With the eagerly awaited iPad 3 release date tipped to be just a matter of weeks away, new reports have suggested Apple is working with component suppliers to test a smaller, 8-inch tablet.
Whilst Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs openly attacked the idea of 7-inch tablets on a number of occasions, the Wall Street Journal has cited “people familiar with the situation” in suggesting Apple is to complement its range of 9.7-inch tablets with a new 8-inch model.
“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,” the WSJ report said.
Far from the first time a reduced sized iPad tablet has been rumoured to be in the works, reports prior to Christmas suggested Apple was putting the finishing touches a 7.85-inch tablet device.
"Samsung's 5.3-inch Galaxy Note and Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire have been selling well. It means consumers want a tablet that is smaller than the existing 9.7-inch iPad," said Diana Wu, an analyst at Capital Securities in Taipei.
Apple iPad 3 Rumours
Whilst it is not expected Apple will out a second, sub sized tablet alongside the iPad 3 next month, a number of reports have suggested the third-generation tablet will be officially unveiled on March 7th ahead of a formal in-store release later the same month.
Tipped for inclusion on the second-generation Apple tablet, the iPad 3 is expected to play host to a higher resolution screen, similar to the Retina display offering found on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.
"The new display is capable of greater resolution than the current iPad, with more pixels on its screen than some high- definition televisions," an unnamed insider source announced recently. "The pixels are small enough to make the images look like printed material. Videos begin playing almost instantly because of the additional graphics processing."
Elsewhere recent iPad 3 rumours have suggested the iPad 2 replacement will feature a form factor 1mm thicker than its predecessor with the increased internal space to be filled with the new display, an A6 quad-core CPU and improved optics for the rear-mounted camera.
Would you like to see Apple launch a smaller 8-inch tablet alongside its current 9.7-inch market dominating model? Let us know via the T3 Twitter and Facebook feeds.