What do Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times have in common? They’re all highly regarded news organizations that have each independently confirmed what the internet already knows: Apple is going to launch a smaller iPad this year in order to compete with the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Google Nexus 7. Now yes, those two devices have such a small share of the market that it’s laughable, but that’s not the point. Apple, for all intents and purposes, created the tablet market. In order for them to maintain their current dominant position, they have to hit multiple price points. According to The New York Times, Apple “is developing a new tablet with a 7.85-inch screen that is likely to sell for significantly less than the latest $499 iPad.”
Said tablet will “be announced this year.”
We’d like to point out that the first time we heard about the possibility of a 7.85 inch iPad even existing was in October 2011. That’s nine months ago. Which again, is why we’re not surprised to hear “old media” reporting this news. The more subtle point here is that we, the “new media”, will publish damn near every rumor that lands in our inbox, whereas the old guard tends to vet things through “sources familiar with the matter”. Publications like The New York Times aren’t in the rumor mongering business, while the internet is built on baseless rumors. So with that in mind, when they say the iPad mini exists, it’s pretty much confirmation that it indeed does.
There are now just two questions that need answers: When and how much?
Oh and one fun tidbit from the article: An anonymous Apple engineer says that the first iPad prototypes had 7 inch screens. Steve Jobs thought that form factor was too small, and thus the larger iPad as we know it today was born.