A new report claims that Apple will begin producing a 7.85-inch iPad in the second quarter of 2012, with the company reportedly aiming to sell the smaller slate prior to 4Q12.
Additionally, the report alleges that Apple will also release another iPad in the first quarter of 2012, which is assumed to be the iPad 3. Sources in the story say the Cupertino company hopes to combat the success of Amazon’s Kindle Fire with a compact slate of its own, with LG Display and AU Optronics rumored to be the manufacturers for the 7.85-inch panels.
While the Kindle Fire has been flourishing, with Amazon boasting the device as its best selling Kindle ever, the budget-friendly device has appeared to found a niche in the once iPad dominated market. Yet, will a 7-inch iPad be able to triumph over the entry level device? With Apple’s large content backing, the company can offer customers a similar content consumption experience to that of the Fire, however, will the presumably high-end device be able to compete with the low-price point of Amazon’s tablet?
All these questions will go unanswered until Apple makes an official announcement, but if these reports hold true it will surely be an interesting year in the tabletsphere.