Apple Working with Suppliers on 8-Inch iPad

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The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is working with suppliers on a smaller iPad carrying a display in the range of 8 inches on the diagonal, down from the 9.7-inch display in the current iPad but still larger than the 7-inch display found in the Kindle Fire.
Officials at some of Apple's suppliers, who declined to be named, said the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has shown them screen designs for a new device with a screen size of around 8-inches, and said it is qualifying suppliers for it. Apple's latest tablet, the iPad 2, comes with a 9.7-inch screen. It was launched late last year.

One person said the smaller device will have a similar resolution screen as the iPad 2. Apple is working with screen makers including Taiwan-based AU Optronics Co. and LG Display Co. of South Korea to supply the test panels, the person said.
The report does caution, however, that Apple is continually testing new designs with its suppliers and could ultimately decide not to bring the smaller iPad to market.

According to the report, Apple has played with various tablet sizes in the past, but has so far stuck with a single form factor with a 9.7-inch display, a size Steve Jobs argued was the minimum to meet Apple's standards for usability.

An "iPad mini" has been rumored for quite some time, with reportedly having tested a variety of different screen sizes. A number of the rumors have pinpointed a 7.85-inch iPad that could be released late this year.

Mockup of 7.85" iPad on left, 9.7" (current) iPad on right
Back in December, we published mockups and "actual size" PDFs demonstrating how the device would appear and fit in the hand at that size. Our printable PDFs included home screen (6 MB) and keyboard (18 MB) views, and we also included an actual size image for viewing on a current iPad.

Squeezing the current iPad's resolution down to a smaller screen would also reduce the size of the interface elements on the device, and Apple is indeed said to be planning to move the current iPad's 1024x768 resolution to the smaller iPad in a move that would allow current iPad apps to "just work" on the new device. Testing with our "iPad mini" mockup suggests that interface elements would remain usable even at the smaller size.

Article Link: Apple Working with Suppliers on 8-Inch iPad
 

Ballis

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They should wait until a retina display is feasable imo, to avoid developers sticking to the legacy resolution and just upscaling on the iPad 3.
 

MrAwax

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May 6, 2009
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Nope. It would not "just work"

a move that would allow current iPad apps to "just work" on the new device.
Nope, it would not "just work". It would mean that ALL apps are reduced to 75%. All hit target would be smaller. All buttons would be smaller. And, as famously said by Steve Jobs, you'll need to sand your finger tips.
A app designed natively for a 7" tablet would be OK. But an app designed for a 10" tablet and scaled down to è3 would be a pain to use.
 

WildCowboy

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Nope, it would not "just work". It would mean that ALL apps are reduced to 75%. All hit target would be smaller. All buttons would be smaller. And, as famously said by Steve Jobs, you'll need to sand your finger tips.
A app designed natively for a 7" tablet would be OK. But an app designed for a 10" tablet and scaled down to è3 would be a pain to use.
For the most part things would "just work". Experimentation with our mockups suggests that most interface elements are still usable at the slightly smaller size. Certainly not any smaller than what's already widely used on the iPhone.

It'd require a little getting used to, but it seems like it would be okay for those who want a smaller screen. Give the mockups a try.
 

Macman45

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Jul 29, 2011
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Could this be the perceived replacement for the entry level 16GB iPad? It makes sense, I've stated elsewhere on the site they I think Apple will drop the 16GB and start the ipad3 range at 32GB rising to 128 for the top end model.

A small form factor iPad with a 16GB capacity, aimed at entry level users and those who want an ultra portable device would make sense.
 

Yumunum

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Apr 24, 2011
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Why the heck would an 8" iPad need to exist. That's just too close to 9.7"

7" maybe. It's kinda hard to tell where the line should be drawn when these devices are already so small. But even then, 8" seems slightly too close.
 

santaliqueur

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Aug 7, 2007
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Nope, it would not "just work". It would mean that ALL apps are reduced to 75%. All hit target would be smaller. All buttons would be smaller. And, as famously said by Steve Jobs, you'll need to sand your finger tips.
A app designed natively for a 7" tablet would be OK. But an app designed for a 10" tablet and scaled down to è3 would be a pain to use.
So they would be reduced in "size", but yes, they would just work. As long as the resolution is the same, they would all work.
 

rmwebs

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I cant see this happening. At least not until Apple make iOS able to resize apps to fit multiple displays (i.e like any android app, or a proper desktop app). As it stands, iOS apps are severely limited in that you have to set the exact display sizes.

It's already an annoyance that during development we need 4 sets of images (iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 4, iPad, iPad 3), adding more just bumps up the file size of apps even more and slows development.

IMO the current size is fine. Its very usable, the keyboard is a great size, etc.
 

arn

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Why the heck would an 8" iPad need to exist. That's just too close to 9.7"

7" maybe. It's kinda hard to tell where the line should be drawn when these devices are already so small. But even then, 8" seems slightly too close.
It's 7.85", and it's not that close to the current iPad when you have it in hand. Print out a copy, try it yourself.

arn
 

rmwebs

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Apr 6, 2007
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So they would be reduced in "size", but yes, they would just work. As long as the resolution is the same, they would all work.
Some apps would need tweaking, assuming it were to still use the iPad's resolution. If you've got an iPad app that has fairly small buttons, they will be tiny on a smaller device.

If the resolution were to change however (even in the slightest), all apps would need updating by their developers. This is the reason Apple haven't brought out additional resolutions, it screws development up.
 

thekeyring

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Jan 5, 2012
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So then there'd be 3 screen sizes iOS apps would have to take into consideration. 4 if rumors the iPhone 5 will have a bigger screen. Why does everyone want iPhones to have bigger screens and iPads to have smaller screens? Maybe people from both camps of thought should just swap devices.
 

C3POh

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Jul 1, 2007
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I would like an even bigger ipad, for instance the size of sheet music (which is A4) this would be wonderful for all those musicians that would not have to carry around all that heavy music. They could use it to perform on stage with.
 

rmwebs

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So then there'd be 3 screen sizes iOS apps would have to take into consideration. 4 if rumors the iPhone 5 will have a bigger screen. Why does everyone want iPhones to have bigger screens and iPads to have smaller screens? Maybe people from both camps of thought should just swap devices.
No, there would be 5, as we already have 4:

1 - iPhone 1, iPhone 3g, iPhone 3G
2 - iPhone 4, iPhone 4
3 - iPad 1, iPad 2
4 - iPad 3

5 - Rumored "iPad Mini"

----------

I would like an even bigger ipad, for instance the size of sheet music (which is A4) this would be wonderful for all those musicians that would not have to carry around all that heavy music. They could use it to perform on stage with.
Cant see Apple ever bringing out a bigger one, there would be practically zero market for it. The only time you'll see iOS get bigger is when Apple inevitably caves and ditches OS X in favor of iOS. I dont look forward to that day.
 

twilson

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They should wait until a retina display is feasable imo, to avoid developers sticking to the legacy resolution and just upscaling on the iPad 3.
Why, people won't suddenly develop smaller fingers, which is the bigger issue.

Apple is NOT going to throw years of wisdom out of the window...Although Steve isn't around so I suppose anything is possible.
 

cal6n

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Jul 25, 2004
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Officials at some of Apple's suppliers, who declined to be named, said the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has shown them screen designs for a new device with a screen size of around 8-inches, and said it is qualifying suppliers for it. Apple's latest tablet, the iPad 2, comes with a 9.7-inch screen. It was launched late last year.

One person said the smaller device will have a similar resolution screen as the iPad 2. Apple is working with screen makers including Taiwan-based AU Optronics Co. and LG Display Co. of South Korea to supply the test panels, the person said.
If they can't even get the iPad 2's launch date correct, how is anyone supposed to believe the rest of their schtick?
 

hissyfit

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Sep 19, 2009
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agreed.

I would like a bigger iPhone (screen), and a smaller iPad.
I just know I will want the iPad 3 but won't be able to get one because I bought the 2 last year (which I love). That, and I will be upgrading to iPhone 5 because I'll be eligible when it is released.