Rumours initially suggested that both an iPad 3 and iPad mini would be announced back in March, which unfortunately has been proven false, but new rumours now suggest that the device will be released this October. Analyst Andy Hargreaves has gone on the record to narrow down the launch window to between now and this years holiday period, which would line up well with the October rumours. He claimed that "Checks with component suppliers suggest that Apple is beginning to provide order indications for a smaller iPad that is likely to launch before the holiday period."
The screen will allegedly be between seven and eight inches diagonally, some sources are giving specific numbers around 7.85 inches.the interesting thing about this is that it would put the device in direct competition with Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire, which are both currently battling for control of that segment of the tablet market.
In a report by Digitimes, they claim that industry sources have revealed to them that the iPad mini will use G/F2 thin-film touch technology. The materials are apparently coming from Nitto with Nissha Printing and TPK in charge of creating the touch screens. This technology would allow the device to be thinner and cheaper to produce than previous models relative to it's size.
Many sources seem to be in agreement that the mini will cost under $300 (£188). this is due to several cost cutting measures in its design. As well as the previously mentioned thin- film touch technology, the screen is rumoured to be 1024x 768, which is comparable to the iPhone 3GS, rather than using the Retina Display resolution of some of the newer Apple devices.
For those who like the sound of these rumours, the bad news is that Apple's former CEO Steve Jobs was not a huge fan of the idea. In 2010 he said that "One naturally thinks that a seven-inch screen would offer 70 percent of the benefits of a ten-inch screen. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. The reason we won't make a seven-inch tablet isnt because we dont want to hit a lower price point, its because we think the screen is too small to express the software." While this is not a great sign for the device, with a new CEO Apple's stance on the device may be different to two years ago.
What do you think of these rumours? Are they reasonable? Do you see the sense in a smaller iPad? Would you rather get an iPad mini or one stick with a smartphone? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.