If rumours are to be believed, a smaller version of the iPad couldÂ be available soon.Â Although, Apple follows aÂ secretive approach for product development which works top-down, it still manages to generate gossip and rumours.
While most of the rumours turn out to be false, this time around the rumours seem to have originated in the South East Asian countries China, Taiwan and Korea. The media is abuzz with reports of Apple having placed orders with Samsung for screens which measure 7.86 inchesÂ diagonally. This screen sizeÂ would be approximately half of the presently available iPad which measures 9.7 inches diagonally. It is believed that a smaller version of the iPad may have been conceptualized two years ago, although Steve Jobs had publicly ridiculed the idea of a smaller iPad.
The decision to launch a smaller version of the iPad may indicate a change in strategy by Apple which had so far stayed away from the larger tablets.
How important is iPad mini for Apple?
So far Apple had considered the larger tablet and the smaller tablet as two separate products. There appeared to be a conscious decision from the Apple management to stay away from entering into the smaller tablet space.
Apple clearlyÂ was the leader in terms of tablet sales, with even Samsung not being able to catch up. However, this changed with the launch of Kindle Fire by Amazon.com. Kindle Fire is approximately half the size of an iPad. But the real difference was the pricing. Apple still sold old iPads at $399, whereas Kindle Fire sells at $199. This is the same price at which iPod touch sells. iPod’s screen is a fourth of Kindle Fire’s screen. This madeÂ Fire even more popular. Amazon.com reportedly sold millions of Kindle Fire tablets. With Kindle Fire gaining popularity for its ‘value for money’ iPad and iPod sales started getting impacted although not to a very significant extent. But this clearly has forced Apple to introduce a tablet in a price range in between that of the iPod touch and that of the iPad. Once introduced, the smaller iPad is expected to gain popularity among a different segment of users who would prefer a smaller tablet which would fit in their bags.