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Apple Said to Have Developed 7-Inch iPad Alongside Current Model

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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In a commentary on the latest rumors of Apple planning to release a 7-inch iPad model early next year, The Loop's Jim Dalrymple notes that such a device has existed in Apple's labs for quite some time, having been developed alongside the 9.7-inch model that became the original release of the iPad.The fact is, Apple already has a 7-inch iPad. They have had one of the smaller devices since they started making the 9.7-inch iPad that we have now.

To be clearer, the two devices were developed at the same time. They have pretty much the same specs, except, of course, the 9.7-inch model has a higher density screen than its smaller counterpart.Apple's tablet plans date back many years, even preceding those for the iPhone, which itself evolved from the early tablet concepts. Consequently, it should not be a surprise that Apple has been toying with various sizes and form factors over the years. Last year, it was reported that Apple had investigated a range of screen sizes for its tablet projects over the previous several years, ranging from 4 inches up to as much as 12 inches and including a 7-inch version.

For whatever reason, Apple decided to launch with the 9.7-inch iPad we see today, but it appears that the company has been ready to release a 7-inch version on relatively short notice for some time. With a number of other companies gearing up to launch 7-inch tablets over the coming months, observers are naturally speculating about whether Apple plans to match that size with its own offering. But as Dalrymple notes, Apple may not even feel that it needs to release the smaller model in the face of the coming competition.With other companies releasing their 7-inch tablets, you may wonder why Apple doesn't push its device out the door. I think the answer to that is quite simple - they don't have to release it.

The iPad is the one of the best selling devices in history. Why would Apple need to release a smaller version to compete in a market it owns. It doesn't.With a smaller model almost certain to command a lower sales price, Apple may be hesitating to release the 7-inch iPad as customers continue to snap up the current iPad nearly as fast as the company can stock them. Consequently, observers will have to wait for additional information to come to light to see if and when Apple begins to move forward on production of the smaller iPad or if it continues to sit on the design while undoubtedly refining it in its labs as technology advances.

Article Link: Apple Said to Have Developed 7-Inch iPad Alongside Current Model
 

theheadguy

macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2005
1,133
1,342
california
There was no need to offer choice to the consumer at that time. When other manufacturers finally get some worthy product off the ground, Apple can respond immediately with expanded options.
 
Comment

50548

Guest
Apr 17, 2005
5,039
2
Currently in Switzerland
The only question is: WHY the heck would someone want to buy a 7-inch iPad when there are already 2 Apple-produced multitouch devices with 3.5 and 9 inches? To fit it in cargo pockets?

This rumor makes absolutely no sense in terms of market segmentation; I call it pure BS.
 
Comment

eleven59

macrumors regular
Jul 21, 2008
163
0
no need to at first... but in the end and in the long term, especially with competition always inevitably on its way, its always nice to have options
 
Comment

Mike Oxard

macrumors 6502a
Oct 22, 2009
804
456
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

How does he know this to be true? Isn\'t it just regurgitation of all the other 7\" iPad rumours that have been doing the rounds?
 
Comment

saving107

macrumors 603
Oct 14, 2007
6,376
14
San Jose, Ca
I see this quote being true

With other companies releasing their 7-inch tablets, you may wonder why Apple doesn't push its device out the door. I think the answer to that is quite simple - they don't have to release it.

The iPad is the one of the best selling devices in history. Why would Apple need to release a smaller version to compete in a market it owns. It doesn't.

when sales start to slow down, maybe then they will release a smaller form factor to excite people again, but not now, not wile they are still selling like hotcakes.
 
Comment

DTphonehome

macrumors 68000
Apr 4, 2003
1,794
2,481
NYC
Good analysis. Makes no sense to offer a cheaper iPad if the one they have now is virtually sold out. Just sell the bigger, higher-priced model. When/if sales slacken, then they can release a smaller iPad to get price-conscious buyers.
 
Comment

allpar

macrumors 6502
May 20, 2002
329
77
When sales slow, maybe they'll even make something that people with weaker eyesight can use properly ... (lower pixel density) ... zooming in only gets you so far when it's not designed for it. (Be nice if the browser reformatted the page when you zoomed in.)
 
Comment

skellener

macrumors 68000
Jun 23, 2003
1,768
507
So. Cal.
Yeah sure, a 7" iPad is just "waiting in the wings" but an announced product like the iPhone 4 White still hasn't been released. :rolleyes:
 
Comment

GoodWrites

macrumors newbie
Feb 23, 2010
26
0
Washington, DC Metro
Margins Rule - Business

I concur with the writer's assessment as to the "why release it". If Apple is selling the iPad in its current state as fast as it can produce them, why would it want to take away capacity to build the 7" model and diminish its margins. Even if the 7" sells at the same margin percentage, the lower amount of margin dollars would reduce the overall margin for the company.

On the other hand, there are times you absorb a reduced margin to prevent others from gaining a foothold (or in general) market share.

At this moment, when there is not a tablet out there competing... I agree with Apple's decision to not release a 7".

I would rather see the effort go into a lighter v2 with front-facing camera for Facetime as has been discussed ad nauseum.

My $.02
 
Comment

Consultant

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
13,312
32
For the 7" iPad rumor droolers:

Just try to read a formatted for computer PDF on a 7" tablet. Not going to work for that.
 
Comment

NebulaClash

macrumors 68000
Feb 4, 2010
1,810
0
Just a reminder to all the "a 7" iPad will NEVER be released" crowd, be less dogmatic about such posts. Real life tends to prove us wrong on a regular basis.
 
Comment

Bregalad

macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2002
414
54
Vancouver
The only question is: WHY the heck would someone want to buy a 7-inch iPad when there are already 2 Apple-produced multitouch devices with 3.5 and 9 inches? To fit it in cargo pockets?

This rumor makes absolutely no sense in terms of market segmentation; I call it pure BS.

The 3.5" screen is too small for my middle aged eyes.
The 9.7" device is way too big for a go everywhere device. If I have to carry it under my arm or bring along a bag to carry it in, it'll stay home 99% of the time. Knowing that I didn't bother buying one.

I'm waiting for something small enough to fit in my coat pocket that offers a more rich user experience than the iPhone and the kind of low cost data plans available for the iPad.
 
Comment

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,394
It would be sheer stupidity to release a smaller iPad BEFORE the iPad competitors get theirs out the door. This has all the makings of classic ambush marketing -- similar to what Apple did to netbooks last year by announcing the iPad after CES.

Here is what is going to happen -- CE and computer companies push small screen, lower price, WebOS or Android tablets at CES. Once CES is over Apple announces the 2011 iPads including a small screen version at the same price at the WebOS/Android tabs. As Steve would say...Boom!
 
Comment

iVoid

macrumors 65816
Jan 9, 2007
1,134
160
Wait, wouldn't the smaller screen be the one with the higher density (assuming the same screen resolution)?

That's what I was thinking too.

The iPhoen4 screen has an higher density than a 3GS because there are more pixels per inch.

If the 9.7" and 7" have the same resolution, then the 7" would have to have a higher density to fit them in a smaller screen size. i.e. a retina display.
 
Comment

0815

macrumors 68000
Jul 9, 2010
1,759
907
here and there but not over there
Apple does not just throw products blind on the market like other manufactures (like the once that just announced 3 ,4,5 ,7 ,.... inch versions of the same.) Apple actually invests a lot time and money in user studies and it probably turned out that the 9.7 model is much better from a usability perspective than a 7 model. They release only what they are happy with (maybe limited in features but functional) - others throw everything half done on the marked and wait and see what happens.
 
Comment

Bregalad

macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2002
414
54
Vancouver
I concur with the writer's assessment as to the "why release it". If Apple is selling the iPad in its current state as fast as it can produce them, why would it want to take away capacity to build the 7" model and diminish its margins. Even if the 7" sells at the same margin percentage, the lower amount of margin dollars would reduce the overall margin for the company.

On the other hand, there are times you absorb a reduced margin to prevent others from gaining a foothold (or in general) market share.

At this moment, when there is not a tablet out there competing... I agree with Apple's decision to not release a 7".

I would rather see the effort go into a lighter v2 with front-facing camera for Facetime as has been discussed ad nauseum.

My $.02

When the competition releases their 7" tablets Apple should respond. After all it's far better to cannibalize your own sales than let a competitor do it.
 
Comment

Gen

macrumors 6502a
Jul 15, 2008
894
94
9.7 is perfect, if you want anything smaller use your iPhone
 
Comment

Lesser Evets

macrumors 68040
Jan 7, 2006
3,509
1,274
I'd rather have an 11" iPad which can be its own stand-alone computer, have the landscape dock, and have a higher res. screen of preferably 1600x1100 (or somewhere around there).

Come on, Apple.
 
Comment

tzeshan

macrumors regular
Dec 12, 2009
205
3
Macrumor reported this before iPad launch

Apple has advantage over the competitors now. Because it has sold so many iPads that it is getting many genuine feed backs from the customers.

Further, I think the competition can not make money with a 10" tablet. So they spread the rumor that Apple will release a 7" model in order to justify its validity. lol
 
Comment

X5-452

macrumors 6502
Feb 16, 2006
482
48
Calgary, Canada
Personally, I don't see the need for a 7" iPad. The current size was chosen for specific reasons, and it's selling very well. Not only that, but think of the headache that releasing a smaller version would mean for app developers. Not only did everyone have to create iPad specific / universal apps that run on both iPhone and iPad displays, but adding another into the mix would just be annoying from a developer stand point.
 
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