Can Magic Really Fit In Seven Inches?

Yet another Taiwan publication is saying that a 7-inch iPad is coming. This rumour isn't new. In fact, it was one of the first rumoured sizes. It echoes the always-unreliable Digitimes and iLounge's latest reports, but is it really possible?

iLounge recently claimed that a "highly reliable source" told them of a 7-inch iPad along with "news" of an antenna-fixed iPhone 4 - coming out as early as January 2010. They also mentioned an iPod touch with a smaller screen than the iPhone. Back in early 2010, iLounge's original Apple tablet rumours said that Apple was preparing a 7-inch tablet. At the end, though, they back-pedalled, saying that Apple thought a 7-inch screen was too small, and that that Steve Jobs & Co decided on a 10.7-inch iPad instead.

The iPad's screen size is 9.7 inches.

Likewise, Digitimes has been banging the 7-inch iPad drum for a long time. Unlike the Economic Daily News - which points at an IPS display - Digitimes said the screen is OLED. It's highly unlikely that Apple will use OLED for anything, given the success of their IPS Retina display and that it is impossible to get OLED screens in the massive quantities Apple would need. The Economic Daily News claims this "iPad 2" is coming by the year's end. Now that would be a Christmas surprise.

Why a smaller iPad?

Proponents of this rumour say that going down to seven inches will probably make the iPad lighter. They also say it will be cheaper to make and that Apple wants to keep control of the market they created by offering more flavours.

But we know that Apple has tried different formats for the iPad before settling on the 9.7-inch form factor. There's nothing wrong with that format. If anything, it's too small for reading things like comic books. But it feels good to handle, and has resulted in more than three million units sold in very little time (when everyone except a few predicted its catastrophic failure).

It doesn't make sense to change the winning formula with a screen that will be too small for comfortable reading, while being just double the size of an iPod. And the market doesn't seem big enough yet to have space for another flavour.

At this point, the only thing that the iPad needs is a higher resolution screen at the same 9.7-inch size. We will probably see this when version 2 is released - probably in a year from now.

Could the rumour be true?

Could the rumour reposted by PC World be true? Who knows. It doesn't seem very reasonable to me and Taiwanese newspapers have a history of posting false tech industry stories about Apple products in order to boost the reputation of component manufacturers. At the same time, the actual providers are extremely strict about secrecy because their contracts with Apple depend on it.

Like with every Apple rumour - especially this time of year - it's better to be highly sceptical until an Apple spokesperson actually confirms it. [PC World]


Comments

    "Lounge recently claimed that a “highly reliable source” told them of a 7-inch iPad along with “news” of an antenna-fixed iPhone 4 – coming out as early as January 2010. " ???

    Jesus early January 2010 has past ...... Pffff

    Women have said that my 7 inches is magical.
    (Sorry, i just had to say that)

    According to my wife 'magic does come in 7 inches"

      Oh I see what you did there.

      unfortunately for you, she's talking about the iPad.

      You beat me to it.

      But everyone is deluded if they think the ipad is magic.

    Is it possible??? Magic in a seven inch iPad?? Ohmygod! That would be like double rainbows, all the way across the sky!!!

    The iPad is so beautiful! Is this real?? Is it possible?! Let's write more articles about speculation or screen sizes! ALL THE WAY!!!

      Do I, maybe... sense a little bit of sarcasm?

    Thats the sweet spot.
    Not buying the current model, but might even stand in a stupid queue for a 7" iPad if the screen res is at least as good as the current model AND it contains a camera.
    Who REALLY needs more than 7 inches? :-)
    /randomambling

      i just don't get that. why stand in a queue for something you can walk-up buy the following day, or at a non-apple store (JB/Dick Smith etc) the same day often?

    I have an iPad, and I find that holding it for long times while I am in a reclining position gets very tiring. Maybe I'm just weak, but the device really seems to feel much heavier after about 30 minutes.

    If others are having the same experience as I, then that might be a valid reason for marketing a 7-inch iPad.

    We'll see, won't we?

    Stan Kossen

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