NYT: Apple to Launch iPad Mini This Year; Will Cost “Significantly Less” Than $499

If you’re planning to buy Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire then you should hold off buying one as it seems almost certain that Apple will launch a smaller iPad later this year.

New York Times has just added more credibility to the iPad mini rumor. NYT claims that according to “several people with knowledge of the project who declined to be named discussing confidential plans” Apple is also developing a 7.85-inch tablet that will be significantly cheaper than the current iPad.

NYT reports:

The company is developing a new tablet with a 7.85-inch screen that is likely to sell for significantly less than the latest $499 iPad, with its 9.7-inch display, according to several people with knowledge of the project who declined to be named discussing confidential plans. The product is expected to be announced this year.

Steve Jobs had famously taken a dig at Apple’s competitors for launching tablets that sport a 7-inch screen back in 2010.

But based on the (initial) demand for Google Nexus 7 that was launched last month and success of Kindle Fire (both tablets are available for $199) that was launched last year, it is quite clear that there is demand for smaller and cheaper tablets. So if Apple wants to continue to dominate the tablet market, it is important that Apple launches a smaller iPad, which is competitively priced.

It is widely speculated that the smaller iPad dubbed “iPad mini” with a 7 to 8-inch screen with 1024×768 resolution, will be slightly thinner than the new iPad, come with 8GB of storage, include 3G capabilities and will be aggressively priced at $200 to $250.