Apple is apparently toying with idea of releasing an iPad with 7.85 inch display that has a resolution of 1024 x 768, according to author of Daring Fireball, John Gruber. Speaking on The Talk Show podcast, Gruber reports that he has numerous sources suggest that Apple is playing with the idea of releasing a smaller iPad and that they have prototypes of the smaller device in their labs. However, he is quick to point out that the device may never be released as many prototypes made by Apple quite simply never make it to market.
It is known that Apple has built alternative sizes of the iPad as Steve Jobs announced when asked about choosing the size of the iPad. At the time Jobs suggested that the 9.7 screen of the current iPad was the ideal size and that the company had no plans to release a smaller or larger one, but recent rumors seem to suggest that the company is taking the smaller sized device seriously.
The 1024 x 768 resolution is the same resolution that is in the iPad 1 and iPad 2 but with a smaller iPad, the pixels would simply be smaller. This would mean that existing iPad apps designed for this resolution would not have to be recompiled for the smaller device, which is an important consideration for Apple. With around 150,000 dedicated iPad apps available, it would be a large undertaking to rewrite and recompile them for a different resolution.
So would it be an iPad mini or an big-ass iPod touch?