iPad Mini Being Tested, Christmas Release Wouldn’t Affect iPad 3

By: Josh Wolford - February 22, 2012

Although most iPad/iPhone rumors are met with a great deal of skepticism, rumors concerning a possible iPad Mini are met with even more skepticism. Between Steve Job’s famous proclamation about smaller tablets feeling like giant smartphones and the fact that iPad Mini rumors have been around for years, it’s understandable why many think that Apple will never actually produce a smaller iPad.

But the rumors persist, and today market researchers TrendForce say that smaller iPads (the currently labeled iPad Minis) are in the testing phase. If they were to actually enter production, they say, we’d be looking at a Q4 2012 release date sometime around Christmas.

Here’s what TrendForce had to say about the iPad Mini, as quoted by CNET:

If production ensues, the release time will possibly be in 4Q12, right before Christmas. With a smaller size and a resolution of 1024×768, as opposed to iPad 3’s 2048×1536, the small iPad will not hurt iPad 3’s sales in 2012 and will have a bigger impact in 2013.

With the iPad 3 widely expected to surface at a March 7th launch event, a Christmastime iPad Mini would only be able to steal the iPad 3’s thunder from the holidays and beyond – into 2013. And even if an iPad Mini were to actually be produced, how much would it cut into the iPad 3’s margin?

The persistence of this rumor and people’s interest in it proves that the concept of a 7-inch iPad is not superfluous to most. For those who find the 10-inch model cumbersome but want something more than a 3.5-inch iPhone, something in between would be ideal. The most recent example of a successful 7-inch tablet is Amazon’s Kindle Fire – a device that would surely be threatened by a smaller iPad (although Amazon is rumored to be working on a 10-inch Kindle Fire).

This is not the only time in recent memory that we’ve heard talk of a possible late 2012 iPad Mini. Another research analyst said with certainty that we would see a 7-inch iPad by Christmas:

“I believe that’s always been in the plan,” Technology Business research’s Ezra Gottheil said. “Actually, that’s a good form factor for some users, and although they will also charge a premium above other similar-sized tablets, they want to protect that price flank.”

Do you think a smaller iPad is necessary? Let us know in the comments.

Josh Wolford

About the Author

Josh WolfordJosh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf

View all posts by Josh Wolford
  • Jason

    Absolutely. Jobs had it wrong when he dissed smaller tablets. Everyone has different needs, so why not provide multiple options to consumers? I invite Apple to release a 7″ tablet as well as Kindle coming out with a 10″ tablet. Hopefully Samsung will up their production as well. The more tablet options, both size, features and manufacturers, that are available, the more consumers win.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/josh-wolford Josh Wolford

      I tend to agree. I like my 10-inch iPad, but after playing with smaller tablets, I can see their appeal.

  • http://www.pornhub.com Moe Lester

    i disagree. apple wants to appeal to a large market but an iPad is just big enough that you can justify getting both an iPad AND an iPhone/ipod touch. If they released a smaller tablet, people may only want to get one or the other.

    • JT

      I tend to agree with you. For the rest of you, how can Apple price the iPad Mini with iPad2 $100 drop and iPad3 release? Don’t forget iPod prices. Let’s see for Wifi models only for comparison purpose.

      -iPod: $199, $299 and $399 (8GB, 32GB and 64GB)
      -iPad Mini: $299, $399, $499 (16GB, 32GB and 64GB)
      -iPad2: $399, $499 and $599 (16GB, 32GB and 64GB)
      -iPad3: $499, $599 and $699 (16GB, 32GB and 64GB)…128GB? I doubt it.

      You see, I don’t think they can sell that many iPods if iPad Mini models are released with possible prices above (16GB iPad Mini = 32GB iPod? makes no sense). Also, if the Nooks are sold at $249 (16GB) and well… Kindle Fire would too if Amazon has the 16GB model, I don’t think iPad Mini will start at $299 for 16GB model. They would lose money with that price. My assessment: no iPad Mini unless Apple want to give their $98 billions away. Case closed.

    • John

      That’s true for *some* people.
      Others (like me) for whom 10″ is too cumbersome, and Touch/Phone screen is too small, a mid-size product is just what we’ve been waiting for. I’ve never owned an iPod, and I’d buy an iPad Mini right away.

  • KR

    I just want an iPad that fits in my back pocket, like a paperback book. I’ll buy it Day One!

  • http://www.greencycledpc.com LynxCub

    I can’t see the iPad Mini coming out for 3 reasons

    1) As was mentioned earlier.. Price Point. How can they price it to keep the iTouch separate from the iPad?
    2) App store would be a mess. Currently already 3 different modules of apps, iPhone/iTouch, Universal, and iPad. Now add a another size to the mix…
    3) Self compitition. Apple really doesn’t like competing with itself from product line to product line. And, in my personal opinion, it would be. the iPad Mini would directly compete with the iPad, iTouch, and to some degree even the iPhone.

  • John

    I’ve never been a camp-out-at-the-store / early-adopter type, but I’ve been waiting for just this size tablet. If it’s offered in a 64gb size, I’ll buy one the first day. 7.85 size can fit in my back jeans pocket (yep, I’ve made a mock-up of actual frame size), 64gb would hold all my music, and I’d also be able to read an ebook or magazine article. Plus, it will allow me to use it as my car stereo. I’ve always wanted to get an iPod Touch, but thought it too expensive (64gb) for what I’d get from it. 64gb iPad Mini would be perfect for me.

  • Alex E.

    I think they should have just made an iPad 3 mini (7 in.) and an iPad 3 (10 in.). Then they could have $50 price differences so they wouldn’t lose money. This way iPods would not be affected, consumers have their option, and iPad 3 sales are not affected.

  • babis

    Definetly i eould get an i psd mini , because i can use it easier every where , in every plave , on my my way to work driving, waiting at the air ports , reading or working and after puting it in my pocket and not have to have with me big casevto put id and feel foul of things to take care and not to loose them
    It will be a mini i pad , but big usefull baby in our hands.