Rumors and Analyst Suggest 7-inch iPad Coming Soon

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Apple will push to release a smaller and revamped iPad by Q1 2011, according an industry analyst. After speaking with Apple suppliers, Ashok Kumar of Rodman & Renshaw claims Apple will unveil a seven-inch iPad, down from the current-generation iPad’s 9.7-inch screen, most likely in a bid to compete with the Samsung Galaxy Tab in the video conferencing space.

“Apple will be playing catch-up on the videoconferencing features,” said Kumar in an interview with Bloomberg.

Adding further fuel to the rumors is a report in the Chinese site Shanzai that Apple is working on the seven-inch iPad and that the design resembles an iPhone 4.

As reported in Apple Insider, the Shanzai story claims, “Yes, there will be a (7-inch) tablet, yes it’s well underway in terms of product development and in fact it’s a finished product.”

The report also states, “Yes 5 plus different designs have been floating around to help Apple protect itself from people discovering its next product look and feel but… the final design will in fact bear more resemblance to the iPhone 4 stylings than the original iPad design.”

Galaxy Tab Competition

With its video conferencing capabilities, the Galaxy Tab seems to have caught some serious attention from Apple. Earlier rumors also have it that the new iPad will feature a front-facing camera and FaceTime, a WiFi-only video conferencing program already found on the new iPod touch and iPhone. Apple is most likely looking to get FaceTime in as many devices as possible, hoping that will become an industry standard for video calling.

There has been much speculation regarding the next-generation iPad since the device launched last spring. As recently as mid-August the DigiTimes reported the potential for the device to run on an ARM Cortex A9 processor and have 1024 x 768 IPS panel display with enhanced the color and viewing angles. Meanwhile, Boy Genius Report uncovered evidence to suggest next-generation iPad field testing is already underway.

Talk regarding the new device continues to increase, especially since the announcement of the competing Samsung Galaxy Tab, which sports a 7-inch display and video conferencing capability. Samsung has said that the smaller size is appropriate for a tablet because it is more portable and better for thumbing. The device also has up to 32 GB expandable memory, a 1 GHz hummingbird processor and front and rear cameras.




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