Saturday, December 17, 2011

Apple set to launch DOA-sized iPad prior to Q4 2012: report

A new report coming out of upstream suppliers in Asia might very well have Steve Jobs rolling over in his grave. DigiTimes has reported that Apple will begin selling a 7.85-inch iPad prior to Q4 2012, in addition to a new iPad scheduled to be released at the end of Q1.
Steve Jobs once famously said that tablets needed a 10-inch screen at a minimum, and that anything smaller than that was DOA. Of course, in doing so, he neglected to remember that the iPad only had a 9.7-inch screen, but hey, what's 0.3 inches between friends.

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Despite Apple's earlier statements about sub-10-inch tablets, the success of the Kindle Fire has apparently convinced the company that a smaller-sized iPad can be successful. Size and weight kssues have always made 10-inch tablets, not just the iPad, more difficult to handle one-handed, and 7-inches seems like a sweet spot in that regard.

While we still await to see if Apple will branch out to the tablet size that it once called DOA, the late Q1 2012 timeframe for the iPad 3 seems (very) reasonable. Taking into account the March timeframe for the launch of the iPad 2, it would match the annual refresh cycle for Apple products that used to be pretty consistent --- until the iPhone 4S, anyway.

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