The Nexus 7 launch and various iPad Mini rumors means it’s hard not to wonder if Apple is poised to enter the small tablet market, and now a new report from The New York Times indicates that may be the case. The publication corroborates an earlier report by The Wall Street Journal, saying that Cupertino is indeed working on a 7.85-inch iPad that will sell for “significantly less” than the current $499 iPad. The New York Times goes on to say that a smaller iPad would allow Apple to cater to consumers demands for different screen sizes.
Comparisons are drawn between Apple’s various iPods, with analysts saying that a smaller device would be a “sweet spot”, allowing for better portability. It would also be a response to tablets such as the Nexus 7, which offer good specs and comparable features for a much lower price. The New York Times does note that Steve Jobs famously dismissed the idea of a smaller tablet, although he was known to have sudden changes in opinion.
Current rumors suggest that the iPad Mini would feature a 7.85-inch screen. The design is said to take cues from the current iPod Touch, and the device will feature WiFi and LTE connectivity like the current iPad. It’s not clear what resolution the screen will have, however, with some reports suggesting a Retina display while others indicate the tablet may stick with 1024×768. The iPad Mini is expected to debut before the end of the year, and is said to cost around $299.