Rumor: Apple May Launch 7.85-Inch iPad Later This Year

Ever since Apple launched the iPad in 2010, there have been rumors that Apple will launch a smaller and cheaper iPad mini.

Those rumors have become louder as we’ve got closer to the launch of the highly anticipated iPad 2. According to some rumors, instead of launching an iPad mini, Apple could continue to sell iPad 2 with lower storage capacity between $299 or $399, alongside iPad 3 models.

Taiwanese publication – DigiTimes reports that Apple will not only launch an 8GB iPad 2 alongside iPad 3, it will also launch iPad mini. DigiTimes claims that Apple’s manufacturing partners have started delivering samples of the device for verification. DigiTimes also claims that volume production could start in the third quarter of this year at the earliest.

DigiTimes reports that according to their supply chain sources, iPad mini will be available in the range of $249 to $299, with the rumored 8GB iPad 2 available in the range of $349 to $399 and 16GB iPad 2 for $449, followed by the iPad 3 models starting at $499.

Though a smaller and cheaper iPad will help Apple to compete with Android-based tablets like Amazon Fire that is available for $199, we feel that if Apple has any plans to launch iPad mini, then it would do so at next week iPad 3 event. It seems highly unlikely that it will launch a smaller and cheaper version of the iPad after sometime as it would not go down too well with early adopters of iPad 3 who would feel robbed of the opportunity of buying a smaller and cheaper iPad.

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