A new report is suggesting that Apple is collaborating with supplier partners to test a new 8 inch iPad that is smaller and more compact than the current iPad 2 model and the rumored iPad 3. The WSJ is suggesting that Apple floating the idea of an 8 inch tablet with suppliers and is looking to indentify potential component manufacturers for the new tablet.
The report goes on to suggest that there wouldn’t be any dramatic resolution changes between the iPad and the ‘iPad-mini’ as some are calling it and therefore developers wouldn’t need to resize their apps to run on a different resolution. However, it is cautioned in the article that Apple unsurprisingly plays with new sizes and designs all the time and, as such, this device may never see the light of day.
Devices with 8 inch screens are an as-yet-untapped area for Apple as there is no intermediate screen size between the 3.5 inch iPhone and the 9.7 inch iPad. While 8 inches might not seem a huge difference from the 9.7 inches that the iPad currently ships in, the size is certainly popular among Kindle users who are provided with a 7 inch screen. Of course, the fact that the iPad has sold a gazillion more units than the Kindle Fire doesn’t come into the equation.
Apple is also known to engage in controlled leaks with fake products in order to determine which suppliers, or even which employees, can be trusted with sensitive information. Planting with fake products individuals or external companies is an effective way for them to weed out anyone who may be looking to engage in leaking information. A cynical person could suggest that this is one of those times.