pricing.

Why NOT cannibalize the MacBook Air? The device was introduced as a really portable laptop in a time where Netbooks were poised to dominate. The iPad, however, is a better product for that, and taught us that the future of computing is slates, not clamshells.
With the coming versatile Windows 8 tablets that will be dockable, run Metro apps, and run Windows Desktop, Apple needs an answer to the slate that can be used on a desktop. By adding 0.75" in width (the right bezel) and just over 2" in length, a 13" iPad could replace the MacBook Air. If it can be docked or sent to a large monitor, then the problem is solved.
If the iPhone will really go to being more of a 16:10 geometry, then the iOS world of apps is going to have a fragmentation issue on their hands. Likely Apple would need the iPad to follow suit and go to a 16:10 shape.
Regardless, the future of consumer computers is tablets, not clamshells, and it would behoove Apple to pare down to just 1 clamshell line, the MacBook Pro.

Very doubtful. Apple has never played catch-up as would be the case with a 7 inch model. Other companies have staked claim to smaller size tablets and Apple isn't likely to risk its success ratio coming late to the party.
You were right with the iPhone 4S and the iPad 3 - but then so was most everyone else. They were pretty obvious product progressions that most veteran users and observers nailed.

A 7" $200 iPad would be a huge step forward for the disintermediation of the school textbook that Apple began in January with iBooks2.

And a good way to introduce our kids to hypermetropia, having to read from a ~6" LCD backlight page instead of a 11" piece of paper.

I wonder if $299 makes more sense. $299 8GB 7" iPad or 32GB iPod touch.
$399 64GB iPod touch or 16GB iPad 2. $499 and up for the new iPad.

FlopTech, I would imagine that the position in the product line of a larger iPad will be handled by a touchscreen Retina Display on the newer MacBook/MacBook Air, which I think is inevitable.

While this sounds great on the surface the 8GB of internal storage is just not sufficient for me. Yeah I know go buy the larger iPad but that is not the point now is it. Some people want a smaller screen but at least 16-32GB of storage.
Now that Jobs is gone, Tim Cook is certainly going to do what he thinks will grow the company and a smaller iPad is certainly one of many things that will grow market share.

Apple has been slow in brand new products reference the iPod touch, and the iPhone. The 4S was a basic upgrade of the 4. They have really been good at new software. My question, if they put out a 7" iPad, will it take away from the iPod Touch? Has the iPod Touch really seen the end of it's time. You can only do so much to change it. The current iPod Touch will most likely be supported to a point like the past. At this time consumers are looking at new things. Putting out a 7" iPad at the price point listed would make sense, but with all the storage on everything else they make 8G seems small when you compare it to 16, 32, or 64G. Loading up books, and apps, 8G will fill up fast.

Dear René,
I wish I could believe you and scorching the earth and doing what they did with mp3/Itunes at first glance makes sense indeed. Alas, the potential 7 inch Ipad buyers most probably already bought music from Itunes so Apple wouldn't make any additional profit here. The complementary yearly content revenue would therefore :

  • have to come from Apps -> we all know this is peanuts (2-3 billion paid to developers in 5 years time, so max. 1 billion)
  • come from video/movie rentals -> sure, but again nothing to get excited about, cfr. Netflix & co
  • textbooks... 5$ a piece profit, 10 books for each kid every year, 20 million US kids getting one = again max. 1 billion.

See my point ? Not enough to compensate for the losses of the cannibalization on the regular Ipad. Of course, they'd hope that most buyers go for 16GB or 32GB which would then sell for 250$ and 300$ respectively, but still...
My guess is that they have yet to decide on the price and are considering 300$ so this latest rumor merely has a typo in it !

This is interesting... if Apple does this, at this price point, it means (to me):
They are really going to dominate this market, but at $200-250 it will either be an overall inferior version (memory aside), or we've been grossly overpaying for the 9.7". I'm really curious to see the specs on this thing, if it ever materializes.

You've been grossly overpaying for the ipad, and many other Apple products. How else does Apple end up with that $100 billion in cash? Apple has never competed on price. If they start offering discounted tablets at any size, that would be a major change in behavior.

It is only a matter of time before apple completed the screen size line ( nano, iPod, 7 inches, iPad). Each screen size bring a special something with it. When will apple bring the bigger sizes to fit on the wall?
100% plausible and seems to fit nicely into a strategic plan.

When iMore floated the rumor yesterday, I thought the mini would be a great thing to bring to market right before Christmas. I'm sure a ton will be sold to parents giving them to their iPad wanting kids, because a broken $200 iPad stings a heck of a lot less than a broken $500 one.
I seriously doubt it will be a scaled down "new iPad" though. I'll bet if they do go mini, they will instead shrink down the iPad 2. Cheaper screen, cheaper processor and cheaper cameras with 8 GB of storage would make a lot more sense for a $200-$250 machine, and would still blow the competition out of the water. I'm not sure how many people could justify a $300 premium for only 2.7 more inches of screen and 8 more GB of storage, meaning material cannibalization of lower priced new iPad sales.
Speaking of cannibalization, if they do come out with this, kiss the iPod Touch goodbye unless the cut current prices in half. Even then, I can see a lot of consumers deciding to just go ahead and spend an extra hundred or settling for less storage to get a real iPad.

Damitol -- I think the iTouches will still have their own niche, mostly for being a real portable music device, as well as easy texting. Maybe with the iPad Mini they won't install a camera. And while an iPad Mini would be a great Nook-replacer, trust me, you won't have people using it to listen to Spotify. Even at $250 I won't want to take an iPad Mini to a treadmill.

Apple isn't going to undercut themselves with a smaller cheaper fingers filed down tablet. Do I have to quote Steve? Seriously grow some iBalls and take Econ 101!

I believe a 7.8" iPod touch is coming. But, it won't have a 2048x1536 screen. It'll have a 1024x768 screen, just like the original iPad, and at that size, it'll be a "retina display". I think the math done in the above article is wrong.
When Steve said a 7" display sucked, he was referring to the current state of the art with low pixel density displays. Now, we have retina densities. I have an iPhone and an iPad with retina densities and in my opinion a 7.8" retina display would be just fine. I think Steve would agree.
A 1024x768 display would not require any modification to apps as it is the original iPad and iPad 2 screen pixel size.
Lastly, $200 is ridiculously cheap. I think Apple could easily price this at $250 or even $299 and kill off the other tablets. It'll probably be storage that decides the final price, or you could even have all three price points!

"but one way Apple will be keeping costs lower is by providing less storage capacity. $200 to $250 will get you 8GB."
Yes, saving a whole $15 worth of production cost over using a 32GB module.

I don't know about you guys, but I will hit the floor laughing if Amazon comes out and sues Apple for "stealing"their design.

If this rumor turns out to be true, I'LL BE SIGNING UP FOR THE QUEUE and be one of those people waiting in line. I can't WAIT for a smaller version iPad. Y'all are laughing, but Apple coming out with a 7-inch tablet will basically kill the competition, hands down. And no, a lot of people don't want bigger iTouches. They want something the size of a trade paperback that's completely portable (back pocket, ladies' purse) with a nice big screen--much bigger than the squint-inducing screens of even the larger Android phones--but that is PORTABLE. Sorry guys, but the iPad is not a true portable device. Yes, you can carry it around, but how many people (especially women) actually carry these? The current size of the iPad is also too big for me to read in bed. I don't want to sit up to read; I want to lie down and read on my side... and the iPad is too heavy and way too big for me to hold comfortably. Unlike the Kindle.
Can't wait!!

I really hope this thing comes out. I also really hope it is a smaller ipad and not a larger ipod touch. I have a 3g touch and now a 4s. I've always wanted an iPad, but the price point was just too much for me. Now, something around $300 is more like it. Even if its only 7inches thats fine. Ive wanted an iPad to have magazine subscriptions, and to do my web surfing on. It would seriously help with my iPhones battery life as well, because I really don't use the PC and do all my internet stuff on my phone, so the battery is never happy. A+ if they come out with a 7inch iPad and it started under $300, I would most definitly pick one up.

I hope this is true! If it is i'll probably sell my playbook and buy a (hopefully) 32gb Ipad Mini!

Really looking forward to seeing this in October. I don't see how people in the smaller tablet market could pass on a $250 iPad. 7 inch iPad+iPhone 5. Can't wait.

Uh... the 7.85" rumor is based on using the 163PPI panels that were used on the pre-Retina iPhone/iPod touch models. Since you are suggesting the display will instead use the display tech from the New iPad you CAN'T intermix this with that rumor.
The whole point of that rumor was that they would a) leave the resolution of the iPad alone and b) re-use manufacturing facilities to save money, just cutting bigger pieces out of the large sheets produced by the factory.
Your rumor suggests that a) they will break compatibility for this model AGAIN this year (that would be once for the New iPad, once for the rumored taller 4" New iPhone and again for the iPad Mini, all within a year), b) that they would go with an even higher resolution display than the New iPad, meaning it require a separate production line to produce.
Both of those suggest this rumor is unlikely, I'd say. Regardless of the source.
The New iPad display is so hard to push light through (presumably all the in-display electronics blocking light transmission) that the power demands from the display went up by almost 100%, which resulted in a 100% larger battery. Which means extra costs, etc.
Certainly by this fall its possible that Sharp's IGZO technology will have come online and helped to reduce this problem, but its unlikely we'll get back to the transmissivity of the iPad 2 for example. So no matter what, more battery-weight, cost.
I don't buy it. Just for the software fragmentation issues alone.

They won't be using an IPS display. It'll be the TN display tech in the iPod touch. Same DPI, 2048 x 1536 at 7.85".
Another option is 7" at 1920 x 1280. A pixel doubling of the iPod touch, iPhone res, but at the same DPI.
Still, you have to be highly skeptical of this rumor. It nukes their one product per price point strategy. If they do it at 200 to 299, the iPod touch has to move down to 150 and the iPod nano has to go down to 99.

This is just rumors. Nothing more.
And it'll remain as rumors.
Retina on the 7" for $200 ? Apple would never do this as it'd kill their own iPod touch ;)
And the new iPhone comes out June 29th ;)

Yeah I really don't want to believe this at all. please apple whatever you do don't release this product.

This would be an instant buy for me. I am not a fan of the iPad. It's too big (for me). I want something bigger than the iPod and smaller than the iPad. I really hope that this is true. If so, it's a day one purchase.

If this were true, it would be awesome! I can't really break off $500 + for the new iPad, but $200-300 is well within my budget. I would buy one immediately and I'm digging the smaller size.

I don't believe it, your competing against yourself. There is no one to compete against right now, stop sales of the iPod or slow down sales of the higher priced iPad. I see it as a lose-lose situation if they do that, for one thing at that price they won't have their normal profit margins.
When Steve Jobs came back to Apple he slimmed down the line of products, it would be nice for the consumer but most likely not for Apple. Keep on a dreaming.

This rumored price point does worry me. I've been yearning for a smaller iPad since they first came out, but I don't want a neutered, or "budget", version. Give me an iPad with the same bells and whistles as the 10" version, and I'd gladly pay almost the same amount.

What would be better is if Apple made the next iPhone 5.5" screen and thinner than EVERYTHING on the market. Then they'd have a large screen smartphone and small screen tablet in one. Keep the same storage options. If Apple does release a 7" iPad with Retina around $249.99, it will kill the Kindle Fire and every Android Tablet out there. NO ONE will be willing to spend the same or more on an Android Tablet when they can get an iPad for the same price. The line for this 7" iPad will be longer than any iPad waiting line since the first.

I must say that if they do this I would buy it instantly!! I would have bought a new iPad but I simply can't afford it, and would rather have the 32GB version which is another $100.
I can't see Apple either a) selling it between 200-250 and keeping the same specs as the new iPad, or b) selling it for a lot more than that and NOT keeping the same specs (at least display-wise).
Now, unless they really make an amazing unpredictable change to the iPod Touch then I agree with most people here that a 7in iPad would destroy the iPod Touch line. At that point if you want a small music player there is the nano, and it is perfect for that. Also, I agree that if they do make a 7in iPad and keep the same specs as the new iPad then it will destroy the market for the 9.7in version.
Frankly, I would almost solely like to use an iPad for comfortably browsing the web and reading, along with more easily (than using an iTouch) writing emails and taking notes in a class or something. I can do all those thing much more comfortably with a lighter, slightly smaller, iPad. If I watch a movie, I am going to watch it on a TV, not an iPad, whether it was 7in or 9in.
So, here is what I think we will see, SOMETIME between now and Nov. 1st at the latest: an entirely new Line of iPods, it is really about time isn't it? We will see COMPLETELY redesigned iPhone, I don't know about other people but frankly I just think that it needs a totally new look. Even the difference between the 3GS and 4 isn't too huge. Lastly, I really do think (and hope) that we will see a smaller, cheaper IPAD (not big iPod Touch). That's what I think is going to happen. Oh yeah, and I hope we see a very fresh and new looking iOS with iOS 6.
Until it happens though we won't know for sure...but I am super excited for this fall because iPad mini or not I am expecting some great new things!

I would buy an Ipad if the price went down to 200-250$ and if the screen was at least 8 inches. I would not buy a 7 inch. I owned a Nook and currently have a Kindle Fire and do not need another 7 inch which is perfect for reading but too small for video. I really want an 8 inch or 8.5 inch which is a nice compromise given many people think 7 is too small and 10 too big. Even a 7.5 will be nice.

I also want to add is if apple does not come out with a beeter price tablet i will get a Samsung 8 inch or the moterola xyboard 8 inch which are very attractive devices.

I will buy Ipad mini if it is real. but if it not real i will buy galaxy not 10.1 . Ipad mini will be on hands all the people around the world if it on the price around $200_$250.

I'm not sure if I would buy a mini then. Only 8gb? hmm..I think I may wait and just get an ipad2. The only thing about the ipads that deter me is that I had one in my hands and it seemed a bit bulky. Seems rather heavy to lug it around all the time too, which is why I like my iphone, however I would prefer a larger screen now that I am getting older and my eyesight is not as strong as it used to be. Tough choice to be made. I'll wait and see what October brings if anything. Thanks for the post!

Ever try reading an e-book on an ipad? The weight alone makes it a task. An ipad mini would be good to finally take down Kindle and Nook. E-Books are the future of publishing so I can see Apple vs Amazon for publisher rights to new releases.

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If Apple do launch a 7in ipad it will be for the education market. With the recent launch of educational apps store, i think i read somewhere, it would be right for Apple to conquer the educational market by a lower price ipad for students, giving cloud storage n access to apps for schools' subscriptions not just in America but world wide. The device with be a good size for children to handle. It could also be a way Tim Cook could be 'giving' back to the world, by allowing the price to be lower using the profits made over the years under Steve. It would be Apple's investment in the future generation. I like to think that.

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