Rumors have claimed Apple was working on a 7-inch iPad even before the original 9.7-inch slate launched. Despite Steve Jobs calling the form factor “DOA,” the rumor will just not die, and has been given new life by the WSJ, which claims Apple is working with parts makers to test an 8-inch iPad.
Apple has shown off its smaller screen designs, and is working with LG and AU Optronics on the 8-inch displays, which have a similar resolution as the iPad and iPad 2 (1024 x 768).
The report claims that Apple is just testing the screen size, and may have no plans to release the smaller iPad. However, Apple may release a less expensive and smaller iPad in order to better compete with new competition from the Amazon Kindle Fire and other low-cost, brand name Android tablets. Earlier rumors suggested Apple will keep its current iPad 2 on the market after it announces the next generation iPad, pegged for early March, as a low-cost alternative. Apple retains a similar strategy with the iPhone, with the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, and iPhone 3GS still available to customers.