Four months ago we filed a report saying LG Display and AU Optronics sent Apple 7.85 inch LCD panels so that they could start working on a smaller iPad. Two months ago we said that sources in Taiwan are essentially confirming the 7.85 inch form factor exists and that said smaller iPad is due to hit the market before the beginning of Q4 2012. Today we have conformation from The Wall Street Journal that Apple’s suppliers have “shown them screen designs for a new device with a screen size of around 8-inches”. Now when the WSJ reports on Apple rumors, they’re pretty much guaranteed to be true. They rightfully say that Apple could opt to not bring this smaller iPad to market, but let’s be honest, low cost Android tablets from the likes of Amazon are definitely going to pose a threat in the future. Today the Amazon Kindle Fire is only on sale in the United States, how long do you think before it gets refreshed and then launched in Europe?
Now as for the specs of this iPad mini, the WSJ says it has the exact same screen resolution as the iPad 2. That makes a whole heck of a lot sense when you think about it, because developers don’t want to rewrite their apps, anything sharper would cost more, and anything blurrier would just look like crap. As for the processor inside, no one knows anything, but we wouldn’t be surprised to hear that it comes with what is essentially the heart of the iPad 2.
Should you wait for the iPad mini? That depends on what you want a tablet for. Anything larger than 5 inches is going to need to be carried in a separate bag, so 7.85 inches versus 9.7 inches doesn’t really make that much of a difference. That being said, it’s expected that the iPad 3 will have an ultra high resolution screen, so if you plan on reading a lot … this should be an easy decision.