Whether you agree think the Apple iPad is really magical or not, its success so far has been pretty astounding. Apple managed to sell 3 million units during its first 80 days and plenty of stores are still sold out and doing pre-orders only. However, there’s a rumor that Apple is already working on the next generation iPad – two of them, in fact. One model is said to be a 5.6-inch display version and the other a 7-inch version, both using OLED screens instead of the LED display on the current Apple iPad.
The rumor comes from DigiTimes, so I’m going to take this with a grain of salt:
The sources noted that Apple has recently placed new iPad orders to Taiwan-based component makers for the fourth quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of 2011 with 9.7-inch, 5.6-inch and 7-inch models all included.
The 9.7-inch model will see some minor changes, while Apple will add Chimei Innolux (CMI) as one of its panel suppliers.
The new 5.6- and 7-inch iPads will mainly target the e-book reader market, separating them from the 9.7-inch model, which mainly targets multimedia entertainment, the sources stated.
The only real issue here is that some analysts speculate that Apple, if it does go the OLED route, might not be able to meet demands with limited OLED display supplies. Samsung is the world’s largest OLED display manufacturer and it still has difficulties meeting its own supply needs.
It’s really tough to say whether there is room for two new iPads with different screen sizes, 5.6 inches and 7 inches, in addition to the current 9.7-inch model. The smaller one might not be compelling enough for those who already have or want the iPhone, and 7 inches just seems to sit in an awkward spot between the iPhone and the current Apple iPad. These new versions are supposedly geared toward the e-Reader market, but again the current iPad is, in my opinion, the perfect size for reading books. Instead, I’d much rather have a front-facing camera on Apple’s tablet so I can do some video chatting on it.