On the heels of various analysts coming out and stating that Apple is working on a smaller iPad with a 7-8" (diagonally) screen, Bloomberg has just published its own report claiming that they’re hearing the same from their sources. Rumors about such a device have been plentiful for quite some time now. But, why would Apple want to create a smaller iPad?
Well, if they were to do it, it would be to get a foot in the door of the cheaper tablet market that is dominated by devices such as the Kindle Fire, a tablet with a 7" screen that is priced at $199. Google has decided that it also wishes to gain ground in the lower-end tablet market, just announcing the Nexus 7 at Google I/O which is also a 7" tablet priced at $199. Given Apple’s great success with the iPad – it practically invented the existing tablet market – with 61% share according to Gartner, Google and Amazon would certainly have a lot to fear if Apple did indeed enter this market.
So, what would a 7 or 8" iPad be like? According to rumors, it will lack the glorious Retina display that the latest iteration of the iPad sports, and will rather have the measly resolution of 1024×768. It may also have diminished tech specs compared to the flagship iPad models to pave the way for a decreased cost. However, we can be sure that battery life and build quality will not be skimped on as Apple clearly recognizes the importance of these features in a tablet. But again, this is all if Apple makes one to begin with.
And I’m hoping that they don’t. Perhaps this opinion can be attributed to my personal lack of a need for such a minuscule tablet, but that size seems far too small. It’s that awkward grey area between a real tablet and a phone, and, while portable, you’d lose the benefits of screen estate – and, in the instance of this rumored device, screen resolution – in exchange for some additional portability. But is that portability even necessary? The existing iPad is already sufficiently portable. And it has a "just right" Goldilocks screen size that’s both portable and functional.
Apple doesn’t have much of a need to enter this market. But, if it does, it will be undoubtedly successful.