Apple working with suppliers on 8-inch iPad, says WSJ

By on February 14, 2012, 8:30 AM

Apple is widely expected to announce a new iPad early next month, tentatively known as the iPad 3. If recent rumors are to be trusted, it will likely look and feel very similar to the iPad 2 but with a faster A6 processor, improved graphics, support for Siri, improved cameras, and an ultra high resolution display running at 2048 x 1536. That's all pretty much standard fare (except for the higher-resolution display), but according to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is also working on a smaller version of its popular tablet.

The paper cites people familiar with the matter and close to Apple's suppliers, who have hinted at the existence of a smaller iPad with a screen size of around eight inches. It supposedly packs the same 1024×768 resolution as the iPad 2, which would bump the pixel per inch (PPI) count from 132 to 160 on the smaller tablet.

This new report is in line with earlier rumors of a 7.85-inch iPad with the same display resolution as the iPad 2. Although the Wall Street Journal says Apple is not far along in the build process, it also notes that the company works with suppliers to test new designs all the time, so the existence of an 8-inch iPad doesn’t necessarily mean it will ever see the light of day.

An "iPad mini" has been rumored for quite some time, and according to the report Apple has played with various tablet sizes in the past, despite its late founder Steve Jobs’s public disdain for smaller tablets.

User Comments: 4

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MilwaukeeMike said:

iPad mini? Since when has 8 inches ever been called 'mini' seriously.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

My dream iPad would be one that precisely doubles the screen of iPhone 4, i.e. 7-inch, with 1080P resolution, and then I couldn't wish for more. I think this would be the ideal form-factor + picture quality for many users.

However, if the rumors are confirmed, we are gonna see iPad with screen quality (read DPI or PPI) less than that on iPhone 4

MilwaukeeMike said:

Blame the batteries, Vitaly... others have more insight than I do on this, but my understanding is that more pixels requires more processing power, which means more heat and less battery life. I don't know if Apple does this, but I believe it's the Samsung nexus that actually ships with the processor clocked slower than max speed to improve battery life. It's one reason a phone like the Nexus has worse battery life websurfing than an iphone 4S, but has equal talk time. Takes a lot of juice to keep that big screen lit up and working.

RH00D RH00D said:

I really can't see Apple putting out an iPad or even an iPhone that doesn't meet their "Retina Display" criteria, which is a PPI of at least 326.

For clarification, that means I don't think a "mini" iPad will be released *if* the iPad 3 does in fact have a PPI of 326 or higher. However, if the iPad 3's screen is *not* "Retina Display" worthy, then they it might be possible that they would release a "mini" iPad.

The reason I say it like that is because I can't see them getting a 8" iPad to 326 PPI just yet, and it would be really "backwards" of them to release a iPad without Retina Display *after* having released one with a Retina Display (iPad 3?).

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