According to our friends at Rapid Repair, a company that repairs broken iPhones, iPods, and iPads, Apple is developing a new, smaller iPad with a display measuring slightly under 6 inches. Apparently, the smaller iPad would carry the same resolution as the current iPad, although it is unclear how users would be expected to deal with what would be significantly smaller user interface elements if that were the case.
It’s expected that the smaller iPad, or the “iPad Mini,” would debut in the middle of this year. There’s also additional speculation around Apple releasing an “iPad 3” or a “Pro” version of the second-generation iPad around September of this year.
Apple has reportedly been purchasing large amounts of tablet screens from 4- to 12-inches. Rapid Repair also purchases these screens for their iPad, iPod, and iPhone repairs. What Apple plans to do with all these little screens they are hoarding is part of what is fueling the iPad Mini rumors.
But late last year, Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, dismissed all the forthcoming 7-inch tablets being released by competitors, calling them “dead on arrival” due to their perceived inability to offer a true tablet experience. Apple is doing something right. Current iPad sales are still very strong. A recent eMarketer report estimates that Apple currently has 88% of the tablet market and will go on to sell 20M more iPads before the end of 2011. This is on top of the 8.5M iPads that were sold in 2010.
So if Apple does release a smaller iPad, what will they call this new device? iPad Mini or iPad 2? We kind of like “iPad Mini.” What about you? Please leave a comment on our Facebook page.
iPad Mini image via The App Era