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Old Mar 27, 2012, 10:33 PM   #1
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Why a 7.85" Screen for the Rumored 'iPad Mini' Makes Sense




Rumors of an "iPad mini" have been persistent over the past couple of years, despite an early dismissal of the 7" tablet form-factor by Apple's Steve Jobs:
Quote:
There are clear limits to how close elements can be on the screen before users can't touch accurately. We believe 10-inch screen is minimum necessary.
Jobs' dismissal centers around an interface issue that a 10-inch screen is believed to be the minimum necessary to provide a good user interface.

Still, rumors of a smaller iPad have persisted with the latest rumors pinpointing a 7.85" screen for such a device. Apple has reportedly received samples of 1024x768 7.85" screens with rumors of mass production of the device sometime this fall.

AppAdvice digs into this exact screen size and reveals why the 7.85" size is not as arbitrary as it might seem.

The site calculates the points per inch (PPI) of such an imaginary 7.85" 1024x768 display and finds it to be 163 PPI. This is the exact same pixel density as the original iPhone and iPod Touch before the Retina Display. Apple's human interface guidelines for iOS development for both iPad and iPhone outline that the minimum size for tappable user interface elements at 44 x 44 points (0.27 x 0.27 inches on the original iPhone screen).

This 44 x 44 point size recommendation is true for the original iPhone and the original iPad, even though the original iPad was slightly less pixel-dense. (On Retina-enabled displays, the recommendation remains at 44 x 44 points, but with each point represented by 2 pixels)

What this means is that any iPad application that was designed with these guidelines in mind would never drop below Apple's recommended 44 x 44 point (0.27 x 0.27 inches) when displayed on a 7.85" miniaturized iPad. As we noted in our paper mockup of a iPad mini, that the user interface elements seemed perfectly usable on the smaller screen, and this would explain why. iPad apps would run without modification on a 7.85" iPad without any elements dropping below what Apple considers the minimal tappable size.

None of this means that Apple will definitely be producing such a device, but does show the 7.85" size is not an arbitrary decision. Existing iPad apps would run reasonably well without modification on such a device.

Article Link: Why a 7.85" Screen for the Rumored 'iPad Mini' Makes Sense
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 10:34 PM   #2
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I like my HP TouchPad, but I wouldn't mind a smaller iPad in addition to my Touchpad. Pretty cool IMO
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 10:38 PM   #3
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2nd

Bet someone is rolling around in their grave at the moment.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 10:40 PM   #4
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One how is the new news.
This exact analysis has been discussed in these very forums many times. It's like someone finally got a round to reading.

Two - Not going to happen till Cocoa AutoLayout gets ported to CocoaTouch.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 10:40 PM   #5
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Highly unlikely. Why does Apple need this? Is the iPad not selling well all of a sudden? The kindle is a completely different product. If this is what Apple does as a way of "finding it's own non-Jobsian" vision we're in trouble
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 10:40 PM   #6
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Smaller would be nice, but I have a hard time believing Apple will introduce a non-Retina device. I think that they've made it clear where they stand on display quality.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 10:41 PM   #7
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I don't think that this product will ever exist, unless Apple really cuts their margins. The Kindle Fire has the brand awareness in this size area. I don't think that people will buy the iPad mini unless its ≤$249. That leaves some room for the "Apple Tax" but I doubt that people will pay much more.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 10:42 PM   #8
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After upgrading everything from the iPod Touch to the iPad to "retina" pixel density, they are now going backwards to offer a 163ppi non-retina display on a brand new great product? I don't think it will happen.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 10:42 PM   #9
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This calculation works for a 2048 x 1536 display at the iPhone's 326 ppi resolution as well - I would have though it more reasonable to expect a theoretical 7.9 inch 'iPad Mini' at that resolution, rather than the old non-retina resolution (the iPad 2 is the only device still sold at that resolution).

Certainly would make for an interesting product!

Last edited by OziMac; Mar 27, 2012 at 10:52 PM.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 10:44 PM   #10
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Keep on dreaming.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 10:45 PM   #11
soundr
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I don't mean to argue with a dead man, who knew a lot more about what people want than I do.

However: If 10" is the smallest usable screen size, how do you explain the popularity of the iPhone?
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 10:46 PM   #12
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Actually, if you calculate the retina display on the new iPad and dived it by the new screen you get 326 ppi which the exact amount of ppi on the iPhone.

2048/6.28=326
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 10:46 PM   #13
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Think something smaller, size and functionality (compared to an iPad)
To augment something larger

Only time will tell
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 10:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slrandall View Post
Smaller would be nice, but I have a hard time believing Apple will introduce a non-Retina device. I think that they've made it clear where they stand on display quality.
Exactly. Producing a non-retina device would be taking a step back when they've been making efforts to increase screen resolution/pixel density with all of their devices as of late. I don't see them compromising this quality to "be competitive" in a "market" that only currently exists because it's between the sizes of Apple's current, immensely popular devices. Desperate competitors are desperate. They're trying their hardest to get a leg up anywhere they can—even if it means trying to create a "market" for less-than-sensible tablet sizes (an area Apple has purposely not pursued).
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 10:48 PM   #15
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Yes, this would be a move backwards.

Let's remember that this rumor originally appeared about a year and a half ago, and at that time, only one device was retina display in the lineup, the iPhone 4.

Sure, the mathematics make sense now as they did then. But the only thing this recent detective tells work me, is that these rumors were from plans made a long, long time ago, and now things are much different so these plans have been scrapped, and the course has been changed.

The PPI on this display would be much too low for a new 2012 device.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 10:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OziMac View Post
This calculation works for a 2048 x 1536 display at the iPhone's 324 ppi resolution as well - I would have though it more reasonable to expect a theoretical 7.9 inch 'iPad Mini' at that resolution, rather than the old non-retina resolution (the iPad 2 is the only device still sold at that resolution).

Certainly would make for an interesting product!
Quote:
Originally Posted by seanwes View Post
Exactly. Producing a non-retina device would be taking a step back when they've been making efforts to increase screen resolution/pixel density with all of their devices as of late. I don't see them compromising this quality to "be competitive" in a "market" that only currently exists because it's between the sizes of Apple's current, immensely popular devices. Desperate competitors are desperate. They're trying their hardest to get a leg up anywhere they can—even if it means trying to create a "market" for less-than-sensible tablet sizes (an area Apple has purposely not pursued).
Sure, except the rumors were specific about 1024x768 at 7.85"

http://www.macrumors.com/2011/10/18/...5-inch-screen/

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Old Mar 27, 2012, 10:50 PM   #17
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I am almost certain that 44x44 is referenced in pixels not points.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 10:51 PM   #18
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In real life, iPad Mini is as unlikely as this:

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Old Mar 27, 2012, 10:51 PM   #19
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Nope

Won't happen. Not a chance in the world. They don't need another product between the iPod touch and the iPad. If you want a smaller screen, buy an iPod touch. How would they even market this. I got a Kindle Fire for Christmas and haven't touched it since. Apple got it right the first time around.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 10:52 PM   #20
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ya

won't happen. this is a silly rumor.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 10:54 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newagemac View Post
I am almost certain that 44x44 is referenced in pixels not points.
It's in points. 1 point = 1 pixel pre-retina. 1 point = 2 pixels in retina.

http://developer.apple.com/library/i...teristics.html

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Old Mar 27, 2012, 10:55 PM   #22
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Why a 7.85" Screen for the Rumored 'iPad Mini' Does Not Make Sense

They practically sell iPads as fast as they can make them. Why under cut that with a cheaper tablet? This is just silly non-sense to get people like me worked up! lol
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 10:55 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by reallyapple? View Post
Bet someone is rolling around in their grave at the moment.
Yeah, he wasnt a fan of giving consumers options. The word options along with choice gave him the hives.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 10:55 PM   #24
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I'd buy this in a hot minute. I love the Kindle Fire form factor, but the iOS software and experience is far superior.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 11:00 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arn View Post
Sure, except the rumors were specific about 1024x768 at 7.85"

http://www.macrumors.com/2011/10/18/...5-inch-screen/

arn
I think that's why people are saying that the rumors doesn't make much sense. As someone else said, they would have made more sense back before the big Retina push.
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