Two months ago we published a report from the Taiwanese news agency Economic Daily News that said LG Display and AU Optronics had sent Apple samples of a 7.85 inch LCD that might one day end up being at the heart of a new iPad. At the time it made a lot of sense since Amazon had earlier unveiled the 7 inch $199 Kindle Fire, which is likely to become one of the most sought after gifts this holiday shopping season. Today DigiTimes says that the plans for a 7.85 inch iPad are indeed real, and that it’ll be launched before the start of Q4 2012. Mass production of this new mini-iPad isn’t set to kick off until the end of Q2 2012. That translates to a launch date somewhere between the beginning of July and the end of September. Now July is already too late considering nearly every Apple Worldwide Developers Conference has taken place in June, August is typically when the tech industry takes a break to enjoy the summer, and September has normally been used to introduce the new iPod lineup. Could a low cost iPad at $199 or $299 be positioned as a replacement to today’s $199 iPod touch? Think about that for a minute.
Apple fans are likely eager to point out that 14 months ago Steve Jobs said: “The reason we [won’t] make a 7-inch tablet isn’t because we don’t want to hit that price point, it’s because we think the screen is too small to express the software.” He said the same thing about watching video on a mobile device, he said the same thing about people reading books, he says a lot of things about stuff he never wants to make, yet Apple actually ends up delivering. One of the most salient points in the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson was a confession from Jobs that he hated the idea of iOS apps, but his team convinced him otherwise.
With that in mind, what say you: Is the mini-iPad real or fake?