by Anton Shilov
07/03/2012 | 06:28 PM
The long-rumoured Apple iPad media tablet with 7.85" screen may be released by October, 2012, in a bid to compete against low-cost slates with 7" or 8" displays by Amazon, Google and others. Although Apple has not confirmed plans to release tablets in smaller form-factors than the current iPad, some analysts already call the gadgets as "the worst nightmare" for Apple's rivals.
Although Steve Jobs has criticized media tablets with 7" screens heavily, the time had shown clearly that there is a market for such devices as they do provide a number of advantages compared to Apple iPad with 9.7" screens. They weigh considerably less, they can fit into some pockets and they are more convenient to use for electronic books reading. Many market rumours indicated that Apple has been working on smaller iPad with 7.85" display and a fresh report from Bloomberg news-agency claims that the product will be released by October, 2012.
Not a lot is known about the Apple iPad mini, but it is logical to expect it to have 4:3 screen with 1024*768 resolution as well as Apple A5 processor made using 32nm process technology to run applications designed for the original iPad and iPad 2 without any modifications. Thanks to the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of apps designed for the iPad, the product promises to be rather successful.
As Amazon, Asustek Computer, Google, Samsung Electronics and others are trying to gain success on the market of Android-based tablets by making them more affordable, Apple will unlikely price the iPad mini at $399, the price-point at which it sells the cheapest iPad 2 without WWAN support. In the $199 - $299 price-range the iPad mini has all chances to be very successful, thanks to large portfolio of applications and the overall popularity of the brand nowadays.
"It would be the competitors’ worst nightmare. The ball is in Apple’s court," said Shaw Wu, an analyst at Sterne Agee & Leach.