With the huge successes of the iPad 3, it’s hard to believe Apple wants to change their formula too much. Still, rumors of a 7-8″ iPad mini continue to make their way around the internets. Today’s rumor comes from NetEase, a Chinese-based net portal, which claims the iPad mini is real, and that it will launch in the fall. According to the rumor, Apple will produce a staggering 6 million units to be ready for a fall release, and that the device will retail for $249 – $299.
While many aren’t convinced that Apple will target the 7″ tablet market at all, the success of the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet devices at least indicate that there is a fairly large market out there for this type of device. A 7″ Apple iPad mini tablet at $249 to $299 would instantly put Apple as the leader in the 7″ tablet market as well. Sure, the Kindle Fire has sold an impressive number of units, and Google is working with ASUS on a $150 to $200 Google-branded Android tablet, but Apple’s dominance of the 10″ tablet market even when charging premium rates will likely spill over to the 7″ market as well.
Of course, without firm evidence of the iPad mini existing, this is all just speculation. Several in the tech blogging community aren’t convinced that Apple wants to enter the 7″ tablet market at all, and are content with continuing to sell a boatload of 10″ iPads. One thing’s for sure, however; if Apple does unveil an iPad mini for a release in the fall, it’ll certainly be an interesting summer.
Anyone out there interested in an iPad mini? Sound off in the comments.